46 Women to Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro on National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

A New Year's Resolution to Raise Awareness. Very cool!

46 Women to Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro on National Human Trafficking Awareness Day — The Freedom Climb, an initiative of Operation Mobilization (OM), is raising awareness and funds to combat oppression, slavery, exploitation, and global trafficking. This event is symbolic of the challenging climb that victims face while climbing out of oppression and into freedom.

freedom climb logoAt a time when most people are resolving to lose weight or exercise more, 46 women from all over the world have resolved to get in shape and get climbing with a goal to raise awareness of global injustices against women and children. As part of a campaign called, The Freedom Climb, this group of women will climb Mt. Kilimanjaro (Kenya, Africa) on January 11, 2012, National Human Trafficking Awareness Day in the United States.

freedom climb base campIt is estimated that 27 million slaves are in the world today, trapped in various forms of bondage and abuse. Three out of four are women. 800,000 people will be sex-trafficked this year. 80% will be female, and 50% are children. It is a passion for these victims that drives the Freedom Climbers on this symbolic journey up Mt. Kilimanjaro.

"I talk to friends here in the States, and they say, 'What can we do with such a huge problem?' I tell them 'we can all make a difference for one woman or child at a time! We can see freedom for them!'" says Cathey Anderson, leader of the Freedom Climb. Anderson was involved with teaching sustainable farming to African nationals in Malawi when she had the vision to get a small group of friends to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and make a difference. In just a few months, that vision has grown to 46 women from all over the world, ranging in age from 18-73, who are committed to raising their voices and funds through their network of friends and family. None of the 46 women are professional climbers, but they are united in, and motivated by, the purpose of being a voice for the voiceless. Some of the climbers were victims of sex trafficking and other injustices.

Anderson added "Freedom for one woman will not only change her future but all the generations after her! We know we will not end slavery and human trafficking with this climb. We can, however, bring hope and an opportunity for freedom to women and children who currently have none."

Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highest free-standing mountain in the world. Its altitude, low temperature, and occasional high winds make it a difficult and dangerous trek. The climb itself is very physical and challenging but even harder with the high altitude.

When asked why she wanted to commit to this physical challenge, climber Susan Woods said, "I believe God has invited me on the biggest adventure of my life as I turned 70 this year. I have the privilege to speak for those who have no hope or voice. It is a joy for me to join these other women."

The summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro is called "Uhuru Peak." Uhuru is the Swahili word for "freedom," and reinforces the hope that women and children worldwide can be free from their oppression. The Freedom Climb hopes to create a global movement to emancipate and provide opportunities in these at risk communities; transforming the lives of women and children, breaking the cycle of poverty, and providing freedom from oppression and slavery.

In this New Year, the Freedom Climbers have resolved to impact 10,000 women and children worldwide by providing rescue, rehabilitation and life-changing opportunities such as skills training, micro-business and education through the funds that they raised for these programs.

To follow The Freedom Climb visit www.thefreedomclimb.net and sign up for email updates. To schedule an interview with one of the Freedom Climbers or a representative from OM's Freedom Climb, please contact Renaissance Communications.

Press Contact: Wendy Bucceri Renaissance Communications (T): 201.847.1292 wendy@renn.com

SOURCE The Freedom Climb

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