Inspirational speaker, entrepreneur, mother to two boys (including hip hop artist, AKA) and grandmother to the soon to be 3-year-old Kairo, Lynn Forbes is putting her social influence to good use in her latest challenge to summit Mount Kilimanjaro in July.
Forbes will be doing so as an ambassador of the 7th annual 2018 Trek4Mandela expedition in which she aims to raise R1 Million in aid of Caring4Girls - to assist them in reaching their goal of supporting 2 million economically disadvantaged school girls by 2020.
A teacher by profession, Lynn is passionate about making an impact through education, inspiring courage and giving hope to children. Due to her life as a South African woman of colour, she also feels compelled to personally make a positive contribution to address the social and economic circumstances faced by so many children in Africa.
Forbes is committed to raising awareness for the initiative, in order to increase accessibility to sorely needed sanitary products together with hygiene education and to ensure the growth and development of young South African schoolgirls into women with dignity.
As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, Lynn has always wanted to summit Kilimanjaro - "the place above the clouds," where she says she escaped to during the time of her abuse as an 11-year-old. Her childhood dream to summit Mount Kilimanjaro resurfaced with the birth of her granddaughter, Kairo Owethu Forbes, in 2015.
As part of her 50th birthday celebrations which will commence in July 2018, Forbes has made her final decision to commit to summit Africa’s highest mountain - a plan that has been three years in the making.
In fact, #ClimbingKili4Kairo has become her personal cause, with Kairo being symbolic and representative of the plight of every child on the African continent through her involvement in the Caring4Girls initiative.
Having faced the stigma surrounding sexual abuse, the silence that protects the perpetrator and the shame and denial which fuels the epidemic for over 38 years , Lynn has finally broken her silence last year and has spoken out against the abuse of children.
She advocates our responsibility to raise children who will not spend their adult lives recovering from their childhoods. The Trek4Mandela 2018 Centenary Expedition to Kilimanjaro has provided her with a platform to carry forward Madiba’s legacy, achieve her childhood dream and celebrate her 50th birthday, while raising funds and awareness for this worthy cause.
The climb has, in the past, been attempted by the likes of Gugu Zulu, who unfortunately lost his life after succumbing to the elements (as a number of South Africans have) and musician and SA Idols judge, Unathi Msengana who conquered it earlier this year.
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Main image credit: Supplied