In project #CodeClimber, Tian Liebenberg, head of the Volunteer24-led project, and three fellow-climbers are embarking on one of the most ambitious South African mountain-summiting adventures ever attempted on South African soil.
These four world-class climbers – two of whom conquered Everest – have spent 1 600 hours of preparation in 2017 for the goal of summiting nine South African peaks in a record time in pursuit of generating public support of R100 000 to equip 350 learners with unique software-development and IT-skills. If they break the SA record and the SA public generously support #CodeClimber on the crowdfunding platform Backabuddy, Liebenberg and Co will purchase code programs from the organisation Code4Change to equip 125 learners with IT-development, software programs and technological advancement. The long-term goal is to impart skills to 300 000 learners in 500 schools by 2020.
The record-breaking attempt to ascend the nine highest summits in South Africa in aid of education promises to be a pulsating, action-packed adventure. Improving on the current team record for completing the nine summits in South Africa means having to smash the daunting current record or four days, 18 hours and 38 minutes. “Basically, to beat the record, we will have to negotiate the 145 km by running almost the equivalent of two Two Oceans Marathons in successive days, then rest for a day and then complete almost another Two Oceans marathon,” mentioned Liebenberg. “That is how challenging this is.”
The idea to summit the nine South African peaks while pursuing a record was birthed when Liebenberg approached Adrian Saffy, an attorney and adventure racer, Alex Harris and Sean Disney to embark on this race for mountain glory. Both Harris and Disney are considered to be mountaineering legends and have ascended and conquered the highest peaks in each of the continents, including reaching the peak of Everest (some more than once). Harris rode his mountain bike from the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro to the coast in less than 24 hours – a world-record in 2017. He also led mountain bike riders to the base camp of Mount Everest in May 2017.
Liebenberg, Harris and Disney were at the first stop of their #CodeClimber project at Zitikeni Secondary School in Tembisa on Tuesday 20 June 2017 to mingle with the learners and generate support for the coding project. Jonathan Novotny, founder of Code4Change, who is developing the coding programs, said the aim is to inspire the next generation of (Mark) Zuckerburgs (founder and chief executive officer of Facebook) in Africa. “The cause is to donate R300 to introduce training during a week-long coding course to eager and excited youth in Tembisa’s schools,” says Novotney. “We are raising R100 000 to bring coding to three schools in Gauteng and impact 350 learners with a fun, basic coding course, while encouraging the start of new coding clubs in these schools.”
Visit the crowd-funding platform Backabuddy to support their quest and to finance the code course for these 350 learners. Find more information here: #codeclimber and www.fb.com/code4changeSA. Alternatively, you can make a donation on www.backabuddy.co.za.
Source and image: CodeClimber