Trek Up Kilimanjaro

Trek Up Kilimanjaro
by Nebila Abdulmelik

Mt. Kilimanjaro is one of Africa’s many treasures. Not only is it the highest mountain on the continent, it is one of the tallest volcanoes in the world, and moreover, the highest free standing mountain in the world. From March 5th-9th, 2012, 75 climbers representing men, women and youth from 36 African nations and consisting of members of civil society, celebrities, activists, athletes will trek up this 5,895m mountain to ‘Climb Up & Speak Out’ against Violence against Women & Girls. Once at the peak, they will present the various committments by their respective governments. Where best to do this then the “Roof of Africa”? As the powerful and unforgettable Julius Nyerere said, perhaps prophetically, “We will light a candle on top of Mount Kilimanjaro which will shine beyond our borders, giving hope where there is despair, love where there is hate, and dignity where before there was only humiliation.”
The climbers started their trek up Mt. Kili on the 5th of March. They are expected to reach the summit on 8th March in time for International Women’s Day. They will arrive back on the 9th. At the end of day 2, one of the climbers, an avid human rights defender and activist representing Kenya, Ann Njogu communicated the following update to us:
“We are just turning in for the night at Horombo. Tomorrow we will trek to Kibo and by midnight, we will have reached the summit!! Today we did 11km and we are now at 3270 m above sea level! Tomorrow we scale up to 4700m and will finish the next day at Uhuru Peak! Everyone is in great shape, top mood and all ready for tomorrow!
Stay posted for more updates. We will be tweeting and updating constantly. On twitter, you can follow us @femnetprog or @aliben86. The hashtag we’ll be using is #AfricaUNiTE #Kilimanjaro.
There are also various solidarity climbs and events taking place across the continent. To put yours on the map, please go to You can post links, videos and attach pictures. Let the rest of Africa know what action you are taking to end VAW. You can also report incidences of GBV there.
For more info:
Nebila Abdulmelik is the Associate Advocacy Officer at FEMNET. She can be reached at Connect with her on twitter @aliben86 or

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