The See Them Grow Foundation (STGF) has partnered with 1,000 Shades of Green Tour & Safari Co. as they have graciously organized a 14-day trip for 40 adventurous individuals to climb Mt. Rwenzori at no-profit. Their generosity has allowed us to turn this excursion into a fundraising opportunity.
We will provide 40 individuals with the opportunity of a lifetime to summit Africa’s third highest peak Margherita – Mt. Rwenzori aka Mountains of the moon. In return, we’re asking each person to raise $10,000 for the experience. From that amount, we will be able to put $8,000 from each climber directly toward construction cost, while the remaining $2,500 will cover all in-country expenses. With the $300,000 raised from individual climbers, along with corporate sponsorship, we will be able to break ground for the primary school by July 2019.
February 1st – 14th, 2019 – Days of Travel for the entire adventure
October 15th, 2018 – Each climber MUST raise and submit all funds by this date
June 1st, 2018 – Each climber MUST raise $5,000 by this date to guarantee his or her spot on the Elevate Education climbing team.
Interested in living out this adventure?
Contact the STGF’s Founding Director Charles Morgan Kisitu at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +256788761007 for more information
In USA, call
STGF Board Chair,
Mr. Marcus Labadie
Miss Katie Lossi
About The Rwenzori (mountains of the Moon)The Rwenzori Mountains are located on the border of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Although the isolated volcanoes of Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya are taller, they are the highest range of mountains in Africa with the highest summit of Mt. Stanley reaching 5109 meters. Margherita Peak at 5,109 meters on Mt Stanley in the Rwenzori Mountains is Africa’s third-highest mountain, however the real beauty is in the climb up the Kilembe route, the forests and valleys, the flora is diverse from giant heather trees and valleys of ferns. Climbing Margherita Peak is now technical due to the ever-increasing number of crevasses. However, scaling the actual peak is more of a hard scramble than a climb and when it snows it is difficult however the rewards and exhilaration of reaching the top is enormous as you look across Albert Peak to the DRC (Congo) then east across the spectra of the Rwenzori Mountains
The -Pre Climb Days 1-3
Day 1 (Feb. 1st .2019): Arrive at the Entebbe International Airport. From there we will take a bus to Laico Lake Vitoria Hotel Entebbe or Similar where we will be staying for two nights in deluxe rooms. Each individual will have his or her own bed but will share a room with other climbers. Bed and Breakfast- http://www.laicohotels.com/laico-lake-victoria/
Day 2 (Feb. 2nd .2019): Meeting with STGF staff members and beneficiaries, followed by a presentation. There, we will have lunch with the students/beneficiaries and staff, enjoy a performance from the local artists. Here sponsors & Donor will get an opportunity to meet children they sponsor. Overnight at http://www.laicohotels.com/laico-lake-victoria/
Day 3 (Feb. 3rd.2019): Drive from Entebbe to Kasese, western Uganda where we will stay the night at Margherita Hotel. Here we will rest and review the upcoming plans for the 8-day trek to the summit Margherita of Mt. Rwenzori. Dinner and Overnight at Margherita Hotel. B.L.D- http://www.hotel-margherita.com
The Climb Days 4 through 11
Day 4 (Feb 4th .2019) Sine Hut at 2,596 meters
Start at Trekkers at 1,450 meters and sleep at Sine Hut at 2,596 meters being a height gain of 1,146 meters, or those who are fit and want to proceed to Kalalama Camp at 3,134 meters may do so and apart from the fantastic views gives you more time at Mutinda Camp where you may climb up to Mutinda Lookout at 3,975 meters.
We start by walking up the valley floor through tall forest trees of the Afro Montane Forest Zone. This is a steady climb with multitudes of birds and a chance of seeing blue monkeys scampering off through the forest. At times visitors may see troupes of 15 to 20 black and white Colobus monkeys as they swing through the tree tops. There are rare sightings of the L’Hoest monkey which are part of the Bukonzo cultural emblems and are protected by the virtue of the King or Omusinga or you may hear wild chimpanzee in the distance. There is a wide variety of plant species from forest trees to bamboos thickets, low shrubs, flowers, fungi, and with many moss and lichen covered vines hanging from the tall trees creating an awesome appeal. Enock’s Falls are just 200 meters from Sine Hut and offer a splendid opportunity to capture a great screensaver for your memories.
At Sine Camp 2,596 meters we have wooden huts set between tall forest trees on a narrow ridge where you may sit and enjoy the beauty of the Afro Montane forest while you look down at a fantastic waterfall crashing over the rocks far below. Some clients prefer to sit outside enjoying the warmth of the campfire and chat with the guides about the mountains and life in their community. Sine is just below the bamboo zone and the area around has many different bird species. 150 meters from the camp is Enock falls which is set in livid green vegetation and hanging vine. Truly beautiful. Sleep at Sine or those who are fit and want to proceed to Kalalama Camp at 3,134 meters may do so and apart from the fantastic views gives you more time at Mutinda Camp where you may climb up to Mutinda Lookout at 3,975 meters.
Day 5 (Feb 5th .2019) Mutinda Camp at 3.582 meters
Trekking starts at 8.30 am and almost immediately you enter the Bamboo-Mimulopsis Zone which is a steep climb with many high steps. In the wet season, the bamboo zone is rather muddy and slippery making the going slow. However, the atmosphere and the forest is beautiful as you climb 551 meters’ altitude and a distance of 1.8km to Kalalama Camp at 3,147 meters which is in the Heather-Rapanea Zone where you can take a rest and a quick cup of tea or coffee before heading on to Mutinda Camp.
The trail meanders up and over several small knolls along a ridge top then drops down the side of the valley before climbing again, and in doing so cross several small streams and pass close to moss covered waterfalls. You then climb steadily along the side of a beautiful mossy river which tumbles down over the rocks under the Giant Heather trees whose trunks are covered in green moss with old man beards (Usnea lichen) hanging from the branches. The trail twists and turns as you climb up the deep valley, which has an enormous variety of plants and flowers. This valley is unique with many Giant Heather trees creating a beautiful atmosphere often shrouded in mist.
In the afternoon you may wish to climb up to the top of the Mutinda Lookout (one to two hours up and one-hour down) The views are amazing as you stand on moss covered rocks at 3,925 meters with views across the Rwenzori Mountains and down to Kasese town and Lake George. For those clients who are climbing to Margherita or any of the main peaks climbing Mutinda 3,975 meters is also an excellent way to acclimatize and reduce the risk of high altitude sickness. Sleep at Mutinda Camp at 3.582 meters
Day 6 (Feb 6th .2019) Bugata Camp 4,100 meters.
The trail to Bugata Camp is boggy particularly in the wet season but with a little skill, you can step from tussock to tussock to make the going easier. First, you cross the Mutinda valley through the tussock grass and everlasting flowers interspersed with many Giant Lobelias before climbing a steep section up to the Namusangi Valley (3,840 meters), with sheer waterfalls and looking back you get fantastic views of Mutinda Peaks. The Namusangi Valley is wide, with many ups and downs as the trail climbs steadily to Bugata Camp at 4,100 meters.
Day 7 (Feb 7th .2019) Hunwick’s Camp 4,450 meters
Trek to Hunwick’s Camp via Bamwanjarra Pass. As you leave Bugata Camp you pass up a ridgethen drop down slightly before ascending to Bamwanjarra Pass at 4,450 meters where we have a hut should the weather turn bad. From the pass on a clear day you get excellent views of the three main peaks. The trail passes down the valley and around the edge of some bogs and thick ever green vegetation, moss. giant groundsel and lobelia. Here is possibly the best place in all the Rwenzori to observe the Malachite Sunbird as it feeds on the many lobelia flowers and a known breeding site. Further on there is some steep sections before a steady climb up and over a ridge to Hunwick’s Camp which is situated on the top of a deep valley and has good views of Mt Stanley, Mt Baker, Weismann’s Peak and McConnell’s Prong.
Day 8 (Feb 8th .2019) Margherita Camp 4,485 meters
From Hunwick’s we pass down and across the valley floor to Lake Kitendara which is very stunning with deep water and beautiful vegetation. From here you climb up Scott Elliott’s pass then up the ridge to Margherita Camp 4,485 meters which is situated between some huge rocks and offering some shelter from the strong winds. This is the very spot where the Duke of Abruzzi camped when making his climb to Margherita Peak in 1906.
Day 9 (Feb 9th .2019) Margherita Peak 5,109 meters
Wake up at 2am and catch an early breakfast before heading off to climb Mt Stanley at 2.30am. This is necessary as the weather has changed a lot and often even during the dryer season the mountain is closed in with heavy clouds and snow falls from 1 pm to 4pm and this happens within a short period of 10 to 15 minutes as the clouds rise up from the extensive Congo rainforests.
During January and February 2017 clients were closed in and unable to walk during heavy snow storms which previously were not heard of during the dryer season and arrived back at Margherita camp well after dark with one group arriving back at 11 pm totally exhausted. Due to this change in weather, we have set a strict turn around time of 10 am so if you do not reach the peak before then you must turn around regardless of the disappointment in the interests of safety.
Margherita glacier has also suffered with global warming and as the outer edges of the glacier recede the ice is becoming steeper with one section of about 200 meters more than 60% grade. Combined with this much of the blacker has melted underneath causing caves under the ice and as it gets thinner eventually caves in. So is necessary that clients understand and take advice of where the guides suggest to pass.
For those clients with less mountaineering experience we suggest that you stay on Stanley glacier and climb up to a good vantage point on a rocky outcrop on the southern edge of Alexandra Peak to enjoy fantastic views over Congo and the lower mountain ridges After ascending the peak at 5,109 meters you then pass directly down to Hunwick’s Camp at 3.874 meters.
Day 10 (Feb 10th .2019) Hunwick’s Camp 3.874 meters.
Distance to Kiharo Camp 11km Time taken to walk 4 to 7 hours
From Hunwick’s Camp, we start the day by climbing up a ridge towards McConnell’s Prong where you get the best views of all three peaks and Scott Elliott’s Pass before reaching Oliver’s Pass at 4,505 meters. The distance from Hunwick’s Camp to the top of Oliver’s Pass is 3km The trail then cuts across below Weismann’s Peak to the confluence of the Nyamwamba River which flows down thought Kilembe and Kasese to Lake George in Queen Elisabeth National Park. If you wish to climb Weismann’s Peak 4,620 meters from Oliver’s pass you may do so at an extra cost of $20 each. On a clear day, you get fantastic views of Margherita and Mt Stanley, Mt Speke and Mt Baker.
After crossing the confluence, the trail meanders down the valley to Kiharo Camp at which is situated in a deep valley with high cliffs and dense vegetation. On the way down the valley after each bog you will climb over a ridge of stones and earth which seems out of place but actually was pushed there by slow-moving glaciers which eventually stopped moving, melted and left a pile of rocks and debris in front of where the glacier once stood.
Day 11 Feb 11th .2019) Descend to the Gate
Distance Kiharo Camp to the park gate 12.2km and another 2.8km down to Trekkers Hostel Time to walk 5 to 8 hours so those who need to connect to flights back to Kampala or travel on to other activities need to leave Kiharo early. The trail down the Nyamwamba Valley is mostly downhill and absolutely stunning with beautiful views, moss-covered rocks along the river, cascading waterfalls, deep valleys and forests are possibly the best in the Rwenzori Mountains. This part of the trail took us six years to find a way through and a route which is easy enough for tourists to use. In 1937 the explorer and geologist McConnell tried to find a way up this valley but failed and have to turn back and search for another route up the mountain but now you can experience this truly beautiful valley.
A few kilometers from Kiharo Camp the path turns off to the right to pass along the river. In the clear areas, you may catch a glimpse of a Duiker quietly feeding in small clearings as you pass along the river. If you wish you may prefer to walk down the river itself hopping across the rocks as you pass down. A few kilometers down the river it becomes very steep with multitudes of waterfalls so we have to move away from the river and follow a narrow ridge to bypass steep sections. At the bottom, we again meet the river where there is a huge rock shelter and a place to rest for a while.
After crossing a small stream, you climb up a gentle slope before turning back down to the river to avoid another set of waterfalls which are impassable. The forest along this section is magnificent and full of life with many birds, primates, dikers, and hyrax. A great experience and ending to a fantastic trek. At the gate, you will be awarded climbing certificates. Check back into the Mweya Safari lodge for your much-deserved shower. Overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge – https://mweyalodge.com
Post Climb / Trek
Day 12 (Feb. 12th .2019): Queen Elizabeth National park
Have breakfast and relax for the rest of the morning. After lunch, relax at the pool and later enjoy an evening game-drive, before retiring at your preferred lodge. Dinner and overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge. B.L.D – https://mweyalodge.com
Day 13 (Feb.13th.2019): Game and Boat Cruise- Queen Elizabeth Depart for an early morning game-drive and later return to the lodge for breakfast. Queen Elizabeth National Park’s diverse eco-system of grassy plains, tropical forest, rivers, swamps, lakes and volcanic craters. The Park is a home to lion, leopard, and giant forest hog, Cape buffalo, elephants, De fassa waterbuck, Uganda Kob, Topi and bush buck. The park has also retained its reputation as an ornithologists’ delight with more than 600 species of bird found here. The afternoon boat-cruise offers an excellent platform for photography and game viewing. The birdlife is colorful and abundant. Enjoy a sundowner while admiring the view before a dinner. Dinner and overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge. B.L.D https://mweyalodge.com
Day 14 (Feb 14th.2019) Departure
Being your last day at the Queen Elizabeth National Park, you can either choose to go for an early Morning balloon trip which is usually very outstanding way of seeing the Savannah plains for extra $400 per person and the wildlife after which you come back down for a beautiful champagne breakfast alternatively you could opt for an early morning chimpanzee tracking at Kyambura or Kalinzu for an extra $60 before being transferred to Entebbe International airport.
End of adventure!
1000 Shades of Green (www.gogreensafari.com) is a community conscious tour operating company that operates in East Africa with offices in Entebbe, Uganda. We offer tours and safari packages, reality excursions and a variety of other activities to give tourists an adventurous, enjoyable and a fulfilling time in East Africa. Although we are a private company, we partner with numerous NGOs & communities & strive towards a more developed East Africa. We understand that tourism can bring both positive and negative impacts to the destinations in which we operate.
We also understand that it is our responsibility, as a local tour operator, to minimize any negative impacts and work towards making places better for people to live in and for people to visit. We are keen to minimize negative economic,environmental, and social impacts while generating greater economic benefits for local people that enhances the well being of host communities. Our clients and partners have helped us improve working conditions and access to the tourism industry by involving the local people in decisions that affect their lives and life chances. Your responsible attitude as well as love for adventure are some positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage.
Our staff and guides have completed many training courses on subjects such as natural history, environmental conservation, wildlife, and safety and emergency medical procedures. All guides speak Swahili and English fluently. Each guide also speaks a native tribal language that has been passed on to them, depending on which of the 120 tribes they were born into. 1000 Shades of Green’s guides have a passion for Ruwenzori guiding, gorilla trekking and as well as of Uganda. Our team is with you every step of the way, working hard behind the scenes to ensure you have everything you need in preparation to climb Ruwenzori.
About the Owner
Charles Morgan Kisitu has worked in the tourism industry since he was a teenager in Uganda and has arranged safari packages & tours for organizations and media outlets including: The New York Times, The Associated Press, and The Guardian. Charles graduated from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota with a B.A. in Business Administration and majoring in entrepreneurship.
Change their Environment. Change their Performance. Change their Lives. Luuka District is bordered by Buyende District to the north, Kaliro District to the northeast, Iganga District to the southeast, Mayuge District to the south, Jinja District to the southwest and Kamuli District to the northwest. Luuka, where the district headquarters are located is approximately 33 kilometers (59.4 miles) by road, northwest of Iganga the nearest large town. The coordinates of the district are: 00 42N, 33 18E.
Luuka District was created by Act of Parliament and became functional on 1 July 2010. Prior to that, it was known as Luuka County in Iganga District. In Busoga tradition, Luuka is one of the five traditional principalities of the Kingdom of Busoga. According to legend, Luuka was founded around 1737 A.D. and became a part of the British protectorate in Busoga in 1896 A.D. Its traditional ruler is known as the Tabingwa. The district is made up of the following sub-counties: (1) Bukanga (2) Bukooma (3) Bulongo (4) Ikumbya (5) Irongo (6) Nawampiti and (7) Waibuga.
Based on an assessment of the needs and the potential Universal Primary Education Schools have to support the child and other disadvantaged groups in Luuka district for the improvement of people’s lives and livelihood for sustainable development. A quantitative approach was adopted for the survey and a semi structured and random interviews were conducted with the use of LQS19 through which 244 families each made up of an average of 3 to 4 wives and 8 to 18 children per household were reached. In 2014, out of the total number of children (142,181) in Luuka district, 52291 (40.59%) were in school, 53119 (55.00%) had dropped out of school and a total of 36771 (25.86%)had never been in school. This implies that the drop out rate in this area is at its peak than usual.
The efficiency of the UPE program has been very low in implementation has due to poor management and inadequate strategic planning, several outputs like equipping pupils with knowledge and improved performance have not been achieved in spite of the high enrollment of school going children. The effectiveness of UPE program has also generally been slow. The national and district budgets are spent but the impact on children not been achieved. The positive impact on the awareness and livelihood of the poor members of the society has been that those households involved in child education and care value less the education as one teacher ratio is 1:73 18 more pupils to that of the national standard of 1:55. Hence the intake of the pupil learning is estimated at 13 % compared to the 75% daily expected intake of what has been taught.
The poor sanitation and hygiene facilities in schools prompt the girl child to drop out or not attend school. The percentage of the population that has never studied beyond Primary school is 74%, the percentage of population who never studied beyond secondary school 96.2%, the percentage of population that doesn’t own any kind is 36%. The sustainability of the established education system leaves a lot of gaps in terms of enhancement of knowledge and skills for the learners and community as learners are wasted by importing English language which may be relevant at a later stage as it’s not practiced in the children family settings.
Theory of Change:
The primary school & community learning Centre will assist children especially orphans, girls, disabled and other vulnerable children in the communities that are finding hardship in attaining quality education. Emphasis is on enabling them to have immediate access to free, high quality education by financing quality education, financing school costs such as fees, uniforms, scholastic materials and meals in order relieve economic burdens on impoverished children and families. From here, students will be able to improve their academic performance and meet their physical, mental, and emotional needs. Ultimately, primary school will give them the space to excel academically, graduate, enroll in college or establish a business of their own, and create an independent, healthy life.
Many children in Uganda lack access to basic necessities such as education, health care, good shelter and nutrition. The situation is worse in many remote communities because families are completely not aware of the rights of every human being and much worse, ignorant on issues related to children’s rights and well-being. Sponsoring a child not only avails resources to these children to be able to attain quality education and other basic necessities but also provide an umbrella-shade in which they are able to be empowered, survive through the harsh conditions surrounding them and in the end, raising the standards of living of not only these children but also their families and the communities at large. First and foremost, this primary school will provide a safe, stable living environment for these students to learn, grow, and excel.
Within the 1st with start-of-the-art computers, high-speed Internet, and E-Readers providing them with the access to information that they need. Both the 2nd and 3rd every student has a space to him/herself.
Community Programming & Counseling:
More space means more community programming. Our microfinance and financial literacy courses for families and STGF graduates will now have a permanent place to meet, along with new vocational training and social entrepreneurship skill building classes. In addition, we intend to work with the School of Social Work at the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota to create an on-site counselor position to facilitate individual and group sessions for our students and their families along with individual life planning sessions focusing ourselves on individual independences.
Resources may really be scarce in Luuka, but with intentional and smart eco-design, we can utilize everything Luuka has to offer! The building will incorporate a variety of environmentally sound methods including a bio-digester, passive building strategies, and a rainwater catchment system. The bio-digester technology separates solids and liquids allowing waste to decompose anaerobically. This process releases methane that can be captured and used for cooking. The building also incorporates a rain harvesting and water purification system that will capture, clean, and store rainwater during the rainy seasons to use during water shortages. The design includes an open space in the courtyard for a community garden where we will floor there will be a large library and study hall equipped floor will also contain smaller study halls ensuring be able to grow our own fruits and vegetables. This courtyard utilizes natural light while preventing overheating and creates a passive ventilation system to evacuate heat from interior spaces.
By utilizing both local labor and local materials for the construction of the project, this building seeks to build upon local capacity in skilled labor and create jobs for the Luuka community. By empowering craftspeople or fundis, community ownership is created and another layer of resiliency is brought to the table.
Kitchen and Cafeteria:
The ground floor contains a large kitchen and storage area, along with two large open rooms that will be a dining area in the afternoon and evening, and additional program space in between dining hours.
Because we all need a place to decompress, socialize, and have fun!
What IS included within the $10,000?
- Hyperbaric Chamber
- Oxygen for emergency use (2 kits of 100 lt. medical oxygen bottle, regulator & masks are provided)
- Pulse oximeter
- Mobile phones – carried by the head guide and all assistant guides, for daily communications with base in Entebbe.
- VHF 2-way handheld radios (with extra batteries) carried for quick communication between head and asst. guides
- Stretcher (and convertible litter)
- Comprehensive medical/first aid kits (as per WFR/NOLS USA guidelines)
Staff & Fees:
- Professional Mountain Guides, all head guides are currently certified by NOLS USA as Wilderness First Responders
- Ratio of at least one guide for every three guests, to ensure personalized attention.
- Cooks and Porters
- Park Fees / Campsite fees / Emergency Rescue Fees
Camping equipment and gear:
- Mountain Hardware sleeping tents, each tent with a custom-made ground sheet covering the both vestibules, to allow clean & dry storage of gear, and keeping water, mud or dust from entering the tent.
- 2 inch mattresses for each client
- Large weatherproof dining tent.
- Wash basins provided for each trekker.
- Large private toilet tents only for our guests, with portable flush toilets on a stable base.
- Hot water prepared for climber’s bottles at night
- Three hearty meals a day + snacks upon arrival in camp. Our new menus have been developed by a professional cook who has trained staff in up-market safari bush camps where equipment and resources are minimal. We produce and prepare a majority of our food in our base kitchen, for delicious and energizing meals necessary for high altitude mountain trekking.
- Specialty food like chocolates and cheeses.
- Homemade cookies and breads, produced in our own kitchen.
- Mountain operators license
- Active member of AUTO, the Association of Uganda Tour Operators, and UWA, Uganda Wildlife Authority
- Comprehensive climb briefing before the trek, upon arrival in Uganda
- Transportation, lodging, and food during the entire 12-day adventure.
- 3-day wildlife safari to Queen Elizabeth
- Round-trip flight to Entebbe, vaccinations, visa, tips, personal expenses, personal medical kit, travel insurance, bottled mineral water, sleeping bags, or other personal trekking gear.
**Equipment is available to rent in-country at a small fee
Can your company or organization sponsor your climb? Feel free to use this corporate sponsorship breakdown as a way to entice your employer to go above-and-beyond, while receiving a myriad of benefits in the process.
The See Them Grow Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All donations are tax-deductible and each donor will receive proper receipts.
+200,000+ Beyond the Clouds Sponsorship
- Naming rights to both boys & girls class buildings
- Donation recognition plague in the boarding dormitories and community center Company/Organization name & logo on
- Personal flag at the summit of Margherita
- Each climber’s jersey
- Sponsor sheet in the media kit, STGF newsletter & on all donor thank you note
- Join our STGF I planted a tree for future shade Family & Board
+$100,000- Margherita Peak Sponsorship
- Naming Right to courtyard & Gardens
- Donation recognition plague in the dormitories & library Company/Organization name & logo on
- Personal flag at the summit of Margherita
- Each climber’s jersey
- Sponsor sheet in the media kit, STGF newsletter & on all donor thank you note
- Join our STGF I planted a tree for future shade Family & Board
In light of the fact that Paypal requires a 3-5% fee for using their online donation feature, we are asking all donors to consider a donation in the form of a check or wire transfer. If either of these options is not possible, please feel free to continue with an online donation.
Donation by Check
Make payable to Dennis Dease Foundation and Send to:
See Them Grow Foundation
c/o Marcus Labadie /Katie Owings
Write the climber’s name in the memory of
Donation by Wire Transfer
If you would like to donate by wire transfer, please contact email@example.com to receive our banking information