18 British Muslim women from all walks of life returned to the UK on December 27th after taking part in one of the toughest challenges of their lives. The group climbed Mount Everest’s Base Camp to raise money for international humanitarian charity, Penny Appeal.

The full team consisted of 34 brave volunteers, who took part in the 12 day trek, climbing 18,000ft to raise money to help the Rohingya refugees who continue their struggle for survival within the cramped Bangladeshi refugee camps.

Marzana Rahman is an abuse survivor and Domestic Violence and Women’s Rights activist. Marzana says, “I decided to climb Mount Everest to help Rohingya women who have suffered so much, to help provide them with the basic necessities, as well as to create women friendly spaces, where they will be supported emotionally. Every time I come across a women’s rights organisation, I see the world changing for the better. But as powerful as these movements are, my heart breaks a little because I am faced with the harsh realities that my sisters are facing.”

Following months of preparation, hikes, gym workouts, and studying, efforts turned towards fundraising. Over £230,000 was reached in their commitment to helping the Rohingya refugees.

Haroon Mota, team leader and Penny Appeal’s Head of Challenges says, “We did it, Everest is the highest mountain in the world and the trek to base camp was a massive challenge. It wasn’t as easy as we thought, apart from beautiful views, there was very bad whether along the way. At one point we were trekking in –25 degrees, along with heavy snow, which hampered our journey. Several people became unwell but we stuck together as a team and managed to plough on until we reached Base Camp on the 8th day of the trek.

Knowing that we had achieved this physical challenge was really satisfying, but knowing that we had raised over £230,000 to help the Rohingya people who have been through so much was even better. In fact, we felt very emotional knowing that our challenge was nowhere near the challenges that face the people of Rohingya daily”.

For further info, interviews or images of the climb, please contact Pedro on 07831 556 951 or e mail fnik@btconnect.com


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