by Hadija Hassan
My name is Hadija (Kisa Mentor) and I am 26 years old. I was born and raised in Kilimanjaro Region and I had a dream to climb Mount Kilimanjaro ever since I was young. Every morning after brushing my teeth, I used to admire the beauty of the mountain. I promised myself to climb this highest mountain in Africa when I grew up. I believe that everybody has abilities to walk his or her dreams. This is what exactly happened to me, “I walked through my dreams” (literally!).
I was very happy and excited the day I received information about the opportunity for Kisa Mentors to climb Mount Kilimanjaro with Kisa Alumnae and some of the sponsors. I grabbed the opportunity with no hesitation to make sure I accomplished the goal I had since I was young.
I received a lot of discouragement from friends when I was preparing for the climb, but I never listened to any of them and my only wish was to reach the top of the mountain. I was focused, determined and goal oriented.
I climbed the mountain for seven days and it was the most amazing experience. Despite the fact that I had fun and enjoyed myself, climbing Kili was a real life experience because it was a learning trip too. I was able to put into practice some of the qualities of a socially responsible leader and be patient, hardworking, goal oriented, good team player. I was able to put my vision into reality as I reached the top of the mountain. I cannot deny the truth that it was very challenging, but I was able to reach the top as I kept encouraging myself and never lost hope.
Daring to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and reaching the top has inspired a lot of my friends, especially girls. My success has also motivated those who gave words of discouragement and many have promised to climb the mountain. Many Tanzanian girls have not been raised with the culture of hiking and most of them think Mount Kilimanjaro is only for men. I am very happy I proved them wrong and, as a result, one of my friends is expecting to climb the mountain this June.