Fairfields student in Kilimanjaro challenge

Basingstoke Gazette: Olivia Fonseca, left, and Jennifer Gill Olivia Fonseca, left, and Jennifer Gill

A UNIVERSITY student is following in the footsteps of her father by trekking up Africa’s highest mountain.

Olivia Fonseca, of Fairfields, Basingstoke, will attempt to climb to the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro in June this year – 10 years after her father completed the same mission.

Olivia hopes her efforts will raise thousands of pounds for Practical Action – a charity which fights poverty in third world countries.

The Kingston University student, who is studying biomedical science, was persuaded to take part by her friend Jennifer Gill, also from Basingstoke.

The pair have a target to raise £2,650 each before they embark on the 10-day adventure, and have come up with some fun ways of raising the cash.

On March 9, they will hold a charity day at Poison, in Reading Road, Basingstoke, where they will sell home-made food and run activities for children between 1pm and 6pm.

They have also raised around £800 by organising a night at the races and selling cakes.

Olivia, 21, said: “This is the first time I’ve done anything like this. When I was asked, I thought ‘why not?’ “To be able to raise money and give it to charity is wicked. My dad did it about 10 years ago, and said it was amazing.”

To prepare for the climb, Olivia has joined the gym where she exercises three times a week, but she said: “You can’t prepare for the altitude because you don’t know how you will react.”

Kilimanjaro is 6,000m high and climbers take five or six days to reach the peak, travelling 1,500-2,000m a day.

The ascent has to be done slowly because climbing too high, too quickly, can result in altitude sickness.

Olivia said: “I’m excited, but it’s one of those things I don’t think will sink in that I’m doing it until I go.”

To sponsor Olivia and Jennifer, visit myraising.com/olivia-fonseca/kilimanjaro2013myraising.com/jennifer-gill1/climbkili.

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