Local trekker prepares for Everest Base Camp Challenge
An intrepid trekker from Wakefield is preparing for Mount Everest.
Ifran Ashraf has signed up for a Trek to Base Camp on the world's highest mountain, Mount Everest, in aid of Penny Appeal's Rebuilding Pakistan Appeal, which aims to rebuild the village of Kamar Mashani in the Punjab region of Pakistan.
Countless villages in the region were swept away by the devastating floods that followed the heavy monsoon rains in July 2010, and which killed at least 1,700 people and displaced over six million others.
Ifran, a chef from Thornes, commented: "Pakistan is my country of origin and, one year after the floods, people are still suffering. I helped with fundraising at the time and people were very generous. I am sure that my friends and family will continue to support the cause through my challenge.
"I'm looking forward to the long, hard challenge and I am hoping to gain new friends, new life experiences and the peace of mind that my two weeks of hardship will help those who continue to suffer through no fault of their own. I am training five days a week and eating healthily in preparation, and I'm planning to do a lot of walking and camping to wear in my new boots and camping gear.
"The Base Camp Challenge is my one focus until it's complete. This opportunity is a dream come true and it's all thanks to Penny Appeal. I really hope that this event will help a lot of people."
At 5,36metres, the Everest South Base Camp in Nepal offers a serious challenge for even experienced walkers, but the breathtaking panoramic views that take in eight of the world's highest mountains will make the trek a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Adeem Younis, Chairman of UK-based charity Penny Appeal, said: "The Everest Base Camp trek is all about remembering the plight of the forgotten victims of the Pakistan floods. We're aiming to raise over £40,000 - enough money to build a small village of two-bedroom houses, as well as to construct wells and distribute much-needed aid packages."
The charity trek takes place from 2nd to 18th December 2011 and Ifran has set himself a fundraising target of £4,500. Donations are welcomed and can be made at www.justgiving.com/Ifran-Ashraf.
"It's a challenge that will leave the group with a lifetime of memories," said Adeem Younis, "and everyone who takes part in the trek will be making a very real difference to the lives of disadvantaged people in Pakistan."
MONDAY 27 JUN 2011