Joshua, 11, to Climb 3 Highest Mountains in East Africa to Raise Funds for a School Bus

Joshua Kimkung will climb Mount Kenya, Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro this year in his quest to raise KSh. 12 million for his school to buy a 67-seater bus. This 11-year-old attends Lang’ata West Primary School, and this will be his second attempt at using his passion for this cause.

Lang’ata West Primary School is in Lang’ata Constituency, Nairobi County. As a public institution, parents bear the cost of organising transport means for their children. As such, some children get to school in private buses. Joshua has used these buses severally, “Sometimes, the bus takes too long, and we also share it with pupils from other schools, so its route does not always cater for all my schoolmates.”

With a school bus, Joshua and his over 1500 schoolmates will get to school safely. It will be convenient for his schoolmates to wait along the bus’s route than the current situation where some of them have to walk to school when they miss a private bus.

Joshua is an avid hiker. His first hike was in 2018 when he was nine years old. He began with one of the toughest hikes: “My first hike was to Le Satima.” This hill is about 4001m high, and it is one of the highest peaks in the Aberdare Range. He has also hiked Elephant Hill, Ngong Hills and Mount Kinangop. 

In November 2019, Joshua climbed Mount Kenya in a six-day adventure through Kamweti Route, one of the longest and least popular routes. Most mountain climbers use Naro Moru, Sirimon or Chogoria routes as they are not as wild as Kamweti Route. “Mount Kenya was challenging, but I was ready for it. It was such an exciting experience to trek on the snow,” he said.  Despite his effort, the campaign did not raise sufficient funds to buy a bus.

Consequently, Joshua is taking on a 3-peaks adventure from 1-23 December 2020. He will spend about a week scaling up to each peak: 8 days on Kilimanjaro, 5 days on Mount Meru and 5 days on Mount Kenya. These are the top two peaks in Tanzania, and the highest mountain in Kenya. His mother, Martha Mugi, always hikes by his side, and she will climb the three mountains with him.

As he prepares for the 3-peaks challenge, Joshua spends most of his time running, hiking, and playing football. He wakes up before 6 a.m. for a morning run and spends the afternoon playing football, or jogging. 

For this altruistic hiker to climb the three mountains, his family is hosting virtual dinners every weekend to fund the School Bus Project under the aegis of hikers, athletes, the Lang’ata West Primary School fraternity and alumni, and the public. During these themed dinners, attendees can ask Joshua about his preparations, and the progress of the School Bus Project. Joshua is also planning a virtual pyjama party to enlighten his peers about hiking and his project.