Ain't no mountain high enough to help children thrive in cyberspace

20 June 2017 - 13:09 By Lakiwe Blekiwe
Iron Crown in Limpopo
Iron Crown in Limpopo
Image: ddtoit via Google photo

Amateur mountaineer Tian Liebenberg might not be able to move mountains but he will scale nine South African summits to help children with IT skills.

Liebenberg‚ who is the head of Volunteer24‚ will conquer the mountains with fellow climbers Adrian Saffy‚ Alex Harris and Sean Disney.

They want to raise R100 000 to equip 350 learners with IT development skills‚ including coding.

"South Africa is one of the most beautiful places in the world. I have always had a passion for mountains and exploring - what better way to explore our country than to do it in a way that will ensure that learners acquire the necessary skills to equip themselves for the future‚" said Liebenberg.

They will start their journey by visiting some of the schools in Tembisa in Gauteng who will benefit from the programme.

Their first stop will be Zitikeni Secondary School on Tuesday to generate support from learners.

According to Liebenberg‚ they will start climbing on July 12. They have already raised up to R6 500 and hope more people will donate through their crowdfunding platform on BackaBuddy as they gain exposure.

The four accomplished climbers are hoping to impart skills to 300 000 learners in 500 schools by 2020. This will be done by starting coding clubs at schools‚ which will offer three-week courses. Even though their main focus is to raise funds‚ they are also hoping to set a new team record for the nine-summit feat.

That means that they would have to improve on the current record of four days‚ 18 hours and 38 minutes. And with the likes of Harris and Disney‚ who have conquered Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Everest‚ they might just make history.

"I have been searching for an adventure that is challenging and tough‚ and to take on the nine peaks record attempt with legendary men at a hostile time of the year is just that and doing it for a great cause is a cherry on top ... Salvation through suffering is what it boils down to‚" Saffy told the BackaBuddy website.

According to the website‚ they will climb the following mountains:

  • Iron Crown in Limpopo
  • Die Berg in Mpumalanga
  • Nooitgedacht in the North West
  • Toringkop in Gauteng
  • Namahadi in the Free State
  • Mafadi in KwaZulu-Natal
  • Kwaduma in the Eastern Cape
  • Murch Point in the Northern Cape
  • Seweweekspoort in the Western Cape