The Kilimanjaro Challenge Against HIV and AIDS 2015

The Kilimanjaro Challenge Against HIV and AIDS 2015

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Mr. Simon Shayo Vice President of Sustainability at AngloGold Ashanti – Geita Gold Mine (centre) joined by Dr. Fatma Mrisho, Executive Director for Tanzania Commissions for AIDS (TACAIDS) (first left) and Mr. Tenga Tenga Communication Manager of AngloGold Ashanti – Geita Gold Mine (first right) during the launch of Kilimanjaro Challenge 2015 campaign in Dar es Salaam.

Dar es Salaam: Geita Gold Mine in partnership with TACAIDS is set to officiate yet another year of Kilimanjaro Challenge on 22nd May 2015 at Hyatt Kilimanjaro Hotel in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

This event will be officiated by the former President of the United Republic of Tanzania Hon. Benjamin Mkapa. The launch will also involve naming and disbursing of funds to organizations the funds which were raised during the 2014 climb.

The Kilimanjaro Challenge aims to raise awareness on the HIV and AIDS pandemic, provide financial support to HIV and AIDS initiative and build national team spirit in this noble fight. Kilimanjaro Challenge remains a multinational collaborative partnership involving local and foreign companies and individuals from across the globe for this very noble cause of saving lives from HIV/AIDS, and giving the people of Tanzania hope of an HIV and AIDS free future.

The initiative aligns the challenge with existing government HIV/AIDS initiatives and programmes while giving local climbers opportunity to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.

According to the Executive Director of TACAIDS Dr. Fatma Mrisho, “Approximately 1.6 million people in Tanzania are living with HIV and AIDS. This pandemic is mostly affecting the youth of Tanzania and this disease orphans 1.3 million children. We need to change this. Tanzania Commission for HIV and AIDS (TACAIDs) in corporation with Geita Gold Mine and different stakeholders through Kilimanjaro Challenge would like to provide support to HIV and AIDS initiatives in the country and raise funds to fight against this pandemic. We hope to build a national team spirit in the fight against this menace. We urge all the different stakeholders from local to international to come forward to participate and contribute to the Kilimanjaro Challenge fund so that we can meet our dream of having a zero free HIV and AIDS generation.”

“The youngest to participate for the Kilimanjaro Challenge this year are the 13 year old a boy and a girl who was orphaned due to HIV and AIDS but supported by the fund at Moyo wa Huruma orphanage Center in Geita. The challenges faced daily by many in the wake of these deaths are far from over. These include thousands of orphans needing care after losing parents, widows without income, and the aged who are forced out of retirement to earn money to care for young grandsons and daughters left behind by deceased parents. There is also the problem of society distancing and shunning People Living with HIV and AIDS (PLHIV), hence Geita Gold Mine has decided to invest in this annual event and ensure that this initiative is a national-wide project and not just at the Geita Mines,” said AngloGold Ashanti, GGM Vice President Sustainability Mr. Simon Shayo.

“It is now 13 years since Kilimanjaro Challenge started and about 600 people from different parts of the world have participated. Over 30 NGO’s countrywide have benefited from the funds raised. Institutions which had no funds to operate are able to make an impact to the communities with these funds from Kili Challenge; Children, who had lost their parents due to HIV and AIDS, are now finding care and love and can smile again. We would like to acknowledge some of our participating partners, including but not limited to, ACACIA, AKO, Mantrac, NSSF, PUMA, TOYOTA,, ZARA, Prime Fuels, Coastal Aviation, Airtel, Capital Drilling, PPF, Serena Hotel, Geita Power Limited, SGS and other valued supporters. It is because of you that this noble fight against HIV and AIDS continues hence ensuring the success and continuity of this annual event,” commented Mr. Shayo.

Geita Gold Mine and TACAIDS using the umbrella of Kilimanjaro Challenge is playing a pioneering role in the awareness on the HIV and AIDS pandemic and look forward for the day when Tanzania will be declared Zero HIV and AIDS infection as it is reported that Tanzania’s prevalence rate has gone down from over 13% in 2000 to 7.8% by 2007 and as low as 5.1% today. For more information visit www.geitakilichallenge.com