Woman climbs Africa’s highest mountain to raise awareness about online safety for kids

Mildred Europa Taylor August 07, 2019
Ghanaian woman fulfills mission to climb Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, to raise awareness about online safety for children.

A Ghanaian woman has finally fulfilled her mission to climb Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, to raise awareness about online safety for children.

Awo Aidam Amenyah, who is also the executive director of the organization, Child Online Africa, reached the top of the mountain located in Tanzania on Sunday.

The climb was also to raise funds to support programmes in the area of online safety, literacy and well-being programmes across the regions in Africa.

“It’s official: I walked at the highest point in Africa with the hope that the safety & well-Being of children online is taken a lot seriously on the African Continent,” she wrote on her Facebook page while sharing pictures of her achievement.

Amenya reached the top of the mountain with a guide. Pic credit: Facebook/Awo Aid Amen

Amenyah had earlier indicated that her move to climb the continent’s highest mountain was to “send the message across to all the people concerned in Africa to do the needful for children and young people”.

“Many developed countries have made significant progress when it comes to children and young people’s safety on the Internet, though that has not made them immune to the challenges we see these days: at least it has made most people including us what really the issues are when it comes to the safety and protection of children and young people online.

“Same level of preparation cannot be said of the African continent. We have close to zero level of knowledge at some level for adults, you can imagine what children and young people will face then under the watch of such adults? The vulnerability is there for everyone but it is worse in the case of children,” she said.

Amenyah said that she chose to climb Kilimanjaro because “there could not have been any significant location to make this call to Africans than at the Uhuru Peak of Kilimanjaro which is the highest point of Africa”.

Awo Aidam Amenyah is the executive director of the organization, Child Online Africa

With its summit about 4,900 metres (16,100 ft) from its base and 5,895 metres (19,341 ft) above sea level, Mount Kilimanjaro is among Africa’s leading tourist attractions. The mountain has been the subject of many scientific studies because of its shrinking glaciers and disappearing ice fields. In recent years, it has been used to raise awareness about certain societal problems.

Six African women with albinism who have overcome several challenges associated with their condition scaled the mountain last October to highlight their plight.

The novice climbers, who are visually impaired and between the ages of 26 and 35, were from Tanzania, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Senegal and Zimbabwe. Each of them climbed the 19,340-foot mountain every day for between four to five hours with a guide.

Jane Waithera, a human rights activist, speaker and change agent who was behind the initiative, at the time, said: “The climb will give me and my sisters with albinism a platform to amplify our voices from Africa’s highest peak and challenge the stigma associated with albinism. We will be speaking not just for ourselves but also for the future generations of people with albinism, so that they may be given equal opportunities, dignity and respect. I see myself opening limitless doors to people with albinism in Africa.

“Simply by being women with albinism living in Africa, we have climbed mountains before. Now we are conquering Mount Kilimanjaro to draw the world’s attention to the challenges we face every day.”

Prior to this, women farmers from regions across Africa undertook a five-day climb to the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro in October 2016 before descending on International Rural Women’s Day to meet with hundreds of women assembled at the base to demand land rights for African women.

The symbolic climb up Kilimanjaro, which was organized by Action Aid, was expected to put pressure on African governments to develop laws that will help address longstanding injustices against women owning land.


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