From ‘Dagbreek’ to Kilimanjaro’s summitBy: ADAM HARTMAN
A WORKING-mother from Swakopmund will attempt a week-long trek up the highest free-standing mountain in the world, Mount Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), as part of a charity mission for Windhoek’s ‘Dagbreek’ School for learners who are intellectually impaired.
Marisa Alberts has already planned the 5 895 metre climb for September, where she will join about 65 other climbers as part of the UK-based ‘Across the Divide’ Expeditions.
The aim of the mission is to raise funds for the construction of an extra hostel for Dagbreek School. The current hostel only has space for 28 learners, which is not enough for the amount of learners applying for hostel accommodation there, according to her. Dagbreek accommodates about 120 intellectually impaired children.
A good friend of Alberts has a child with down-syndrome.
“She must do so much for her child, and I just wished that I could help. One can’t just always put these children in a normal school. They need special attention, like at Dagbreek. A relative of our is also involved with Dagbreek, and that’s when I came up with the idea. I would try and achieve greater heights for the school by climbing up the mountain and fly their banner up there, with flag and t-shirt and all,” she told The Namibian.
A coincidence is that the week-long climb starts in the day, but the day of ‘summiting’ Mount Kilimanjaro starts at midnight and then one only reaches the summit at day break (which is ‘dagbreek’ in Afrikaans ).
Alberts has walked the Fish River Canyon (the world’s second largest canyon), while her husband, Kobus, in 2005, crossed 220km of Greenland’s icy desert on skis for the Afri-Leo Foundation.
“I also wanted to do something for a good cause, and so made up my mind to climb this mountain, which parents that have mentally challenged children also have to climb in a symbolical,” said Alberts.
Asked if she is physically prepared, she explained that it was rather mental preparation that mattered in this regard. She has her ticket and her outfit for the walk, though – and she’s determined to make a difference for the school.
“The fundraising for this event is positive and I’ve had some positive commitment from various business individuals who have already donated to this cause,” she said.
Anyone who would like to support this cause can contact Dagbreek School Principal, Paul du Plessis at 081 240 4496 or 061-227 901, or Zelda van Wyk at 081 124 2575.
The banking details of Dagbreek School (account holder) is cheque account number 1011537502 (Branch code 483-872); Bank Windhoek (Maerua Mall). Kindly indicate on deposit slip “Donation towards Kilimanjaro”.