Kiliclimb 2012 is an international climb of the highest mountain in Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro. This expedition is in support of Just Equipping, a Canadian registered non profit charitable organization dedicated to education, training, and action in the area of Restorative Justice. Since 2006, Just Equipping has provided a number of missions in Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo, and Cameroon. Just Equipping has played a crucial role in the comfort and support of victims, the rebuilding of fractured communities, the reintegration of offenders, and the promotion of ethical and compassionate corrections and chaplaincy in the Great Lakes Region of Africa. Just Equipping shares a unique partnership with Queens University Theological College in Kingston. Because of this partnership, an International Diploma in Restorative Justice can be granted. Just Equipping was founded by Judith and Pierre Allard. Judith is currently the Executive Director of this internationally acclaimed organization. Pierre is an ordained minister and retired senior executive with the Correctional Service of Canada. Judith and Pierre, who reside in Gatineau Quebec, will be returning to Gisenyi Rwanda in January 2012 to continue their fine work in support of a number of projects sponsored by Just Equipping.
Normally a 5:00 am wake up call would be met with some minor level of hostility or surprise but the one I received this morning was warmly welcomed. Monty called to inform us that so far it has been a good, tough climb and they are prepared to summit from Barafu Camp at midnight tomorrow night! Yesterday was apparently a particularly challenging day with the scramble to the top of the Great Barranco, though they are soldiering on to the peak!
- Duncan Bourke
Side note: How he can get cell reception from an $17 phone from the peak of Africa but I get dropped calls in my stairway...
Most of us arrived on a flight from Amsterdam the morning of Jan 20th after an overnight flight from Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Edinborough. Abbas met is at the Kilimanjaro Airport and drove is to Moshi, where we are staying at the Salsalinero Hotel.
What follows are some pics from today when the guides were checking our gear. Also a group shot with 4 of our 6 guides. We head out tomorrow at 7am drive 3 hours to the trailhead for the Lemoshu route then hike 6-7 hours up to 3100 meters for Shira camp 1. Everyone's well and anxious to start climbing.
We had dinner at the El Rancho Indian Restaurant nearby. Great food, and good price. Day one here was spent organizing our gear, changing money, and settling our accounts with our trek organizer Abbas. Ron and Heather got their luggage 24 hours late thanks to Swiss Air. They spent most of the day trying to locate and have it delivered. They finally succeeded late this afternoon. This is a great hotel, so very relaxing after a long trip. 6 of us had a coffee plantation and factory tour this morning, and from all reports it was enjoyable. 4 of us went to inspect the daycare and visit the CACHA guesthouse. Lunch at the Union Cafe again today. An early night for all as breakfast being served at 6am.
We met the guides today and like 2006, felt they will do there jobs of leading, support, and entertainment. We gave 4 special dinners planned. Tomorrow is the Chinese New Year so we have a Chinese dinner planned and a special presentation for Ben. It's the year of the Dragon so he's getting a Brew Pub T Shirt with their dragon logo complements of Van at the Brew Pub.
As the week follows we have Robbie Burns Supper planned thanks to John Brown's assistance on the protocol and various parties including Allister (Address the Haggis), Nikki (Toast the Queen), Dru (Toast to the Lassies), Donna (Reply from the Lassies) and me (Selkirk Grace and Toast to the Immortal Baird). More on this later.
Also a Quebecois night (thank you Helene) and a Dutch treat night (Thank you Lynne and John). I gave the canvas sheet I brought to Abbas and we met his brother Robert, the artist, who agreed to paint Just Equipping and their logo on it. So now we have a Banner to fly at the top! Got to go to bed. Big day tomorrow.
As you attend to the final details of the Expedition that will bring you to the Summit of Mount Kilimanjaro on January 29th, 2012, we, at Just.Equipping, want to thank you, and your contributors, for your generous support. We wish you every blessing on your exciting journey. With much appreciation, Pierre and Judith Allard.
Chaplain Adolphine, Reverend Simeon, Chaplain Pascal, Jean Claude, Chaplain Canisius
The Women of Goma Prison
Over the last two years, all of the Women of Goma Prison who were attacked have been released. However, efforts to reintegrate them back to their own communities has not gone well. A few weeks ago, Reverend Simeon reported that of the 23 women who were raped, only one was welcomed back by her partner. 15 were rejected by their husbands, 3 remain single, and 4 widowed. As victims of mass rape they remain stigmatised and unwanted by their communities and their families. Reverend Simeon, and his team have been mediating to have them accepted.
During this process, the Chaplains continue to provide emotional and mediation support for the women. The Just.Equipping Report for 2009 states that just $10 a day supports a chaplain and his family at a very basic level.
Simeon advises that provision for legal assistance, literacy training, family mediation, trauma and health counselling are needed. He says that these women need skills development, micro finance support for such ventures as soap making, sewing, handicrafts, renting farm land, seeding crops, and understanding new agricultural techniques. There were some children born out of rape. In the words of Simeon, these children “Need proper care, education, love, and to be accepted”.