Monday, February 21, 2011

Conquering Poverty by Climbing Mountains -- Program Tomorrow

Head to the Central Library tomorrow evening at 6:30 PM for a fascinating program called Peak 4 Poverty. The project was featured recently in the Drake University Alumni Magazine.

"As Nabeel Meghji watched the sunrise from the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro, he felt the pride of conquering one of the top seven summits in the world and what had been a constant, looming presence during his childhood in Tanzania. He was also remembering the AIDS orphans in his home country; kids who now would have a better chance at life thanks to his efforts.

Nabeel Meghji, a strategist at CDS Global in Des Moines, had always hoped to scale a major summit. Then, when he was struggling to find a way to help bring healing to his home country, he and Iowa native Shayne Huston formed an idea that would allow him to do both simultaneously.

“Growing up in Tanzania, the fourth poorest country in the world, I’ve seen a lot of poverty,” says Meghji. “After seeing all of the children orphaned by AIDS and living in poverty, I always felt obliged to give back in some way or another. After much soul searching I decided to climb Kilimanjaro and use the event as an opportunity to raise funds for orphans in Tanzania.”

According to the World Health Organization, more than 15.6 million children under the age of 10 in sub-Sahara Africa have lost at least one parent to AIDS. These orphans are more prone to sickness, malnutrition, illiteracy, unemployment, homelessness and crime, and are also more likely to repeat the cycle and become infected with AIDS themselves.

Meghji and Huston created a Web site and blog, christened this initiative Peaks 4 Poverty and harnessed the power of social media to draw awareness — and solicit donations — to benefit orphans in Tanzania."

Their presentation is free and open to the public. Read the entire article.

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