Georgina Miranda M.B.A. ’05 combined her passion for helping others, her love of hiking and her background in business to establish Climb Take Action – 7 Summits Challenge, a campaign where she will climb the highest mountain on each continent to raise $2.2 million for the women and children of Uganda and Congo.
“I can never imagine surviving what these women have endured,” Miranda said. “The challenge is not really about reaching the peaks, but about raising money and awareness for a great cause.”
The idea came to Miranda two years ago while looking for hairstyle ideas in a Glamour magazine. Instead, she found an article by award-winning playwright Eve Ensler about her experience in Congo and the political conflicts in the region. Miranda was particularly moved by the tragic stories of the women and children.
“Women and children in Congo and Uganda continue to face some of the most horrific, life-threatening situations one could ever imagine,” Miranda said. “Humanitarian assistance is critical for these conflict-plagued areas. I hope that this campaign can not only raise funds to support these women and children, but that it also raises public awareness to their suffering and will motivate people to take action.”
Miranda’s first climb was Mount Elbrus, Russia, 5,642 meters, in July 2008; her second was Mount Kosciuszko, Australia, 2,228 meters, in December 2008. She climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, 5,895 meters, this past July and recruited nine climbers to join her, including her 60-year-old father and an editor from Glamour magazine. Each climber was asked to raise $3,000.
“I was so proud of the team,” Miranda said. “It’s remarkable to see strangers coming together for a common cause, and it made the campaign all that more real.”
After scaling Kilimanjaro, Miranda and the editor from Glamour spent a week visiting with women in two refugee camps on the Ugandan-Congo border. The money raised from the challenge will help fund a new medical facility to assist victims of gender-based violence.
“I amazed that these women are alive. They’ve escaped horrible situations and trying to rebuild their lives and care for their families,” Miranda said. “Anything I can do to help another woman, I’ll do it.”
Miranda credited an entrepreneur course taught by Fred Kiesner with providing her with the most practical tools she needed to begin this journey. “Dr. Kiesner taught me how to start a campaign and market it with no budget. He is such an inspirational man with a can-do attitude.”
To date, Miranda has raised more than $40,000. All donations will benefit the International Medical Corps, a U.S.-based global humanitarian organization. Her next climb is Aconcagua, Argentina, 6,692 meters, in December.
Posted Sept. 8, 2009