Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Mary Kalikawe and William Rutta reach the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro: post 1 of 4

Mary Kalikawe is the Managing Director of Kiroyera Consulting, a tourism company based in Bukoba which opened a branch office in Mwanza in 2010. She joined the 3rd Annual Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb in December 2010. 

While I set off from the west with Jaffar Amin from Londrossi Gate on 7th December 2010 on the Lemosho route, Mary and William Rutta also set off from the east from Marangu Gate on the Marangu route. 

In this first of four posts she shares her experience of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Mary Kalikawe

It all goes back to SNV, the Netherlands Development Organisation, linking people’s capacities and supporting the development of Tanzania’s tourism sector. During my assignment with SNV in the Lake Zone I got acquainted with the village of Butiama, the home and burial location of Tanzania’s founding president, the late Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere. The objective of a meeting with tourism cultural stakeholders at Butiama was to contribute further to developing Butiama as a notable tourist historical site. During the visit, Madaraka Nyerere, who is one of the sons of the Late Mwalimu Nyerere, briefed me of his annual fundraising event – The Mwalimu Nyerere/Mt. Kilimanjaro Charity Climb.
Elias, a member of BUDAP in Bukoba.
I indicated my interest to participate in the charity climb and we mutually agreed that Bukoba Disabled Assistance Project (BUDAP) should be a twin beneficiary, alongside the Chief Edward Wanzagi Girls’ Secondary School, as a beneficiary for the charity funds raised during the 2010 climb.
The author of this blog, second from right, with members of BUDAP. From left, Baraka, Ashirafu, Themistocles, and Elias at their Bukoba premises.

Kiroyera encouraged the formation of BUDAP some 6 years ago with the idea that tourism could be helpful in creating jobs for polio victims of Bukoba who were roaming the streets begging. BUDAP’s members produce African drums, dolls, handbags and other souvenirs that are sold to tourists, and the local community. BUDAP is a model of pro poor tourism.
William Rutta (left) BUDAP's Chairman with me at BUDAP's premises in Bukoba.
I decided that Madaraka was not going to do the 2010 Mt. Kilimanjaro climb alone. In recent years he has developed a friendship with Tshombe Jaffar Remo Amin, the son of the late Idi Amin Dada, former ruler of Uganda.

More than 30 years ago, Tanzania went to war against Uganda while their fathers were the respective leaders of the two countries. The war left many tragedies in both countries. To Ugandans Tanzanians are liberators who ended Idi Amin’s reign.

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