Navan mum of four children Victoria Lacey (above) is preparing to climb Kilimanjaro – the largest free-standing mountain in the world this coming  October 0 to raise much-needed funds for Stella Maris, a Tanzanian primary school based at the foot of the mountain. She hopes to raise €6,000.00.

Vicky says,” I heard about the school through a friend on Instagram and I had followed her journey over there and I felt this urge inside me to do something. I thought of my own children and decided that I had to do something to help the kids of Stella Maris”.

Stella Maris School is a base for 510 primary and kindergarten school children. They are educated and given a small amount of food, which has to be extremely rationed due to a shortage of funds. The school needs 25kg of rice a day in order to feed 336 children. 25kg of rice costs 48,000 TZS which translates to roughly €20.00.

She goes on to say, “I believe no child should ever go hungry and that they should all be educated. In Africa education is a privilege as only a select few get to go to school”.

Victoria explains that due to children collapsing in school from hunger, the school made a decision to provide breakfast and lunch for all its pupils.

This eased the pressure on parents in the community to provide meals when they simply did not have the means to do so themselves.

The organisation that built the school, Mailisita, also built accommodation so it would be an economic resource for the community.

Foreign visitors and climbers pay to stay at Stella Maris Lodge, usually in order to climb Kilimanjaro, and the proceeds help cover the costs of teachers’ wages and food in the school.

“The Covid crisis meant that people weren’t travelling to climb the mountain and they lost that income, so they are very much in need of funds.

“The climb starts on 22nd October and will take seven to eight days. I am building myself up now towards climbing and I am in training.  It is quite a daunting challenge, but I am looking forward to it and it is a small sacrifice on my part compared to what the children experience,” she says.

She is appealing for support on her GoFundMe page linked below

https://gofund.me/e3aba665

Vicky can be contacted by email at vicky6180@hotmail.co.uk  or through her Instagram at  @vickyemma01 if you have any offers of help.