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Taking on Mount Kilimanjaro

Urban Expression team member in mountain challenge designed to sponsor Kenyan students through university

Jo Fitzsimmons, part of the Urban Expression team in Shard End, Birmingham, will attempt to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and raise sponsorship to help Kenyan students through their university courses next year.

Jo FItzsimmonsJo will join a team of 20 each committed to collectively raising funds to sponsor deprived Kenyan students through further education.

All the students have come from backgrounds of extreme poverty and been supported through Compassion’s Child Development Sponsorship Programme.

Having graduated from this programme, these students have been identified as potential young leaders who aspire to continue their education and training, but lack the necessary resources to do so.

With the help of Compassion and the fundraising efforts of Jo and the team, these students will be able to pursue a four-year university course.

Jo will meet the students in Nairobi next June, where they will have the opportunity to get to know them and see first hand how big a difference sponsorship will make to their lives and futures. They will then travel on to Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to take on their attempt to reach the summit of the highest freestanding mountain in the world.

Jo, also a member at Chelmsley Baptist Church, said, 'While we live and work in a deprived area of Birmingham, it is nothing compared to the challenges others in the wider world face.

'I am thrilled to be taking part in this exciting and life-changing opportunity. To be able to make a tangible difference to the lives of those less fortunate than us is incredible.

'The simple fact is that these young people have all the ability to make real change but, as a result of being born into poverty, they do not have the opportunity to do so.'

At 5,895m (19,341ft), Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, the fourth highest of the world’s Seven Summits, and the highest free-standing mountain in the world.

Jo, whose husband Gary is a Baptist minister, added, 'Whilst taking on the fourth highest of the seven summits and the potential affect of altitude is a terrifying prospect, being able to contribute to the future of these young people and the community around them makes the challenge very much more than worthwhile.'

For more information visit www.compassionuk.org/blood-sweat-compassion

Baptist Times, 02/09/2014
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