A FORMER Knutsford woman now working in Los Angeles is climbing Africa’s highest peak to raise money for an orphanage.

Debbie Emery, 36, is heading off to tackle Mount Killimanjaro but needs to raise £3,200 to cover the costs of the trip.

Through the charity Flying Kites the money will be used to pay for travel expenses for Debbie and the three other members of her team to meet one of the orphans, called Isaac face-to -face, the climb itself, along with all the care and education Isaac needs for an entire year.

She lived in Manor Lane in Ollerton but will be leaving for Africa on February 9 and needs to raise the money by that date.

“I literally got roped into this by a fellow Brit in LA called Matt Grant, who I know from our local English pub here in Santa Monica called the King’s Head,” she said.

“He moved over here a couple of years ago and starred on a reality show called ‘The Bachelor’. Matt has a good friend from Cambridge who works for the Flying Kites charity, which funds the orphanage in Kenya as well as many other worthy causes around the world.

“I jumped at the idea of the climb and the trip to Kenya as soon as Matt suggested it even though I’ve never done anything like this before in my life. It just seemed like such an amazing physical challenge and a life-changing opportunity all rolled into one. “ Debbie will be climbing the mountain with three of her friends and have been busy preparing for the climb together.

“We’ve all been hiking together, fund-raising, gear-shopping and sometimes panicking but it will be worth it when we reach the peak,” she added.

“I’ll be climbing to almost 20,000 feet over seven days, camping out every night in freezing conditions.

“We’ll be walking up, through and over a danger zone every day but there’s no way we’ll turn back after spending three days at the orphanage before we set out. What’s a week of hardship when it means Isaac is set up for a whole year?”

To send donations to Flying Kites directly, please click on Debbie’s fundraising page firstgiving.com/debemery.

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