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Triangle trekkers climb Kilimanjaro for a cause

Posted September 12, 2013

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— Five Triangle residents are about to check a major event off of their bucket lists.

Rob Pavone, John Chamber, David McDowell and husband-and-wife Auston and Roger Moore – friends from work and church – are heading out of Raleigh on Friday and attempting to conquer Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa.

As if climbing 19,340 feet is not impressive enough, the team is hiking for a bigger cause. The group is trekking to raise funds for ZOE, an empowerment program that helps orphaned African children.

ZOE offers training and access to resources in farming, animal husbandry, small business, health and hygiene, HIV/AIDs prevention, housing, education and child rights. The skills are designed to give orphaned children the ability to pull themselves out of poverty and move forward.

The mountain trek will support 108 orphans. As a reminder of the importance of the journey, Pavone is taking with him a photograph of children with their names on the back.

Rob Pavone Triangle men to tackle Kilimanjaro

“My intent is to be able to reflect on (it) every day when I’m up on the mountain, reflect on why I am doing this,” Pavone said.

The five hikers are paying their own way for the trip and the hike, so 100 percent of the donated funds will go directly towards helping the children.

About $17,000 has been raised for the “Trekkin’ for ZOE” mission, bringing the team close to its goal of $19,340. That’s one dollar for every foot they climb.

The long trek will be far from easy. The team has been training for about two years for the mission. “I think what will get me over the hurdle is the fact that I’m in God’s country,” said Pavone.

Cisco, where Roger Moore works, has loaned the team a satellite terminal to get Internet connectivity on the mountain. The team hopes to maintain its blog during the trek.


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  • hockeygalnc Sep 18, 2013

    I got back from Kenya in July visiting the ZOE orphans my church supports. These children are totally alone with no safety net. Sometimes one of the head of households in the program (remember, these are 12-18 year old kids leading the household) will find out about 2 very young orphans abandoned in a house (by the way, a house these kids live in is the equivalent of a dirt floor shed in the US with no electricity, running water, bathroom) because their parents are gone. Can you imagine a 6 and 7 year old sitting alone in a shed with no food,water or person caring for them? It happens all the time in Africa. The ZOE program empowers these kids. This program works. I'd be happy to talk to groups or one on one about ZOE. Feel free to contact me hockeygalnc(AT)hotmail(DOT)com Anyone can sponsor a working group. You don't have to be religious or in any group.

  • cogaha Sep 13, 2013

    Of course, there are great needs all around the world; however, I would argue that at least in our country, there are many programs in place to try to help children who are impoverished -- our government and many non-profits have a variety of programs that offer help. For these African children who are orphans due to the AIDS epidemic, there is no government stepping in. The child in our country with the least still has more than these children who are being EMPOWERED by ZOE Ministry to help themselves. ZOE is not a handout program -- it is a program that teaches orphans to care for themselves and their siblings, and once they have been helped, the orphans reach out to help others. I would encourage everyone to visit their website at www.zoehelps.org and watch the videos that tell stories of children whose lives have been transformed forever. Best wishes to the climbers for a successful journey, and thanks for what you are doing for these children.

  • bryantwelch Sep 13, 2013

    I just came back from Rwanda on a trip with ZOE. This is a wonderful group that gives these children what no one will give them in their country, dignity and a way out of poverty. This program is unlike any relief program I have ever seen either here or around the world. I am tired of having to answer this question of why don't we help our own. We do! We are called to by Christ to do both! These children don't have gov't programs or homeless shelters. They have no one to advocate for them! I saw a 16 year girl who had a 18 month children as a result of her uncle raping her. She was living in a cattle pin! At the end of our meeting this girl prayed for us instead of the other way around! Those kids have a lot to teach us about how to love our neighbor. I saw a 14 yo girl with her 6 yo sister who had been abducted from a home their mother left them by the Catholic church and forced to work for food. Working for food is how they treat the lowest of the low in Africa!

  • sunshine1040 Sep 12, 2013

    Sounds like a program that could help some Raleigh residents as well. Get some of our own citizens off the the federal and state handout programs first and then I will worry about Africa

  • veejuan6764 Sep 12, 2013

    Why is it people are always wanting to raise money for children in Africa but not here in the United States. We have just as many orphans here in the US than over in Africa. I'm tired of hearing about children being adopted or funds raised for African children in Africa. Where's this support for children here.