About the Kilimanjaro Initiative
The Kilimanjaro Initiative was founded in 2005 by Tim Challen, after he was shot during an armed robbery in Nairobi, Kenya. Following extensive surgery and a long period of recovery back home in Switzerland, Tim returned to East Africa with a desire to help create a safer and better urban environment.
The main objective of the Kilimanjaro Initiative is to encourage young people to have self-belief and to assist in providing opportunities that will enable them to take on a constructive role in their communities.
As a key feature of its activities, the initiative organizes an annual ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain on the African continent. The climb exemplifies how sport can be a used as a tool towards the development of a community. It does so by bringing together various urban stakeholders, including young people and representatives of the private and public sectors. The mountain reminds participants that in order to overcome difficulty they must understand their environment, unite as a team and persevere.
In addition to creating a very positive spirit of change, the Kilimanjaro Initiative raises funds for projects highlighted by Safer Cities programmes in Kenya and Tanzania. These projects focus on the role youth groups, with their local knowledge, skill and practical experience can play towards the physical, economic and social development of their communities.
Overall, the Kilimanjaro Initiative seeks to be part of a synergy, including other organizations and individuals, that can help provide opportunities for young women and men and hopefully prevent those at risk from falling into criminal activities. The initiative believes it can play an important part in the development of communities in East Africa and beyond.
The Kilimanjaro Initiative has so far garnered support from: United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-HABITAT); United Nations Environment Program (UNEP); United Nations Office of the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace; Kenyan and Tanzanian authorities; the United Nations Federal Credit Union (UNFCU); and other public/private organizations at the local and national level. The Kilimanjaro Initiative will continue to build on this support and looks forward to creating new partnerships.