The three Qatari volunteers with QC officials at a press conference yesterday.
DOHA: Three young Qatari volunteers of Qatar Charity (QC) are set to climb the summit of Aconcagua, the highest peak in Argentina, tomorrow to raise awareness of the suffering of the children of Yemen, particularly those in need of open heart surgery.
The ‘Challenge for Life’ event is part of the recently launched QC ‘Compassion’ initiative for the benefit of children and orphans of the world, which is sponsored by Barwa Bank.
Fahad Al Buainain, Ahmed Salim Ibrahim and Talal Abdul Aziz Al Emadi are readying up to climb the summit at 6962 meters, which is the highest peak in the Western and Southern Hemispheres.
The team is carrying out intensive training for their imminent mission, including cycling in Italy and climbing in the Alps. They have also made a field visit to Yemen to witness the suffering of the children they hope to help.
The 22 day ‘Challenge for Life’ journey will involve 15 to 17 day’s walking from 6 to 12 hours in order to climb the summit of Aconcagua, which is located in the Andes mountain range in the province of Mendoza in western Argentina, near the Chilean border. It is the highest mountain located outside the continent of Asia, the second highest peak and one of the Seven Summits.
Al Emadi is a mountain climber, a free diver, pilot schooner, boxer and athlete, and has already climbed the summit of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and the summit of Gran Paradiso in Italy.
Fahad Al Buainain, with similar attributes has also previously climbed Kilimanjaro and Gran Paradiso. Ahmed Salim Ibrahim is a mountain climber and a free diver and has previously climbed Gran Paradiso. He has also played for Qatar Athletics.
Al Buainain and Emadi participated in the first phase of the ‘Challenge for Life’ campaign, by climbing the summit of Kilimanjaro, the highest peak of Africa, in order to highlight the food crisis in West Africa, as well as making field trips to Niger to witness the condition of people suffering the effects of hunger.
“This event comes to draw attention to an important humanitarian issue; the suffering of Yemeni children with heart problems,” said QC CEO Yousef bin Ahmed Al Kuwari addressing a press conference yesterday.
“It is an innovative event and also sends a message to Qatari youth that humanitarian action is not limited to providing direct financial aid but can take other forms,” he added.
Later “Challenge for Life” events will include climbing the summits of Denali, Alaska and Everest in Nepal.
Al Buainain said that he had experienced a variety of feelings after the field trip, but felt pride and enthusiasm about the opportunity to participate in such a challenge that aims to draw the world’s attention to the plight of these children.
During their visit to Yemen the team was briefed on the QC open heart program and the reason it was established.
The programme is part of a comprehensive strategy to fill gaps in humanitarian work and offer support previously neglected groups.
This project provides heart surgery for children suffering from either holes in the heart or other congenital deformities requiring surgery.
Four hundred and twenty procedures have been performed to date and a further 1000 are planned. Over 2,000 Yemeni children suffer from heart disease according to the latest official statistics.
The ‘Compassion’ campaign focuses on the sponsorship and care of orphans and children across the world. The campaign was launched by QC under the supervision of Sheikh Dr Aaydh Al Qarni in the presence of QC’s CEO during a charity match between the Saudi League Stars and stars of the Muslim World at the stadium of King Abdul Aziz Sports City Sports in Mecca recently.
‘Compassion’ is a unique international humanitarian initiative focusing on the welfare and rehabilitation of orphaned children across the world through the development and management of programs and channels that effectively contribute to solving their main problems and enabling them to live a decent life.