Sharifa Kalokola, The Citizen: Lawrence Mafuru found himself in the limelight when he became one of the fastest climbers to scale Mt Kilimanjaro in 2009. Though he had wanted to conquer Africa’s rooftop in eight and a half hours, this man did what many climbers can only dream of doing – completing the climb in nine hours.
And it is not for selfish reasons that he wants to break the World record. Now based in Canada, where is training, Mafuru has a plan to use his popularity and influence to fight poverty in Tanzania, through pushing for the cause of women and children.
“I have a dream to help my community out of poverty without relying too much on donations from abroad. I realised I could use my many years of experience in tourism to good use,” says Mafuru, the brains behind Boma la Mama, an organisation he hopes to use to fight maternal mortality.
Based in Arusha, the Boma La Mama project is at the beginning stage, and will be a training centre for midwives. The founder also wants it to be a low-risk birthing home for local women.
“I was present when my wife gave birth to daughter, and that experience made me realise that we need to ensure that our children and wives are safe at birth. Before this, I did not know how sacred and intimate labour and birth are for women,” he says.
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