Climb for Hope

Between October 6-12, Marianne Hirsche will endeavor to “Climb for Hope” to increase awareness of Hope Arising and its efforts to improve the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children in Ethiopia.  As she ascends Africa’s tallest peak, she invites you to participate in her challenge by donating to Hope Arising.


The Goal

Help Marianne raise $15,000.  All proceeds will directly  benefit Hope Arising’s efforts to build a school that will benefit more than 200 children and  enable them to enroll in school. Donations of every amount will help!

The Cause

Disease, general living conditions, war, and HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia threaten to destroy the traditional family structure. Young children often forego education and lose hope for a better future in order to provide immediate care for younger siblings. Those children cared for by extended family members strain limited resources and often end up in servitude to the family hosting them. Children whose parents die from HIV/AIDS are stigmatized and too often ostracized because of simple ignorance and fear.

Hope Arising strengthens families to support and care for children orphaned or made vulnerable by disease, war, natural disaster and extreme poverty.

The Mountain

Mount Kilimanjaro, “the Roof of Africa”, stands at 5,895 meters (19,341 feet) and is Africa’s highest peak and the world’s tallest free standing mountain. Kilimanjaro is also one of earth’s largest volcanos. The mount is found in northern Tanzania and overlooks Kenya.

Kilimanjaro promises to be both beautiful and challenging, as hikers venture through four climates in as few as four days. “Climb for Hope” will use the Alternative Lemosho Route, and climb with the trekking company Climb Mount Kilimanjaro. This route boasts to be quieter, longer, and more challenging than some other routes to the summit. It is a seven day adventure that covers approximately 80 kilometers. More information on Kilimanjaro and this trek can be found at

The Climber

Marianne Hirsche fell in love with the people of Dera, Ethiopia on her first visit, and has returned several times. Marianne is from Stirling, Alberta and works for a Toronto-based exploration company on a project in northern British Columbia, near the Alaska border.

Marianne set a goal several years ago to climb one of the seven summits, and her love for Africa made Kilimanjaro the perfect choice of mountain. She has two boys, loves to travel, and enjoys an active lifestyle that includes running, hockey, and wake-boarding.

Eagles Soar into Action in Dera


Outside the small Dera Health Clinic, volunteers led by Jaskson Sellers handed out toothbrushes and taught basic hygiene, including the importance of washing your hands.  Jackson Sellers (17) of Crew 9645 in Gilbert, Arizona, led the volunteers using supplies he gathered and assembled during his Eagle Scout project.  In October during fall break from school, Jackson traveled to Ethiopia, where he delivered the kits, taught the people methods to improve their health, and came to love the people of Ethiopia.


Dallin Short and his varsity scout team assemble hygeine kits to send to Ethiopia

Inside the clinic, dentists distributed an additional 150 hygiene kits donated by Dallin Short (14) of Varsity Team 6398.  Dallin’s efforts to collect donations, assemble the kits, and donate them to Hope Arising, allowed the dentists to teach the patients proper hygiene and prevent the maladies that led them to the clinic in the first place. 

Declan Carr presents soccer uniforms to the director of HIV education.

 Elsewhere, Declan Carr (12) of Troop 465, visited the Tesfa Hiwot HIV/AIDS after school club, where he personally delivered over 120 soccer uniforms and organized a soccer game among the youth club members.  The uniforms will allow the after school club to organize additional activities and then educate youth regarding HIV prevention.  Declan’s Eagle Project attracted soccer players from throughout the village, but more importantly the game created an opportunity to educate the youth and teach them health practices that will save their lives. 



Andrew Dennis
Andrew Dennis secures school supplies as part of his Eagle Project.

Andrew Dennis of Troop 381 spent hours organizing a school supply drive and preparing back packs to donate to Dera schools.  Because the ability to secure school supplies like notebooks and pencils is an enrollment requirement, Dallin’s Eagle Project effort literally enabled hundreds of children to enroll in and attend school.

 Hope Arising, on behalf of the people of Dera, thanks these four boy scouts and congratulates them on completing their Eagle Projects by blessing the lives of so many.

water, huts and love

Having the culture of this beautiful country warp itself around me was something I’ll never forget. The kindness, grit, humility, and strength of Ethiopia have taught me a valuable lesson. That no matter what we are given in life, the most important thing is being around those we love. Rather we have a house full of running water or a small mud/grass hut, what matters most is hard work and the love of a family. If we can feel that, we will never be left wanting. Our work towards a ready supply of water is underway. The joy and happiness that this water pipeline will bring the people of Dera cannot compare to what they have given us.

Dave Rich
April 2010

i came home with more than i gave

My first trip to Ethiopia was March 2010. I met up with an amazing group of individuals at the Germany airport and began a journey that changed my life.

Gracious. That is the word that best describes the people of Ethiopia. From Woudneh and Betty (the couple who organized our stay in country), to the young children in the town of Dera, the kindness and graciousness of this people was evident everywhere you were.

Some highlights of my trip included: teaching children patience with the help of Kierstin, Katie, and a box of crayons; watching an elderly man draw a picture of his house; seeing many people line up at the clinic to see a dentist – some for the first time; and running through the nature reserve park in the pouring rain with a man in a purple suit.

You travel to a different part of the world with a hope of being able to help people in need but instead are taught more about who you are and how you should live. I have often wondered why people have such difficult circumstances in life; but have come to the conclusion that maybe the test is for us as much as it for them. The Hope Arising team is a great example of how this test is passed in life by stepping outside their world to supply something as simple as water to change the life of so many people. Thanks for allowing me to be part of your journey!

Marianne Hirsche

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