Guest Blogger – Douglas McCann
The Show Me Justice Film Festival is only two days away! In anticipation of the start of the festival, Douglas McCann, the director of Mountains Will Move, authors the latest in our guest blogger series.
In the shadow of Africa’s highest peaks, a new generation of Tanzanian girls struggles to overcome poverty and inequality. On the other side of the world, an all-female group of Australian teenagers sets out to raise money and awareness by taking on a challenge of new heights. What begins as a movement to offer a helping hand turns into a journey for two groups of young women that will trek together side by side to reach for the top of one of the highest mountains in Africa, Mount Meru (14,997 feet). Theirs is a touching story that reminds us that we are the ones who can better our own lives, that the efforts of working together can yield unimaginable results, and that by empowering girls today we ensure a brighter world for the women of tomorrow.
I knew this was going to be an inspiring story the night we left base camp for the 14,997ft summit of Mt. Meru. It was at about 1AM when we hit the trail under moonlight, and the long climb ahead of us to the summit would push all of these girls beyond anything they had ever experienced. But that’s kind of the point. Peaks Foundation uses mountains as a tool to create life-changing experiences for girls and women. It was an incredible opportunity for me to witness these two groups of teenage girls – from Tanzania and Australia – joining together to take on this challenge of massive proportions. Women and girls in Tanzania often experience some very harsh and unfair challenges. It is unheard of that any of them would even consider climbing this enormous mountain that towers over all of East Africa. Seeing ten of them lace up hiking boots (for the first time ever) and commit to climbing this daunting peak – with a team of Australian girls by their side – was powerful to say the least. And for girls and women from all over the world, especially Africa and Tanzania – this story is incredibly inspiring and I believe will have a powerful and lasting impact.