Presentation College, Athenry students to scale the heights for great causes

A group of Presentation College, Athenry students are joining in a record-breaking climb of Kilimanjaro to raise funds for both Crumlin Children's Hospital and Chernobyl International.

The nine Presentation College TY students have to raise funds in advance of their August adventure. They have already run a Charity Barn Dance at Corinthians RFC in Galway during the May Bank Holiday weekend.

As Athenry Kilimanjaro Achievers (AKA), they are part of a larger group of 120 students from all around Ireland who hope to raise €100, 000 to save 100 children's lives - and they want to break a new Guinness World Record in the process for the most people to summit Kilimanjaro at one time.

Monies raised will directly help to save 65 Chernobyl children through the Chernobyl heart project by providing cardiac life saving operations to those whose lives remain devasted in the wake of the world's worst ever nuclear disaster that happened in 1986.

In addition 35 children will be saved in the ICU Crumlin as funds are provided for life saving ventilation equipment needed to keep sick children alive post birth.

Presentation College, Athenry students meet with the Taoiseach before their big charity climb of Kilimanjaro in August (from left) Aisling Duffy, Caoimhe Salmon, Enda Kenny, Andrew Dolan, Saoirse McGreal and Tara Morgan.

The novel record attempt follows the first ever Irish school based expeditions to Africas highest peak that took place in the summer of 2011, when 155 students, teachers and parents from ten schools travelled to Africa and made their way to the summit.

This represented an unprecedented 100% success and the single largest group to successfully summit in the history of the Kilimanjaro National Park.

Irish climber Ian McKeever, who together with his African counterpart Samuel Kinsonga, trained and guided those ten expeditions explained the rationale behind the record attempt this coming summer and just what Irish students are hoping to gain from their experiences in Africa.

"Kilimanjaro is unique - perhaps the only mountain in the world that offers a relatively safe and manageable opportunity to reach the summit of one of the continent's highest peaks.

"Our twelve-week training programme is designed to allow students to grow as people from a physical, psychological and human perspective. It empowers them, teaches them to think for themselves and helps them to most importantly to believe in themselves," he said.

You can donate to help the students through AIB Athenry, at A/C number  06787189; Sort Code 93 70 10.