MEMBERS of a Portadown charity will climb to Northern Ireland’s highest point on Monday as they play a key role in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Fields of Life as chosen to light the beacon at the highest point of Northern Ireland as part of the official celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
This will take place at the top of Slieve Donard and will coincide with the lighting of beacons at the three other highest peaks in the UK, moments prior to the Queen lighting the National Beacon at Buckingham Palace at 10.30pm.
The local charity, which works to bring positive change to communities in East Africa through the provision of quality education, clean water and health promotion, is utilising the Donard Jubilee Beacon Challenge as a fundraising event to help build a school in Uganda. They are hoping for up to 500 people from across the province to join them in their sponsored climb in an attempt to raise enough to build a primary school which will benefit orphans and former child soldiers.
David Charleton, director for Fields of Life explains, “We are both honoured and privileged to have been chosen as the only Northern Ireland charity to take part in the four peak beacon celebrations but also hope that we can use this opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of the vulnerable children in Uganda.”
As recently highlighted by the online viral campaign, Kony 2012, this area of Uganda has been torn apart by rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance Army and the horrific crimes of leader Joseph Kony.
With the abduction of more than 60,000 children as young as eight years old who are then forced to fight in the army, Fields of Life works with communities to try and rehabilitate those affected.
David added, “We are asking up to 500 people to join us on Jun 4e and take part in a sponsored climb of the highest mountain in Northern Ireland. We hope if everyone participating can try to each raise £150, we would have the £75,000 necessary to build a primary school which will directly benefit orphans and former child soldiers.
“By providing an opportunity for education, this literally gives them a chance for survival and hope for the future and so I am appealing to everyone aged 15 or over from the Portadown area to consider taking part with the knowledge that their combined efforts will result directly in providing an education to those children in greatest need.”
Following a short ceremony, the walkers will set off at around 5.30pm led by Lynda Bryans and Ian Taylor, the youngest Irishman to climb Mount Everest. There are still places available – for more information or to register to take part in the event, contact Helen Keown at the Fields of Life office on 02838 390395 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.