There is nothing that inspires school pride quite like having an alumnus accomplish something truly exceptional. While the College of Charleston cannot claim Barack Obama or Martin Luther King among its students, it can be immensely proud of recent alumnus Edward Fletcher. Since graduating he has gotten involved with a non-profit called Hope for Children that works with kids living on the streets in East Africa. Last week he came back to Charleston to offer the students at the college a once in a lifetime opportunity: to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
“Climb Kilimanjaro” is a project that sends its volunteers to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest stand-alone mountain in the world. Known as the roof of Africa, Kilimanjaro encompasses four different ecosystems in just under 20,000 ft. People of all different abilities spend approximately two weeks climbing the mountain, visiting the street children they raised money for and participating in local culture. The most daunting challenge of the project is that each individual must raise 6,650 dollars in addition to the mere 495 dollars that the trip costs. But Hope for Children, unlike the average NGO, is committed to the success of its volunteers and their goals, and helps them each step of the fundraising process. This project is an incredible way to participate in the organization’s pioneer efforts to “support and nurture local grassroots projects that are continuously finding new innovative methods of reaching out to vulnerable children across East Africa” as specified in Hope for Children’s mission statement.
The College of Charleston has always been involved in humanitarian efforts – alternative spring breaks, Trident United Way and Habitat for Humanity to name a few – but Hope for Children has and will be revolutionary for the College. Not only will the UK-based charity provide incredible opportunities for students, but it has chosen CofC as its first American partner, courtesy of Edward Fletcher. In addition to the yearly Kilimanjaro project, Hope for Children is working on establishing a lasting society within the college. They have many goals for the organization, first and foremost expanding the program to include multiple Kilimanjaro trips. Once Hope Society has been established as a group within the College, they will create more challenges for the students to participate, making these projects available to all truly motivated candidates. As for future projections, Hope for Children wants to establish a nationwide Greek life and University fundraising competition. Although the Kilimanjaro project deadline has passed for this school year, Hope for Children has just begun its partnership and work with the College of Charleston’s students.
To learn more, visit CofC Hope for Children’s Facebook page or contact Edward Fletcher at firstname.lastname@example.org.