Searching for the Kiberan Girl

Last year I was part of the Wings of Kilimanjaro team; the largest group to ever summit the world’s tallest free standing mountain, Mt Kilimanjaro and Nepalese Pilot Sano Babu Sunuwar and his guide Matthew Lyimo successfully flew from the summit.  The project raised over $600,000 for charities on the ground in Tanzania and one of those charities was The One Foundation.

The One Foundation began when founder, Duncan Goose, saw a photograph in The Guardian newspaper…  The story of what happened next … and ten years later is incredible.

The One Foundation to date have raised over 10 million pounds and have saved and changed the lives of over 2.5million people in Africa by funding sustainable development projects and providing access to clean drinking water.

I have had the pleasure of getting to know Duncan and the team at one, a very inspirational group of individuals who show, beyond doubt, the incredible difference we can make to other people lives if we want to.

Searching for the Kiberan Girl – a film by talented filmaker and humanitarian Toby Richards.

To most people reading The Guardian on Dec 15th 2003, the photo of the week was just a poignant photo among a sea of coverage on Saddam Hussein’s capture, but to Duncan Goose it changed everything. The photo of the girl by the padlocked tap drove him to learn more about the water problems in the world — and ultimately inspired him to turn what had previously just been an idea — into reality.

Because of this photo, Duncan quit his job, remortgaged his house and focused 100% of his time on launching a philanthropic brand that would that donate 100% of its profit to funding water projects — One Water and The One Foundation were born.

10 years on and over £10m has been raised, changing the lives of over 2.5m people. And last year, Duncan decided to go back and try to find the girl in the photo. Who was she? Where is she now? What is her story?

In March 2014, he learned the harsh realities of life in Kibera first hand, when he finally met the photographer Marco Longari, and Ann Njeri Kibuki, now 15 years old.

The Kiberan Girl

Happy New Year!

What an amazing year 2013 has been and 2014 is set to be another incredible one!

Looking back over the past 12 months it’s been quite a year…

Things kicked off in January with Wings of Kilimanjaro, where I was proud to be part of the largest group ever to climb to the summit of the mountain and in the process raise over half a million dollars for three charities making a difference on the ground in Tanzania; The One Foundation, Plant with Purpose and WorldServe International.

I was only back in the UK for a few weeks before beginning The Go Trek with Dave Cornthwaite – a 3074mile, two month journey around Europe by ElliptiGo.  Not only did I get into the best shape physically that I’ve ever been in, I was delighted to get to know the inspirational team at Coppafeel – the fab boob charity we raised over £3000 for – and also to meet so many generous, kind and lovely people along the way.

On my return to the UK I enjoyed being back on two wheels, but this time with an engine and I had a blast taking my BMW F800GS out to the Aosta Valley in Italy where I climbed Monte Rosa.

Before returning back to the UK I rode to Aix Les Bains in France where I took part in the ElliptiGo European Championships.  A great event and brilliant to get to know more of the ElliptiGo community.

In September I was excited to meet up with Ranulph Finnes, Kenton Cool and the Powertraveller Team at The Royal Geographical Society where we were working on a project for the new Powertravller product (due to be released in early 2014).

October and November saw the confirmation of a plan that has been bubbling away in the back ground for a while now.  I took a trip to the States to get to work on pre production and training for a new adventure travel series that I will be filming in 2014 with an amazing team!  The biggest surprise of that trip was learning to BASEJump!!

The year concluded with a trip to South Africa, I was in the sunshine for Christmas and while I was there I took the opportunity to climb Table Mountain.

Even in this quick round up of the year its easy to see that I’ve been able to do some wonderful things in incredible places and raise money for very good causes.

I’m so lucky to have the support of my friends and family, I’ve met some great people in 2013 and I’m proud to work with the teams and companies that I do; PowertravellerRab, BMW, GoPro, Salomon, Suunto, Aosta Valley, Peli & Zaini.

It’s the people in my life and the people who I meet that make all the difference.  Thank you all for your support, encouragement and love.

I hope that 2014 is a wonderful year for everyone …. and don’t forget if you’re knickers are right, then everything goes right!

See you in 2014, Squash! xx

 

Wings of Kilimanjaro – Final Training

There’s just a week to go until I fly to Africa for Wings of Kilimanjaro!

Over the past few months I’ve been preparing for the trip and in recent weeks I’ve been doing my final training.

Location is less important when you are working on physical training, you can work out pretty much wherever you are.  However it becomes very important when you are working on paragliding training – you need good weather and high mountains.

I have just been out in Tignes, France where I have been able to take advantage of the altitude for physical stuff and more importantly I’ve been able to fly my paraglider from the beautiful mountains.  The weather was kind and I made the most of flying on the blue sky, calm wind days.

There’s nothing better to prepare you for being at altitude than to actually be at altitude.  In Tignes I sleep at 1600m and am able to train even higher.

 

 

 

Wings of Kilimanjaro – Less than a month to go!


On the 26th January I will be leaving the UK and heading to Tanzania Africa to join over 100 other adventurers to begin a rather remarkable journey.

These things come round so fast.  I can’t believe it’s happening this month!

The preparation for a climb and fly expedition begin a long time before the start of the trip but generally the last few weeks before you depart things can get very busy!

Kit is an essential part of my expeditions and I’m always on the look out for the best possible kit I can use, trust and rely on.  I actively seek to work with brands that I personally really enjoy using, genuinely believe in and as a result have no issues telling the world about!

Recently I used a Peli head torch and was amazed, it’s a brilliant piece of kit.  Peli hadn’t really been on my radar but if you look on their website you’ll probably recognise their logo and their product – best known for their tough cases they also manufacture lighting systems.

I have since been in touch with Peli and have been testing some products.  Delighted with the results I have become a Peli Ambassador and they are partnering with me on the Wings of Kilimanjaro trip.

I am now in the Alps and this is the perfect place for me to do my final few weeks training, which mostly involves hiking up the slopes with a pack on my back and then skiing back down!  Whilst I’m here I’m hoping to get a few flights in too.