Among those sharing well wishes with the inspiring group will be Graça Machel, the widow of Nelson Mandela, who is herself a renowned international advocate for women and children’s rights. Machel and Madonsela will both deliver keynote addresses at the send-off at the viewing deck in the airport’s international terminal building.
The Thuli Madonsela expedition is the second of two Trek4Mandela summit groups this year and is scheduled to reach the top of Africa’s highest peak on Women’s Day. This year is the first in which there are two summit groups and the first expedition summited successfully on Mandela Day, 18 July. Legal technology company LexisNexis South Africa is the headline sponsor of the second expedition and sponsored the kit and gear of the climbers.
Taking on the climb alongside Madonsela are media personalities, Gerry Rantseli-Elsdon and Pearl Shongwe, renowned jewellery designer and philanthropist, Angela Yeung, radio personality Mroza Buthelezi, Mrs South Africa 2018 and Survivor SA S7 castaway, Nicole Capper, Johannesburg based photographer, Xavier Saer, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Sello Hatang, uKhozi FM acting station manager, Sbongi Ngcobo, social entrepreneur and CEO of Imbumba Foundation, Richard Mabaso, and South African adventurer and expedition leader, Sibusiso Vilane. Also included are senior representatives of several corporates.
Their aim is to raise funds and create awareness for the Caring4Girls menstrual hygiene programme, which this year is striving to ensure one million underprivileged girls will receive sanitary towels and menstrual hygiene support. Research shows these girls can miss up to 50 days of school per year due to lack of access to adequate feminine hygiene products.
The participants have been hard at work in their personal capacity raising funds and spearheading various programmes in support of the overall goal.
Caring4Girls and Trek4Mandela were founded by Richard Mabaso who rallies together a phenomenal group of individuals annually for this noble cause.
In 2016, there were an estimated 2.6 million girls aged 9 to 20 in South Africa, and many of them miss weeks of school during their menstrual cycle because they cannot afford proper sanitary protection – a situation Caring4Girls hopes to change.