Bella Wiener, a high school senior from Bend, OR, is preparing to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro June 17-27, 2015. Her goal is to spark awareness for one of the most overlooked problems: millions of girls and women in developing countries missing up to 50 days of school each year because there is a lack of affordable sanitary pads. UNICEF has estimated that one in 10 African girls miss school during their periods. The reason: sanitary pads cost more than a day’s worth of wages.
Bella always had a desire to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro, and decided that she wanted to make a lasting difference for girls and women while taking on this personal adventure. “I knew that I wanted to raise $60,000 by doing a charity climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro,” said Bella.
When Bella discovered Sustainable Health Enterprises, or SHE, and its innovative solution, she knew that this was the cause and organization. “I came across SHE and fell in love with the work and ideas. I appreciate how SHE isn’t just providing temporary aid, but rather is building a business that will help girls to continue to go to school and employ local women. SHE is creating a much more sustainable solution to the problems that women in sub-Saharan Africa face when trying to receive equal education opportunities.”
A social venture that invests in overlooked ideas that can have a significant positive impact, SHE is increasing women’s access to affordable menstrual products by manufacturing low-cost maxi pads using local agro-waste, primarily in Rwanda, but soon globally.
Bella reached out to SHE about her plans, and its Founder and Chief Instigating Officer Elizabeth Scharpf expressed immediate interest in helping Bella achieve her goals.
“Bella is a smart and passionate young person who is a great example of how one person can make a difference. $60,000 will help us double the number of girls that will have access to our radically affordable menstrual pads – from 3,000 to 6,000 girls. Bella’s climb will also allow us to expand and scale globally with our patented technology.”
Bella also has formed a national climb team that includes her mothers Sara Wiener and Joanne Richter of Bend, OR; Mia Klonsky, a high school senior in Portland, OR; Ashley Lalonde, a high school junior of New York, NY; Beatrice March, a high school junior of New York, NY; Chloe Raymond, a woodcarving artist of Bend, OR; Eva Johnston and her 16-year old son, Connor of Newport Beach, CA; Gayle Baker, a retired stockbroker of Bend, OR; and Connie Austin of Bend, OR.
So far, Bella and her Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb team have raised over $29,000 of their $60,000 goal. Now, Bella and her team are preparing for their 10-day summit in June, and are inviting everyone to join the #climbforSHE campaign to support her effort. “The best way you can support to the #climbforSHE campaign is to set up your personal fundraising page at classy.org/climbforSHE, donate to me or one of my climbers, or tell your friends about SHE and its mission.”
You can follow Bella and her team’s preparation for her climb on SHE’s website: http://sheinnovates.com/kilimanjaroclimbforshe/