Debbie Cameron, Manager of the Kent Branch of the Institute of Directors, has recently returned from a gruelling six-day climb of Mount Elgon in Africa to raise money for charity Fields of Life. As part of her trek, she proudly flew a flag for Kent Science Park at the summit of the 14,177ft mountain.
Debbie’s physically demanding journey involved crossing incredibly tough terrain in the harsh glare of the East African sun. Whilst camping on the mountain she was left with no running water or creature comforts of any kind!
In total, Debbie raised approximately £5,300 for Fields of Life, which will be used to develop infrastructure in Uganda by creating water wells for communities and building schools to educate children. The money was raised through a variety of sponsorships and giveaways, including asking companies across Kent to donate £250 for their flag to be flown at the top of Mount Elgon. Eastwell Manor also generously donated a meal for two, which Debbie raffled off at EcoVillage, Kent Science Park’s café.
Debbie spoke about her arduous climb and the challenges she faced: “We set off as a team of 10 with the simple objective to raise as much money as possible for our cause. I don’t think any of us expected the trek to be as tough as we faced, after 6 hours of climbing in the mid-day heat on the first day we reached the ‘wall of death’ – and I really wish we had been using ropes! There’s no Health and Safety in that remote part of Africa”
“Over the next few days we had to do battle with giant ants, sleepless nights and incredibly steep terrain; each day trekking for between six and nine hours. We faced a myriad of weather conditions: rain, mist, cloud cover, hail stones to freezing temperatures and then as we descended the hot African sun returned. I was struck with mountain sickness at around 12,000ft, which made every step that little bit harder. But the sense of achievement upon reaching the summit at 4321 metres made it all worthwhile.”
James Speck, Site Director of Kent Science Park also commented on Debbie’s remarkable achievement: “What Debbie has done is truly outstanding – both in terms of the incredibly physically demanding climb she has completed and the sum of money she has raised for Fields of Life. There’s a great deal of pride for us, both at seeing one of our tenants having achieved something so impressive, and also in seeing the Kent Science Park flag flying high at the top of Mount Elgon!”
Debbie is still accepting donations for Fields of Life. If you would like to contribute, please visit www.justgiving.com/Debbie-Cameron1.