Okanagan resident Thrive for Good executive director James Woller is training hard for an upcoming virtual fundraiser — all in the name of charity.
Thrive on Kilimanjaro is a virtual and live event with a goal of raising $500,000 — enough to plant 5,000 life gardens.
Between Sept. 17 and Sept. 23, participants can join worldwide, virtually, to help reach the top of Mount Kilimanjaro by climbing stairs, hiking, walking or running. This will coincide with an in-person climb of Kilimanjaro by 68-year-old Dale Bolton, co-founder of Thrive and Natural Calm Canada.
“I climbed Kili in 2008, so I won’t be going on the trip,” Woller said. “However, in solidarity, I will be running 70 kilometres in the North BX hills of Vernon during the week of Sept. 17 to Sept. 23 while the Thrive team is on Kilimanjaro. I will have my kids join me on their bikes.”
Founded in 2008 to help eradicate extreme poverty, Thrive for Good is a Canadian non-profit that dug deep to find the roots of such poverty and carefully began sowing seeds of change. By teaching and supporting communities to grow life gardens, Thrive helps them help themselves sustainably.
A life garden is an organic, bio-intensive garden intentionally cultivated to grow the most nutrient-dense foods and natural, medicinal plants.
It is typically a quarter-acre of about 40, 100-square-foot double-dug garden beds in which communities can grow healthy, organic, disease-fighting foods, including spinach, kale, onions, garlic, carrots and natural medicines. Thrive has worked in eight countries, impacting nearly 800 communities and 75,000 individuals, empowering them with the knowledge and skills they need to grow their own health.
Mount Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano in Tanzania. It is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest single free-standing mountain in the world. Its elevation sits at 19,340 feet (5,894 metres) and requires a five- to eight-day climb to the summit.
Woller said he was drawn to Thrive as he had never before seen a sustainable solution to ending poverty with such a simple approach and low costs.
“I still can’t wrap my head around the idea that for $15, someone can eat the healthiest food in the world, sustainably,” he said. “The power of life gardens has even transformed my personal life. I left the daily operations of my business to be part of this movement as we work to scale the impact so that all communities can be empowered to grow healthy nutritious food.”
With the support of sponsors, Thrive has gathered impressive prizes for Thrive on Kilimanjaro participants, including an all-expenses-paid trip to Kenya to see Thrive’s work in person.
Other prizes include a one-week stay at a Penthouse at Walnut Beach Resort in Osoyoos, a one-year supply of Natural Calm, gift certificates to Vita Garden, and more.
Prizes will be awarded to the individual/team captain who raises the most money.
Those interested in joining the climb or learning more can go online to thriveforgood.org.