SCHOOLBOYS are aiming high as they prepare to climb one of the world’s highest mountains.
A group of adventurous youngsters from St Aidan’s RC School in Ashbrooke, Sunderland, are in training for their trip to Tanzania and their hike up Mount Kilimanjaro.
At 5,895 metres, Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
The 15 Year 10 and 11 students, along with two members of staff, have until August to get themselves in peak condition for the arduous challenge.
Teacher Nick Jones, who is organising the expedition, said: “It is going to be tough and a life-changing experience for them.”
Guides from Bless Africa Tours will lead the party up and down the mountain over a number of days.
Nick said: “We are already in training. There have been a few 7am hikes on a Sunday morning, and we have had a couple of walking weekends in the Lake District.”
He said the two-week trip was not just about the climb – the boys will also be spending more than a week working in a nearby orphange.
Mr Jones said: “We are not taking them there to upset them, but it will be a shock when they see for themselves the conditions these children live in.”
The members of the group have already started collecting supplies to take out with them to the orphange, and BMW has donated 50 polo shirts for the orphans.
Mr Jones, who visited the orphanage last year, said: “The things they are in need of most are clothes, stationary and educational supplies as well as medical supplies.”
Airline bosses have told the school they can take as much as they want on the plane for the charity trip.
Mr Jones said: “We would love more companies to come on board and donate items which we can take out to these children, who are in need.”
The boys have been busy fund-raising both to pay for the trip and to buy some supplies to take to Africa with them.
Anyone who would like to make a donation for the trip should contact Mr Jones at St Aidan’s on 5536073.