GLADSTONE power couple Jessica Beyers and Cory Ebenestelli are combating world poverty, one charity trip at a time.
Between March 9 and April 15 this year, the couple spent their time trekking, volunteering and learning about cultures in Africa less fortunate than their own.
"It taught us about the simplicity of living in other countries and how some unfortunate people struggle," Cory said.
Last year, the couple spent months holding local fundraisers to reach their goal of $20,000.
"We ended up raising $11,500, which we are really happy with," Jessica said. "We reached our target of $4500 each."
A total of $9000 will be donated to World Vision, with the remaining cash to be spent on the pair's airfares.
On March 9, the pair arrived in Africa and spent the next three days visiting Arusha, to oversee a water pump project to which they had donated through World Vision.
Next on the agenda was a five-day climb to the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania.
The hike up the mountain and two-day trek down was challenging for both Cory and Jessica.
"It's nothing you could really train for. The first few days were easy but, by the time we reached the summit, we were ready to go back," Jessica said.
The group of 23 trekkers was supported by 65 porters, who carried sleeping equipment and food supplies. Each individual trekker had to carry 20kg of day supplies.
After the climb, Cory and Jessica visited Limuru, Kenya, to volunteer at the Mekeu School for mentally challenged children.
"We were teacher aides for about two weeks," Jessica said.
"It was a challenge for us because we had a language barrier and we were also working with mentally challenged children."
Cory said the pair had benefited from the experience.
Up to 40 students aged between six and 20 years of age were being taught at the school.
But it wasn't all work for the pair overseas.
Cory and Jessica took time out for a safari andvisits to animal orphanages.
They also checked in with Jessica's sponsor child, 12-year-old Lelise Mulusew.
"I've been sponsoring her for three years and she was very happy to see me," Jessica said.
Soon after their return, the couple is now planning their next trip.
Where they went:
- 7 days: Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro
- 30 days: Travelling around Africa
- 14 days: Volunteering at the school
- 3 days: Visiting World Vision water station
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