One team – one dream – a world record
One team – one dream – a world record. We had our sights set on no less than the 4600 m summit when our international adventure mountaineering team set out on the rocky path for Haydom’s children with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. Participants from different backgrounds, each with their own story, but all with a common dream. Improving medical care for patients with spina bifida and hydrocephalus by building a center in Haydom. Setting a new focus, drawing attention, educating and clearing up with prejudices. Breaking through with stereotypes and showing that even with physical limitations and a lot of team spirit, big goals, dreams and peaks can be achieved and reached.
A wheelchair user had never stepped onto the slopes of Mount Meru before. All the more spectacular is the world record of Ina Akerberg and Santos Chuwa, who reached the 3800 m high summit of Little Meru with wheelchairs and walking aids. It was an absolute team effort that drove us in the fight for children and patients with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. Everyone gave 100% on their march towards the summit.
David and Lisa, with their comparatively heavier wheelchairs, struggled with all of us through rough terrain to the first base camp, even at an incredibly sporty 2800 m. To get on to the second hut was not really responsible for safety reasons due to the heavy rainfall and the slippery ground.
Nevertheless, the group brought everyone up to the great Meru in their hearts. The banner with the names of Santos, Ina, David and Lisa was waving next to the summit flag at 4562 m.
The local media reported on our Tanzanian-German-Swedish project. Our message to all affected children, families, Tanzania and the world was broadcast all over East Africa. A great success for the necessary prevention and education about a birth defect that is easy to prevent with folic acid, and whose sufferers can lead a life worth living with good aftercare, including the realization of their dreams and goals.
The next big goal is to build a house of hope for affected children and families in Haydom. Primarily for the aftercare of the operated children before their final discharge home, but also for parent training in home medical care and catherization. Families who have been excluded from their village community due to the birth defect of their child, as well as abandoned mothers, are supposed to find shelter here.
Construction work is scheduled to begin this year as soon as the necessary donations are available. For this we still need support from donors and sponsors.
The foundations for more education and attention for those affected have been set, it is all our responsibility to work on the further structural work in order to enable all children with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, not only in Africa but worldwide, to have a fair start in life.