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10-year-old Tshego Hatang to Trek 4 Mandela

The Kilimanjaro Centenary Climb will celebrate Former South African President Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday by sending two summit groups - the youngest member being only 10 years old.

Ten-year-old Tshego Hatang will climb Mount Kilimanjaro in August this year. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The trek for Mandela initiative, now in its seventh year, officially launched this afternoon in Bryanston.

The Kilimanjaro Centenary Climb will celebrate Former South African President Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday by sending two summit groups - the youngest member being only 10 years old.

Tshego Hatang (10), who will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro alongside his father, says he is happy and excited and wants to inspire other people to help girls stay in school. He adds he wants to inspire others to join the cause and also climb the highest mountain in Africa.

Koketso Mashele (16) and Manthepa Setena (17), learners who benefit from the #Trek4 Mandela initiative, say they are grateful to all those who take part climbing and donating for the cause as it has helped them and many other girls stay in school.

“A lot of girls take periods as a curse already and some need to choose between certain things and sanitary pads. I have witnessed people who had to choose between buying food and buying pads,” says Mashele.

Ibumba Foundation, together with Caring 4 girls, trek 4 Mandela and Samsung, have partnered to raise funds to provide 500,000 girls with sanitary towels and health and hygiene education this year. Their ultimate goal is to reach two million girls by 2020.

“Being from a school that has a high teenage pregnancy rate, it’s really hard. When you ask 'why you’re doing this', girls say they have a blesser or something of a sort just to get sanitary pads,” says Setena.

She added that it’ll assist with the high rate of absenteeism at school and for that they are grateful.

(Edited by Refilwe Thobega)

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