Burn survivors off to climb Kilimanjaro

Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

As part of the preparations for their Kilimanjaro expedition, burn survivors were treated to Kenyan food and culture at Moyo's restaurant at Zoo Lake in Johannesburg.

The expedition on June 23 aims to raise awareness for the work done by Children of Fire to empower burn survivors.

Seventeen burn survivors aged between 14 and 21 years will take part in the adventure.

The youngest, Rose Ndunda, 14, cannot wait to leave. "We have been training hard for the climb, stretching and jogging," Rose said at Wednesday's lunch

Rose, originally from Kenya, burnt her scalp and part of her face as a child when she crawled too close to a fire.

She has undergone a number of surgical procedures, including tissue expansion.

Mount Kilimanjaro, at 5895 metres, is the highest mountain in Africa.

The group is heading for the highest peak, Kibo.

Although it is cold, June is one of the best times to climb the mountain.

Because the oxygen at the top of Kilimanjaro is only half of that at sea level, the group is likely to suffer from breathing problems as a result of the altitude.

Deon Slabbert, 16, is not fazed.

"We have been told about the problems and we are ready to face them," he said.

Children of Fire does good work in rehabilitating youngsters who have survived fires.