Kigwangala made a statement yesterday in Kilimanjaro when flagging off this year’s ‘Geita Gold Mining Kilimanjaro Challenge 2019 ’campaign whereby more than 80 people from various countries will be climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.
The Kilimanjaro Challenge aims to raise awareness on the HIV & AIDS pandemic, provide financial support to HIV & AIDS initiatives and build national team spirit in this noble fight as well as giving local climbers opportunity to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.
The campaign by the Geita Gold Mine (GGM) in collaboration with the Tanzanian Commission for Aids (TACAIDS) is also aimed at raising funds for the AIDS Trust Fund (ATF).
He said the ministry of ]natural resources and tourism will develop a system of mobilizing groups of people including artists and world-renowned people to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in order to combat the fight against HIV/AIDS as the fight for the HIV is for all people and not for government alone.
“New infection statistics especially in the group of young people are threatening and we are required to deliberate efforts to control this calamity.
“The new prevalence of HIV is a threat to us. Our youth should be at the front line to combat this situation, for this year I have planned to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro with celebrities including politicians and artists to fund raise for controlling this disease.
“But I am also happy to see that among the beneficiaries of this campaign are about 150 porters who have been trained to protect themselves from HIV and various issues about HIV control. The group has also been offered entrepreneurial training with the aim of helping them to have sustainable income,” he said.
In addition, the Director of TACAIDS, Dr. Leonard Maboko, said every day more than 200 people are infected with HIV, of which 80 percent are young from 15-24.
For his part, the GGM managing director, Richard Jordinson said the campaign has facilitated the collection of more than 13 billion shillings since it was established 17 years ago.
He said this year a total of 80 people have participated in which 32 of them are climbers and 28 cyclists. A total of 17 individuals who are coming from different countries around the world will also be participating this year.
“The expedition will take a total of 7 days and we will meet our heroes, both groups at Mweka gate on the morning of 22nd of June. I would like to wish everyone of the team a safe return and see you on Saturday,” he said
He said since the launch of the campaign 17 years ago, through Kili Challenge they have managed to raise over Tsh13 Billions. And the funds were donated to more than 40 local NGO’s and several Government Institutions whereby millions of Tanzanians have directly and indirectly benefited from this initiative.
“Kili Challenge is a lasting feature in our Tanzania operations, and in such we open our arms for more partnership with all companies and we thank our current sponsors for supporting this noble cause” he said.