Burn victims soar high

ACHIEVERS: The group of young south African burn victims who scaled Mount Kilimanjaro. © Uknown.
ACHIEVERS: The group of young south African burn victims who scaled Mount Kilimanjaro. © Uknown.

Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

Two weeks ago, a group of 19 young burn survivors and volunteers eagerly set off to conquer the peak of the 6000 metre-high Mount Kilimanjaro.

All made it up to 5000 metres of Africa's highest mountain in Tanzania.

Twelve of them conquered the Uhuru summit and one, Bongani Madlala, reached the extinct volcano's crater edge at Stellar Point.

Bongani, 14, said: "I'm ecstatic that I have reached the crater."

Bongani has slow vision and has undergone a series of operations to repair scars since he was a toddler. Despite only having one hand, he has fearlessly abseiled in the Drakensberg in preparation for the trip to the East African country, which he calls "a trip of a lifetime".

Mitta Lebaka, 17, said: "I am so proud to have reached the summit. This is my year of change. I have touched the tip of Africa."

Mitta, of Dobsonville, Soweto, suffered burns while warming her hands on top of a stove when she was four.

Brownen Jones, of Children of Fire, said: "The expedition was organised to raise awareness of burn injuries and injury-prevention, to increase tolerance and to inspire the continent that burn injuries do not hold back survivors from reaching the highest heights."

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