200 paragliders to fly off Mt. Kilimanjaro and fundraise $1M for East Africa charities
Some events only happen once in a lifetime. While we’ve seen hundreds if not thousands Kilimanjaro charity climbs, we’ve certainly never seen 200 paragliders jump from the peak of Africa’s 19,341 foot summit in the name of charity.
It will be a world-record breaking event. Three years of preparation will culminate in the largest Kilimajaro fundraising event of its kind with the 200 paragliders and support team set to start their climb up Mt Kilimanjaro on January 27th, 2013.
The project is appropriately dubbed ‘Wings of Kilimanjaro’. Paragliding pilots and passengers from around the world will aim to reach the summit and then jump off the mountain paragliding down. Normally, this type of activity is banned by the Tanzanian Government – but determination has made it possible and the team received a one-time special permission.
“I could never understand why anyone didn’t believe that they were capable of achieving anything that they wanted in life.” Australian Adrian McRae says about his fundraising idea.
Adrian credits his sister Paula and cousin Peter for helping the project come together.
How did the team choose which charities to fundraise for?
“We certainly weren’t looking for a ‘quick fix’. We wanted to be positive that the money would generate changes that were sustainable and progressive and incorporated the involvement of local communities.” Paula says.
Despite the many obstacles along the way, including gaining special permission from the Tanzanian Government for the flights to take place, organizing the shear logistics associated with bringing a project of this magnitude together, and having to move from Australia to Tanzania, Adrian says “The weather up on top will be the single biggest obstacle for the overall success of the project.”
Doctors will monitor the pilots and passengers closely for good health at high altitude. “All pilots and passengers will be tested for brain function and fitness by the safety team before being allowed to fly,” Adrian reports. “We will be relying on the weather gods to give us the right conditions to be able to launch paragliders from the summit.”
Passengers are required to fundraise more than pilots for the event and will no doubt enjoy the spectacular scenery on the decent.
Most important to the team of 800 (made up of pilots, passengers, media, guides cooks and porters) in addition to the safety of its pilots and passengers, is the end goal for the people of Tanzania.
Adrian says that “Visualizing the eventual difference we as a group are able to make in people's lives through this project is gratification and celebration in itself.”
Paula adds “We’re just two Aussie kids from the country having a crack at making a difference in the world.”
Check out Wings of Kilimanjaro for more info and to support this awesome initiative.
Watch the Wings of Kilimanjaro Vimeo Trailer