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Student hopes for mountain of cash in charity climb

PUBLISHED: 10:44 05 February 2010 | UPDATED: 11:36 08 July 2010

IT is not everyone's cup of tea to climb over 19,000 feet up a volcano where the ecosystem is a mixed bag of savannah plains, tropical jungle, and alpine moorland.

IT is not everyone's cup of tea to climb over 19,000 feet up a volcano where the ecosystem is a mixed bag of savannah plains, tropical jungle, and alpine moorland.

But for one university student from a village near Swaffham, tackling the dizzying heights of Mount Kilimanjaro is a challenge she is willing to face if it means making a mountain of cash for charity.

Alice Kilvert, from Little Dunham, is taking part in Childreach International's Climb Kilimanjaro for Kids challenge where she will join a group of volunteers trekking to the summit of Africa's highest mountain to raise money for needy children.

The 19-year-old student, who is currently studying Psychology at Leeds University, will also be funding the £2,300 participation fee to allow all sponsorship money to go directly to charity.

Miss Kilvert said: “It is quite a small scale charity that supports children in Nepal, India and Tanzania by giving them core needs we take for granted such as food, water and a secure home.

“It also helps the local people set up businesses with the aim of them becoming self-sufficient and supporting themselves.

“This is quite a challenge for me, as it is the world's largest freestanding mountain at 5,895 m with snow capped peaks all year round - and I am no climber.”

Her adventure will begin at the end of June when she will fly from London Heathrow to Nairobi in Kenya, before driving to the Tanzania border to reach the foot of Kilimanjaro.

She will then begin a six day trek up the mountain's Machame route where she will be battling through rainforests and scrambling up scree slopes in -20c to reach the summit and watch the sunrise on the final day.

But despite having to face this formidable challenge, Miss Kilvert is confident that she can complete the task and help make a difference.

She said: “I have already started training. I have been working on the treadmill in the gym and I hope to take advantage of the Yorkshire Dales as well.”

“I love the feeling of being absorbed in another culture and as part of the trip we get to visit the project we are raising money for and see how Childreach International is helping people in Tanzania.”

“I also have experience teaching English abroad and I hope after the climb I will be able to stay and do some voluntary work with African communities.”

This will be Miss Kilvert's second charity project after she spent six months working with children in Malaysia as part of a volunteer abroad programme organised by Lattitude Global Volunteering.

Anyone who is interested in sponsoring Alice Kilvert can do so through her fundraising site, www.virginmoneygiving.com/alicekclimbskili

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