There is a book written by Tracy Kidder called “Mountains Beyond Mountains” about the work of Paul Farmer who started Partners in Health, an organization that brings the best medical care to some of the poorest areas of the world. The title of the book comes from an old Haitian proverb, “Beyond Mountains there are Mountains.” When Farmer was asked about the meaning of this phrase, he responded that it had many meanings as varied and unique as the people who say them. It can mean that once you reach the highest peak it serves as a view to the challenges ahead. It can mean that as we strive to overcome obstacles we must know that others will come after, and to accept those challenges and to master each that is put in our path.
This quote and book come to mind as my father and I set out to tackle Mt. Kilimanjaro this July. This is a mountain we will overcome with training and endurance. We are blessed to be in good health and to share this experience together. Not far from Kilimanjaro there is a home for children who have many mountains to climb. The Gabriella Children Rehabilitation Centre was established to provide children with disabilities the opportunity to reach their full potential. To ensure their right to a life with dignity and the offer of a helping hand so that they may climb their own mountains. We found this center through our friend, Scott Fifer, at GO Campaign. After I spent the summer of my junior year in Rwanda, I saw first hand how due to ignorance, many children with disabilities are often shunned from their families, isolated and discriminated against. It all came together for us. We would climb mountains to ensure that these kids would be able to do the same.
We will be visiting the center before we start our journey and be thinking of these kids as we strive to reach our peak. Charity is a very personal thing and we truly respect that. All of you are our friends, and by definition have generous hearts and give to so many worthy and important causes. Even the smallest donation to the Gabriella Center can make a tremendous difference.
You can donate directly here. And GO Campaign will match whatever funds we raise until we reach the project goal – so your donation will have double the impact.
Thank you and please follow our blog as we begin our adventure.
-Benn and Erik