The funding for the project was raised following Kids Haven's 20th birthday last year when, as part of its anniversary, it launched the "Kili for Kids Haven" initiative. Four adventurous young climbers from a Discovery Vitality team volunteered to summit Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for the children's shelter, and Discovery Vitality agreed to match Kids Haven's fundraising efforts, rand for rand. Thanks to the generosity of their donors and sponsors the Kili for Kids Haven project raised almost R70 000.
Fitness and health is the cornerstone of Discovery Vitality's ethos and some of the proceeds from the campaign were used to purchase 10 pieces of outdoor gym equipment for the Kids Haven children, to provide them with a workout circuit to help build strength and aerobic ability. World Outdoor Fitness generously offered Kids Haven a 50% discount.
Surplus monies went towards renovating an outdoor building into a classroom and creating a learning centre in memory of Ronel Bolton, a volunteer from Discovery Vitality, who passed away suddenly.
Virgin Active also came on board to support the initiative by donating indoor gym equipment that is suitable for the teenagers in Kids Havens care.
The launch was attended by the CEO of Discovery Vitality Gidon Novick, Discovery's head of Vitality Wellness, Dr Craig Nossel, the young Discovery Vitality climbers and Kids Haven chairman, Nelli Manzi, who is also the ambassador for the 2013 "62 campaign", which refers to the 62km climb on Mount Kilimanjaro's Machame route from base to peak. She is set to summit Mount Kilimanjaro in August 2013 and raise R1 per kilometre that she climbs for Kids Haven.
Novick concluded: "We are delighted to be involved with an organisation such as Kids Haven and to make contribution and difference to the lives of these children. The intention is to encourage the kids to channel their energy and focus their attention on health and wellness, and engage in constructive activities such as exercise. For many of us working out and having access to a gym is a privilege and we wanted to give back to the children by introducing them to a healthy lifestyle in a fun and enjoyable way."
For more info, go to www.kidshaven.org.za.