Newbury Park domestic abuse survivor fundraises more than £230k climbing Mount Everest

PUBLISHED: 13:42 14 January 2019

The women battled freezing conditions to climb the mountain. Picture: Penny Appeal

The women battled freezing conditions to climb the mountain. Picture: Penny Appeal


A Newbury Park woman was one of 34 brave volunteers who took part in a 12-day trek to raise more than £230,000 for charity.

Marzana Rahman, an abuse survivor and domestic violence and women’s rights activist, climbed 8,000ft of Mount Everest rock to raise money for international humanitarian charity, Penny Appeal.

The funds will go towards helping Rohingya refugees who continue their struggle for survival within the cramped Bangladeshi refugee camps.

Marzana said: “I decided to climb Mount Everest to help Rohingya women who have suffered so much, to help provide them with the basic necessities, as well as to create women-friendly spaces, where they will be supported emotionally.

“Every time I come across a women’s rights organisation, I see the world changing for the better.

“But as powerful as these movements are, my heart breaks a little because I am faced with the harsh realities that my sisters are facing.”

Penny Appeal was launched in 2009 and works in over 30 crisis-hit countries worldwide.

It aims to alleviate poverty by offering water solutions, supporting orphans, providing elderly care, restoring sight to those with avoidable blindness, providing food, delivering emergency aid, and opening schools, orphanages and mosques.

Haroon Mota, team leader and Penny Appeal’s head of challenges said: “We did it, Everest is the highest mountain in the world and the trek to base camp was a massive challenge.

“It wasn’t as easy as we thought, apart from beautiful views, there was very bad weather along the way.

“At one point we were trekking in minus 25 degrees, along with heavy snow, which hampered our journey.

“Several people became unwell but we stuck together as a team and managed to plough on until we reached Base Camp on the 8th day of the trek.

“Knowing that we had achieved this physical challenge was really satisfying, but knowing that we had raised over £230,000 to help the Rohingya people who have been through so much was even better - in fact, we felt very emotional knowing that our challenge was nowhere near the challenges that face the people of Rohingya daily”.

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