On 19 - 25 October 2021, renowned mountain athletes, representatives from the private and public sectors, and youth will climb Mt Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, to highlight the need for a united fight against COVID-19. As described by the World Health Organization (WHO) ‘With a fast-moving pandemic, no one is safe, unless everyone is safe’. Climbers will reach the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro on 24 October, United Nations Day 2021, a symbolic timing to call on global togetherness in the face of common adversity.
Why the climb is important? On 19 January 2021, WHO warned the world it faced a “catastrophic moral failure” because of unequal COVID-19 policies. Resources are needed to better track and understand the spread of the virus; provide care to patients; equip health care workers with protective equipment; and to oversee a more equitable distribution of vaccines at a global
Why Mt Kilimanjaro? The climb will bring together 40 climbers, from diverse backgrounds. The mountain remains accessible to all. Those with climbing experience will be able to assist fellow climbers – climbing as one and demonstrating solidarity.
The climb will raise awareness and funds, at a global level, for a united fight against COVID-19. Climbers and supporters will highlight ‘The Big Climb’ through social media. Media will be invited to showcase the climb.
The climb will call on all members of the public to contribute to ‘The Big Climb’, from 19 to 25 October. Individuals and organizations will be invited to organize their own climbs, either: climbing hills or mountains; climbing stairs; or walking self-determined distances, in support of a united fight against COVID-19. Hence the name ‘The Big Climb’ – it isn’t just the Mt Kilimanjaro climb, it regroups all activities under the same name. A website will be created for the climb, recording all ‘The Big Climb’ contributions and activities.