Come March 5, 2012, Nigeria’s award winning producer and broadcast journalist Funmi Iyanda will join climbers from more than 32 African countries in a historic advocacy climb up Mount Kilimanjaro. Africa UNiTE campaign is organizing this climb as part of its campaign to End Violence Against Women and Girls. Climbers are expected to arrive at Africa’s highest summit on International Women’s Day –March 8, 2012, when all African national flags will be displayed and the Africa commitments will be read out.
Funmi Iyanda joins South African rock band the Parlotones, South African actress Rosie Motene, human rights lawyer, Ann Njogu, Congolese singer Barbara Kanam, and many African women and men who play an active role in their countries. For three days, they will hike up the Kilimanjaro in freezing temperatures, sleeping outdoors in sleeping bags without taking showers, and hike back down on the fourth day. Through this climb, Africa Unite plans to raise global awareness on ending violence against Women and Girls in Africa as well as secure concrete national commitments from African governments to be implemented by 2015 to end violence against women and girls.
An outspoken advocate for women and children, Funmi has championed the cause of vulnerable members of the Nigerian society, working with organizations and concerned individuals to facilitate timely interventions for indigent families through the “Change-A-Life” project. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in solidarity with the rest of Africa is an expression of her enduring commitment to continue raising awareness on violence against women and girls.
Funmi Iyanda has won tremendous recognition for her work in the media and for her philanthropic and humanitarian interventions. She is an African Leadership Institute Tutu Fellow and an Aspen Institute African Leadership Initiative fellow. She has been honoured as a Young Global Leader (YGL) 2011 by the World Economic Forum and was recently named one of Forbes 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa.
Africa UNiTE on Kilimanjaro is championed by Tim Challen, a victim of gun-crime in Nairobi who now climbs Kilimanjaro to raise awareness on issues that affect youth in Kenyan and Tanzanian slums. Africa UNiTE is the regional component of the United Nations Secretary General’s Global Campaign and a continent-wide partnership to end all violence against women and girls. Africa UNiTE speaks out in order to prevent violence against women, provide services to survivors and promote justice and end impunity.