FORMER student Chris Percy is aiming for the top to raise money to help children in Africa gain access to education and healthcare.
The 21-year-old, who lives at Lane Head, Brighouse, has set out on a charity expedition to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of Childreach International.
Chris, a former pupil at St Joseph’s Primary School, Brighouse, and North Halifax Grammar School, graduated this summer from Sheffield University where he studied for a degree in mathematics. Before he starts a new job with an accountacy firm in Leeds, he is spending three weeks in Africa.
“It’s an amazing opportunity and I have been really looking forward to setting off. Before we start the climb we get to spend time at a school in Tanzania that is supported by Childreach International. It’s going to be interesting to see how the money we are raising is helping children with their education.”
Chris will be among a group of 20 other young people - some of them other former students from Sheffield - who are attempting the climb to the summit of Kilimanjaro which, at more than 19, 300 feet, is one of the highest mountains in the world.
“I know it’s going to be challenging and none of us is quite sure how we’re going to cope with the altitude,” said Chris who has already raised £2,500 to go on the charity climb.
He is being supported by his family, including his parents Sylvia and Adrian Percy and his younger brother Adam, and friends. Brighouse business Donavan Smith opticians has sponsored him by providing a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses for his trip.
In May he trained for the Sheffield half-marathon to increase his fitness and raise money for the trip.
“Over five days we will climb from lush rainforest and volcanic plains to the ice barrier. We will have a day to get used to the altitude and hopefully reach the summit of Kilimanjaro at dawn on the fifth day of the climb to watch the sun rise over Africa. I think that it is going to be an incredible experience. It’s by far the toughest thing I have done but I’m sure it’ll be an unforgettable trip.”
Childreach International supports three projects in Tanzania - vocational training centres to help children gain skills for employment, a school improvement programme to fund renovations of primary schools so that children can learn in a safe environment and planting new trees.
Chris decided to get involved after one of his friends, Sam O’ Kane, went on an expedition to Peru.
“Sam was helping building schools in Peru and it sounded so amazing that it made me want to do something similar,” he said.
After reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro, Chris and some of the other climbers plan to spend almost two weeks travelling to other parts of Tanzania.
l To sponsor Chris follow the link from mydonate.bt.com