Corporate Social Investment

IDC summits Kilimanjaro for Mandela Day

CEO Geoffrey Qhena (right) with expedition leader Sibusiso Vilane on Uhuru PeakCEO Geoffrey Qhena (right) with expedition leader Sibusiso Vilane on Uhuru Peak, Africa's highest point, on Nelson Mandela Day, 18 July 2015.<br />CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW LARGER VERSIONIndustrial Development Corporation (IDC) Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Qhena and Lebo Bodibe, Functional Champion: Customer Relations Management, returned to a hero's welcome at OR Tambo International Airport on Monday, 20 July after successfully scaling Africa's highest mountain as part of the Trek4Mandela Challenge 2015.

Qhena and Bodibe were part of a 38-person expedition that reached Uhuru Peak, the highest point on the continent, on Saturday, 18 July following a 4-day trek that culminated in a 20-hour non-stop climb to and descent from the 5 895-metre high summit.

In the process, the pair aimed to raise R1.5-million for the Caring4Girls, an IDC initiative that supports young women at the Corporation's 20 adopted schools countrywide.

The idea was formulated by the Women's Legacy Project, a drive by IDC female employees to make a difference in our communities.  The project distributes sanitary towels to enable girls  going through puberty to continue their studies without interruption.

Lebo Bodibe celebrates reaching the top of AfricaLebo Bodibe celebrates reaching the top of Africa. CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW LARGER VERSION"The quest to provide educational opportunities shouldn't end with us conquering Kilimanjaro," Qhena tweeted before he reached the summit.

Led by pioneering South African adventurers Sibusiso Vilane and Richard Mabaso, and numbering 27 CEOs among its participants, the Trek4Mandela Challenge 2015 has already raised enough money overall to ensure that over 160 000 girls will not have to miss a day of school again through not being able to afford sanitary towels.

This will include the girl learners - numbering almost 12 000 - in all 20 of the IDC's adopted schools, which are located in rural or disadvantaged urban areas countrywide. Research has shown that girls in poor and rural areas are forced to miss up to 50 days of school annually due to menstrual hygiene related challenges.

Fundraising for this initiative ends at the end of August, so there are still opportunities for individuals or organisations to make a contribution. A pledge text message costs only R30 - SMS "Geoffrey" or "Lebo" to 42513. If you are keen to make a larger donation, click here for more information.

CEO Geoffrey Qhena and Lebo Bodibe with other members of the expeditionCEO Geoffrey Qhena (left) and Lebo Bodibe (2nd from right) with other members of the expedition at Horombo Hut on their way to the top of Kilimanjaro. CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW LARGER VERSION

The 2015 Trek4Mandela expedition teamThe 2015 Trek4Mandela expedition team about to set off on their four-day climb. CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW LARGER VERSION

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