DUBAI – It all started with a visit to the Austrian Tyrol when she was a child. Since then, the former Vice-President of the Rotary Club of Jumeirah, Amelie Zegmout, has fallen-in-love with mountains.
“I discovered trekking for charity in 2003, with the local NGO Gulf 4 Good and the Kilimanjaro Summit,” she says. “It just makes sense to mix what I love (the mountains) with helping others so I have always tried to link my treks to a cause, whether it is in Nepal, India or Morocco. Charity work has for quite some time formed an essential part of my life, so it felt very natural when I joined the Rotary Club of Jumeirah and led the Community Service committee”, shares the French-Moroccan.
This Ramadan, Amelie, who has lived in Dubai for 15 years, plans to challenge herself by climbing Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps. Her “climb against hunger” will take two days, and if all goes well, she should reach its summit on the morning of 11 August.
“I’m dedicating this Ramadan climb to WFP’s work because I believe in the sum of all small actions,” explains Amelie. “Raising awareness and funds for the fight against hunger is my personal contribution as part of a much larger campaign organized by the Rotary Club of Jumeirah to support WFP’s efforts in the Middle East Region.”
Except for a local guide, the arduous climb will be undertaken solo and that’s why Amelie has been training for it.
“It will be my first time to use ropes, ice axe and crampons!” she says with a nervous laugh. “I worry about being on my own and managing to push myself beyond limits. I find it much easier to be with a group since a lively team spirit can definitely help me carry on. I am also quite scared of unexpected falling rocks and avalanches. But overall, I cannot wait to be there!” exclaims Amelie.
The climb is part of the overall effort of the Rotary Clubs of the UAE to offer donors the chance to double the impact of their Sadaqah (more information here).
The rest of the world can support Amelie’s climb online: https://my.wfpaltruist.org/pfp/JUSTADDHOPE “It is just one click away and very straightforward, so technophobes need not be afraid!” she says with encouragement. “People can also help by spreading the news and telling their friends about the campaign and the great impact WFP’s work can have for the hungry in the Middle East.”