Thursday, 24 February 2011

Mountains for Mums - The Himalaya Trek

Hi, I'm Jo and I'm 53 years old and in a moment of madness, (or maybe enlightenment) I decided to try and organise a Trek in the Himalaya for charity. Trekking is not something I take part in every day and so what possessed me to try it now? Who knows? My background is in nursing and community development so I guess that working with people when they are facing challenges has always been my career path. I grew up in Sussex and now live in sunny Dorset with my partner, two cats, two rabbits and a dog. I currently work for a national learning charity called ContinYou and after several years working in the public sector its nice to work in the voluntary sector for a change. 
Being a supporter of a number of worthwhile charities I felt it had to be a charity that as both a woman and a mother I could identify with. So I chose the charity The White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood (WRA). 
The WRA is an international coalition of individuals and organisations formed to promote increased public awareness of the need to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for all women and newborns in the developing, as well as, developed countries. There still exists an enormous inequality of opportunity for women across the world to access health care, information and advice and services that are fit for purpose. The WRA campaigns on behalf of women, to governments across the world and works in numerous countries to support local partnerships that are working to ensure the rights and needs of mothers are being met.
I have three children who are beautiful and grown up and was fortunate to have had excellent pre and post natal care, access to emergency services and the knowledge that if anything went wrong then I would probably be ok. I was able to make the choices, that were right for me at the time, based on sound knowledge and information. Imagine if you will how that might translate to a community in Africa or Asia where because of your rural location and poor living standards you have no access to local health care or transport to hospital. Imagine you are having a miscarriage or half way through a breech delivery and need urgent medical care... what then? 
I can't imagine for one minute what it must be like to have no idea what's going on and no access to the care I need when I want it day or night... and the only way I felt able to vaguely empathise with women for whom this is a reality is to put myself through some discomfort. Hence the idea for a trek...
I hope the trek will offer me and those that I have recruited a way of challenging limits and giving each the opportunity to push ourselves knowing that the money raised and any discomfort suffered as a result, will directly help another woman somewhere else.
If you are interested in finding out more about the work of The White Ribbon Alliance please see their website
I have set up a website where you can find out more about the trek, donate to my fundraising or just add a message of goodwill.  
You can also donate to my fundraising here through just giving as its quick and painless

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