Burn survivor plans to climb Everest to raise funds for Kimberly Hospital's Burn Unit

Burn survivor plans to climb Everest to raise funds for Kimberly Hospital's Burn Unit

- 12 people are raising funds for the Avela Foundation by climbing Everest

- The Foundation wants to raise R2 million to revamp the Kimberly Hospital Burn Ward

- One of the climbers is William Baartman, a burn survivor from South Africa

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The Avela Foundation is raising funds by committing to climb to the Mount Everest base camp.

The hope is that the money raised will be used to revamp the Kimberly Hospital’s Burn Ward. The funds will not only refurbish the burn unit, they will provide specialised care as well.

South Africa, needs a state-of-the-art paediatric burns unit in the Northern Cape, as there are currently no facilities that offer the treatment burn victims require.

“The funds we raise in this challenge will go to launch the Umatter support network, a psychological support network for burn survivors and their families. The physical pain of a burn is horrific, but the worry, fear, and emotional pain it causes to survivors and their families can be just as difficult. Emotional support is crucial for recovery. By providing the right psychological support to burns survivors and their families, burn survivors will become an asset not a liability to our society.”

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Briefly.co.za found that 12 people from around the world will unite to trek to Everest in an effort to raise funds for the foundation.

One of the Avela champions is William Baartman. William is a burn survivor and has faced immense challenges because of it.

“At the age of three years old, he was a victim of gross Human Rights violation when his home was petrol bombed by local students because his father was an Afrikaans teacher. He sustained 75% burn wounds and lost his younger sister, Grace, in the fire. William’s story is not of self-pity and hate; it is of triumph, courage and positivity and that touched my soul and didn’t let go,” Lindiwe Suttle said of the man she met in 2015.

Since their meeting in 2015, William has become an ambassador for burn victims.

He has had the chance to travel overseas for the first time to attend a burn conference and learnt to overcome his shyness through public speaking.

William now has his very first job as the head volunteer of the Burn Unit at the Red Cross Children’s hospital in Cape Town and has been named Head of the Mentorship Programme for the Avela Foundation.

The Avela Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to helping children with burn injuries on their road to physical and psychological recovery.

His next journey is to join the Everest climb to raise funds for the Kimberly Burn ward. You can find his personal funding campaign here.

William is fundraising to cover the cost of his flights and equipment that will help him join the trip of a lifetime in raising awareness for burn victims in South Africa.

In collaboration with the Smile Foundation, the 12 individuals begin their journey on 29 April, 2018, to Kathmandu, Nepal. The hike, expected to take nine days will begin on the 2 May, 2018.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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