East Africa & Parkinson's Fundraiser

"Do something" - seems simple enough right?
Not really. Not when doing something is often wasteful at best, and at worst causing a lot of harm. So we are starting at square one - learning the best way to do something and learning how to serve. We have A LOT to learn and can use all the help we can get.

Who are we? We are a group of 7 Canadians traveling to East Africa to volunteer and for some of us, embark on a once in a life time trek to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro (the highest mountain in Africa).
Working in a developing country is going to be a new experience for some members of the group. As for those of us climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, we will be submitting ourselves beyond our physical and mental capacity.

We are not experts in community development nor are we trying to save the world. We are going on this crazy adventure to "do something." We are taking a risk, a plunge, at the grassroots level to work one-on-one with people in East Africa to put our skills at work but more importantly learn how to further contribute to sustainable community development.

"There is no passion to be found in playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living." - Nelson Mandela


We need your help

Our goal is to fundraise $5000 by August 31, 2013 to invest in projects in East Africa that will have an impact. We will be working with community leaders in East Africa to learn about projects that are going to improve communities as a whole. Your funds will help further develop project(s) that are going to influence systems in East Africa and help create a positive impact in East Africa.

In addition a close member of Andrew Tsang's family was recently diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease (PD). Andrew will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro specifically to raise funds and awareness about Parkinson's.

NOTE: Any amount, even if it is $1 will help. We truly appreciate anything you can contribute. The reward levels are only suggestions. All funds donated will only go towards community projects & PD.

The Crew

Andrew Tsang - an HRG at the ROO, hockey obsesser, sports fanatic, and an out-of-the closet Edmontonian. He fell in love with Tanzania a few years ago and dreamed of going back to continue helping the amazing people he befriended on his last trip. He is fundraising and bringing awareness to sustainable needs for Tanzania and to contribute to the cure of Parkinson's Disease.

Christina Siu - works in human resources and has experience in both the mining and oil and gas industry. Her degree in International Relations is highly influential on her passion for travel as well as a special curiosity regarding issues of poverty and development of third world countries. Christina is ecstatic to have the opportunity to hopefully use her knowledge and skills to provide guidance in raising community leadership and to empower women to build confidence and sustainability within the community. She aspires to continue gaining work and community experience in hopes of becoming an influential person of positive change.

Connie Chong - passionate about helping others, Connie has spent her career working with nonprofits and serving communities in a variety of capacities. She has worked on supporting solutions for poverty, preventing of cruelty against animals and improving the quality of healthcare. Currently she is a healthcare management professional working as the Registrar of the College of Opticians of BC. In her free time she enjoys traveling and spending time with her cat, Taco. She hopes to gain new ideas about community development and continue raising awareness about the healthcare issues in Tanzania. Click here to read her travel blog during this trip.

Humphrey Chau - has always been a "carpe diem" kindof guy. He is always living life to the fullest and is probably one of the most active people you will ever meet.
Earlier this year, Humphrey traveled to Thailand and Vietnam where he witnessed some of the serious issues with the cycle of poverty. He has a desire to make a difference in this world and is excited to discover how to accomplish that goal during this trip to East Africa. He is also looking to gain a different perspective on how to grow as a person and to serve others.

Patrick Tse -
He was born in Hong Kong and raised in Canada since he was 6 years old. He works in the accounting department at an import car dealership. He is volunteering simply because he can. If you can do something to help and better the world around you, why wouldn't you? Through this volunteer experience he hopes to get involved in the community in a way that he would otherwise be unable to if he were just passing through Tanzania as a tourist.

Tyrone Yan -
Aside from being an anime, cosplay, and music enthusiast, Tyrone has always wanted to do some sort of active volunteering with youth or teens. Last year, an idea materialized to climb Kilimanjaro as a joke but as people grew interested, the idea became reality and partnering the climb with a volunteering opportunity became too good to pass up. Tyrone figured a summer spent at home would not add up to much compared to a few weeks of helping other individuals advance their knowledge. If the assistance added up by just a tiny sliver, it was worth it compared to sitting back on a Vancouver patio, enjoying a beer after a 9 to 5. Besides, that can still be done upon returning.

Vanessa Chow -
has spent the last 3 years living in Hong Kong. Her stay in Hong Kong has provided her the opportunity to travel around South East Asia. She fell in love with traveling as it helps widen her knowledge about different cultures, deepens her awareness about the world and also, about herself. Vanessa has dedicated her work and studies in the mental health field. She will begin her second Master's program in the fall so she decided to do something worthwhile and rewarding this summer by volunteering in Africa. She is excited to travel and hopes to gain awareness and insight regarding the issues that women and children face in Tanzania.

Andrew, Connie, Christina, Humphrey and Tyrone will be embarking on the climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjario during the last week of August. Wish us luck!


Issues in Tanzania

The level of poverty in Tanzania is high. Slow economic growth is a contributory factor for child poverty in Tanzania. Based on 2007 estimates, more than a third of households "live below the basic needs poverty line" earning less than $1 a day, while 20% of the total population "live below the food poverty line".

The combination of inadequate educational opportunities and a scarcity of employment keep the youth in East Africa in the cycle of poverty. Many disadvantaged young people live in centers that provide for their immediate needs but lack infrastructure to help with their transition to become a self-sufficient adult. For more information,
click here.

About Mount Kilimanjaro
The highest mountain in Tanzania, the highest mountain in Africa, and the highest free-standing mountain in the world at 5,895 metres or 19,341 feet above sea level. The high elevation, low temperature, and occasional high winds make this a difficult and dangerous trek. Acclimatisation is essential, and even the most experienced trekkers suffer some degree of altitude sickness. Kilimanjaro summit is well above the altitude at which high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE), or high altitude cerebral edema (HACE) can occur. All trekkers will suffer considerable discomfort, typically shortage of breath, hypothermia, and headaches.

About Parkinson's Disease
PD is a disorder that affects the brain's ability to control movement. The cause of PD is not known. This disorder slowly worsens over the years and as a result, PD becomes more severe. Not only is the cause of PD unknown but there is no cure and those with PD can only rely on drugs to lessen the effects. Clinical trials are ongoing for methods to slow the progression and to find a cure.

If you're unable to contribute any funds - we still want to hear your encouragement. Emails, Facebook messages etc. are more than appreciated!
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