Saturday, December 20, 2008
I arrived in New Zealand today and will be here for a week before heading to Australia to hike up Mount Kosciuszko on December 30, 2008. It was quite a long trip to from Portland, so I tried to make the most of it by visiting NZ and will be hiking the Milford Track starting tomorrow. Queenstown is absolutely beautiful and am so grateful to be here.
As some of you may know Mount Kosciuszko @ 2228 m will be summit number 2 as part of the Climb Take Action campaign for women and children in the Congo and Uganda benefiting International Medical Corps. www.imcworldwide.org This is by far the easiest of the 7, but one of them none the less and I am very excited to say that one of my best friends, Trisha Haakonstad, will be joining me in Australia and do the hike with me for the campaign.
So more news to come once we make it to the top! A couple of updates though. . . for starters the situation in the Congo has worsened severely over the past few months and help is needed now more than ever. IMC is working hard to keep providing humanitarian assistance. In July a team of us will be heading to Mt. Kilimanjaro to climb for IMC. . .we can have up to a group of 50, but spaces are filling up. We will be asking that everyone that participates raise $3000 for IMC (tax deductible). The trip details can be found at http://go.gapadventures.com/GeorginasMtKilimanjaro . The trip will be guided by Gap Adventures and promises to be an amazing experience and allow us to help others along the way. I will be headed to Africa the week prior to the climb to visit and volunteer at IMC's camps and meet some of the individuals we are working hard to support.
Here are links to the latest news from the Congo :
LATEST NEWS FROM THE CONGO
Wishing you all a very merry holiday season! Thank you for your continued support and encouragement!
Monday, December 1, 2008
As Bianca says, "This is my opportunity to help women and children in the Congo and Uganda and also fortify my mind, body, and spirit." I hope Bianca's story will inspire and encourage others to get involved in Climb Take Action, as she chose to feature her upcoming challenge and help others along the way.
At the root core, the ability to empower yourself by empowering others is a fantastic thing and I encourage anyone reading this blog to learn more about the crisis in the Congo and Uganda on our website and dedicate your next challenge to the cause, whether that be a long trek, a marathon run, a climb, a cycling race, whatever the challenge may be. Help us raise awareness and gain support for a group of women and children whose suffering has been kept silent for far too long.
I am extremely grateful to Bianca for stepping up and taking action and joining us in our efforts to make an impact! We all have the power to make a difference in the lives of others no matter how big or small.
Representing more than 80% the world’s refugees, women and children suffer most in emergencies, yet they hold the key to a healthy, peaceful future because of their resilience and determination. Both Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, neighboring countries in central Africa, have suffered more than two decades of civil wars that have left millions dead and even greater numbers homeless. None have suffered more than the women and children.
Tens of thousands of women have been neglected, murdered, abducted, brutally raped, tortured, and overall forgotten. Congo Wars have claimed more lives than any conflict since the end of World War II, yet the crisis has received little attention outside of central Africa. Help us in our efforts to raise support and awareness that will that will bring the physical, emotional, and financial resources necessary to help women in Congo and Uganda empower themselves.
All proceeds will directly support U.S. based humanitarian aid organization, International Medical Corps' (IMC), improve the health and well-being of thousands of women and children affected by war and chronic poverty in Congo and Uganda. All donations are tax deductible. Sponsored programs currently include, but are not limited to: gender-based violence prevention, nutritional and mental health care programs.
From Relief to Self-Reliance, International Medical Corps is empowering women to rebuild their lives and create a brighter future for their children.
Some of the world’s worst acts against humanity have taken place here, especially against women and children. Peace, change, and stability can only come to these regions with a vested interest from the global community.
To learn more or Donate, visit http://www.climbtakeaction.com
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
The energy and enthusiasm to make a difference in the lives of these women and children was amazing amongst our participants. I can't tell you how great it felt to get the community involved, see everyone enjoying the outdoors, and making an impact in the lives of others all at the same time! Our motto for this event: Empower yourself by empowering others!
The event was held at beautiful Paramount Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains, where many classic westerns were filmed and shows like "Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman." The event kicked off with Yoga Stretch Warm-up led by Georgina Purple from Purple Tree Yoga. Everyone did a great job at testing out their flexibility :o)
There is something to be said about being fit, exercising, being outdoors, doing yoga :o), you get my point. . .it can be very empowering for an individual. I know it is for me. Thus our goal at this event was to empower yourself by taking action for others. . . and that we did. I hope to expand this event to other cities in the upcoming year. . . but will need help! So any of you out there reading this, dying to jump in and take action, reach out to me and lets see how we can work together for this great cause.
Here are some pictures of the event
Special Thanks to: lululemon athletica (The Commons~Calabasas, CA), Vitamin Water, and Clif Bar. These companies rock and were a great support to our event! A HUGH THANK YOU to all of our participants. . .you are all leaders of change and congrats for taking action in your community and for others! Thank you!
Hope all that participated had a great time and looking forward to next year!
As for Climb Take Action. . . Australia here I come in December! Also, we are in the final stages of organizing our Kilimanjaro July 2009 Climb. If you are interested in participating let me know. We hope to have a team of 10-15 all climbing for the women of the Congo and Uganda and benefiting International Medical Corps.
Until next time. . . happy trails. . . remember we all have the power to make a difference in the lives of others.
~Never limit yourself or life's potential. The extraordinary is always possible!~ G.M.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
It is unbelievable that just 2 weeks ago we were standing on the top of Europe (5642m) on Mt. Elbrus! Time flies. I wanted to share some moments from the summit with all of you. Again it was an absolutely amazing experience I will treasure for a lifetime. My work is not done though, the women of the Congo and Uganda still need a tremendous amount of support and we are still trying to reach our fundraising goal of $282,100. Again all proceeds go directly to International Medical Corps. I have sponsorship packages available for download on the Climb Take Action Site. You can also make an online donation at http://www.climbtakeaction.com/ . It is super easy to do and every little bit counts and will make a great impact in the life of a fellow woman or child.
I am back on the training wagon again. . . I gave myself a week off and got caught up on some comfort food. I must say I will not be eating soup for a VERY long time. I must have had 25+ bowls of soup on the trip! Pizza was what I was craving the most along with some Chinese food and Cuban food. Yummy! Now back to work and prepping for my next summit! Mt. Kosciuszko (2228m) here I come this December. . . then off to Kilimanjaro (5895 m) Summer 2009. Stay tuned for more news on Kilimanjaro and we are trying to organize a Climb Take Action Team trek! If anyone reading this would like to join us in our climbing efforts. . . the more the merrier and we would love to have you. Please contact me for more details.
We also have some great events coming up in LA area and hope you will join us!
August 14th at lululemon athletica- Calabasas
"Empower Yourself by Empowering Others"
HIKE 2 EMPOWER KICK-OFF PARTY!
**food, drinks, music, fun**
For more info visit: http://www.hike2empower.org or you can RSVP to: email@example.com
September 27th 5k Hike 2 Empower Event Paramount Ranch
Register today and start fundraising! http://www.hike2empower.org
We hope to see you at these events! If you would like to make a general donation please visit: http://www.climbtakeaction.com
Now Enjoy the Show! Top of Europe~ Mt. Elbrus, Russia 5642 m July 22, 2008
Have a great day and remember we all have the power to make a difference!
Monday, July 28, 2008
For trip photos visit:
Monday, July 14, 2008
The quest for Mt. Elbrus is about to begin! We made it to Saint Petersburg! It is a beautiful city from what I have seen so far and very excited to explore it today. Tomorrow we head to Mineral Vody and to the valley of where our journey to Mt. Elbrus will begin.
To stay up to date with our climb, visit: http://www.alpineascents.com/cybercasts.asp
Cybercast should be up and running in a couple of days.
Our Alpine Ascents team is led by Vern Tejas, 8 time Seven Summits Summiteer. It is going to be an honor and privilege to climb along side him! We have an amazing team of 12 lined up with varying climbing experience, but all here excited to get on the mountain and get to work. We are all just praying for good weather. There are 3 of us climbing for a cause, one for fighting breast cancer, another for an orphanage in Nepal, and me of course for the women of Congo and Uganda benefiting International Medical Corps.
For all of you that have supported our campaign for women in the Congo and Uganda thus far, THANK YOU! It will make a strong impact in the life of a women or child in dire need of assistance. For those of you just learning about the Climb Take Action campaign, visit our website: http://www.climbtakeaction.com/ for more information and help us meet our goal of $50 for every meter climbed at Mt. Elbrus 5642M. Please donate, anything you are comfortable with, does not have to be $50 and all proceeds go directly to International Medical Corps.
To learn more about the crisis watch these videos:
Ben Affleck at International Medical Corps in the Congo
The Greatest Silence- Victims in the Congo
Life in IDP camp in Uganda
I will write more soon, but I would like to thank our supporters, family, and friends for all of your love and prayers. I feel very blessed and grateful to be here and have the opportunity to pursue a life long dream and help others along the way. Let's make a difference for women and children in Congo and Uganda! We have the ability to start the change and make an impact in someone's life!
Spread the word about the crisis, make a donation, join one of our events, or just get informed.
Talk to you all soon! The difference starts with you. . .empower yourself by empowering others and join us today! Visit: http://www.climbtakeaction.com/ to get involved.
We have also been fortunate to be recognized in the media: http://climbtakeaction.com/Press.html This will help us raise awareness to the crisis at hand and how everyone can help!
From Saint Petersburg'
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
To see pictures from the trip visit: http://picasaweb.google.com/georgina.miranda1/MtRainierViaEmmonsGlacier?authkey=vPmfEFc2hVM
To read our article on Climbing.com:
I was blessed with an amazing team and have a absolutely marvelous time. I called it "blissful torture," as I was a bit beat up upon our descent, but couldn't wait to do it again. So now only 26 days away from heading to Russia to attempt a summit bid on Mt. Elbrus, I can hardly wait.
The Climb Take Action campaign is well underway. We need support though. Our goal is to raise $282,100 by the time I return from Mt. Elbrus on July 27th. Women and children continue to suffer from the conflict plagued environment in Congo and Uganda. They need support, as does International Medical Corps to continue running their programs and helping improve the health and well-being of thousands of women and children affected by war and chronic poverty in these areas.
The conflict continues to be extremely underreported, yet here are some links to provide you with the latest information on the crisis. My heart goes out to these women and children and their endless suffering. They are the driving force behind this campaign.
Please join us in our efforts to combat violence against women and children and bring the much needed relief. Empower yourself by empowering others and support our cause which will have a tremendous impact!
I hope reaching the tallest peak in Europe will give me a voice to speak out on their behalf.
Read these articles, get informed, share the news:
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
If you have not seen the film, "The Greatest Silence," I encourage all of you to see it. It is currently on HBO. If you have cable you can use the On Demand feature to watch it. The film documents the story of various rape victims in Congo and the story of the rapist themselves. Lisa Jackson does an amazing job connecting with these women and communicating their stories.
As you know I am climbing to raise funds and awareness for women in Congo and Uganda who have been victims of sexual violence and abuse by supporting International Medical Corps (www.imcworldwide.org), which is working on the ground with these victims.
The film is living proof that there is a war against women in Congo and that it is destroying the future of the Congolese society. Women and their children are the future in any society. Yet when women and children are tortured and traumatized, what future are they left to dream of and hope for?
These rape victims are often left incapacitated, with HIV, or with an unwanted pregnancy. Worse of all they become outcast within their communities.
Yet these women are strong! Regardless of all of the torture and trauma they have endured, they still have spirit and fight to live for their children. They want what any mother would want, a better life for their children and those of their fellow women.
I urge you to watch the film, get informed, share their story! You can help, we all can, by supporting organizations that are on the ground providing not only treatment to rape victims, but also initiating prevention programs to educate and stop the violence against women.
I hope you will all join me on this mission to help these women, and empower them. The world needs to let them know they are not alone. This crisis can only end with the help of the global community!
Please visit my website to learn more about my campaign and how to donate: www.climbtakeaction.com
If you are a woman, put yourself in their shoes. . . what would you do and what would you want the world to do for you?
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Monday, February 4, 2008
I continue to say that Congo found me, not the other way around. I was reading a magazine one day looking for a new haircut and came across an article that changed my life. It motivated me to pursue a life long dream of climbing the Seven Summits and finding a way to help the women whose stories of horror were depicted. Through my research of looking for organizations I could partner with to help these women, I found International Medical Corps who had been providing relief in Congo since 1999.
IMC then went on to educate me about the hardships of women in Uganda and the need for program support. I then decided to form a joint campaign for both countries and help women in both regions. I truly felt ignorant and amazed that the situation in both countries was not more publicized.
Why am I doing this you may ask. . . why Congolese Women. . . why Ugandan Women? The answer is simple, I have been informed about their unimaginable struggles and circumstances and about the lack of resources being deployed to help them due to lack of funding and awareness. After learning about the horror and terror, I cannot forget and go about my daily life knowing that every month possibly thousands of women and their children are being attacked, are hungry, and are alone. This situation has been present for over a decade, the civil conflict in both regions is surpassing the twenty year mark; yet it does not mean this terror and injustice should continue. I continue to say. . .if you knew. . . you would help. . .how could you not?
What is happening in Congo and Uganda is a war and attack against women. Women like you, me, our mothers, our sisters, our friends. Women that deserve a chance for life, peace, happiness, and empowerment. The situation in Congo and Uganda is severe not only due to the severity of the attacks against women and children, but due to the lack of respect for the life of a woman or child. There is no respect when a baby girl of 11 months old is being raped and a grandmother of 75 years of age is being raped. There is no respect when a woman is gang raped and then mutilated or tortured in front of her entire family or village. There is no respect when a rape victim is exiled from her home and family because she is viewed as a disgrace and embarrassment to her people. She is left with nothing but pain and need for basic survival. There is no respect when a young girl or woman must engage in sexual activity in hope of receiving food or shelter. Beside the need for immediate relief to these victims of war, there is a need for prevention. Organizations such as International Medical Corps are launching campaigns to promote prevention against sexual based violence attacks and raise the level of respect for women.
The more I learn the more I want to help. I hope everyone that visits this site feels the same way. There is something all of us can do to help. Women are being attacked everyday, and the more resources available to treat victims, the higher the chance of them being able to LIVE. These women have lost everything in most cases, whether they become outcast as a result of their attack or whether their entire family has been murdered, they need someone to help them pick up the pieces of what is left of them.
I encourage anyone that visits this site to read all of the articles posted. This is true, this is happening, these women need our help, and we can help them. Watch this video http://www.imcworldwide.org/content/media/detail/1270/
If you knew. . . you would help. . .how could you not?
Now you know. . . you can help. . .why would you not?
Thursday, January 31, 2008
I am a firm believer that actions speak louder than words. Thus, after coming across an article that depicted the horrific situation in the Congo, I knew I had to take action and not sit on the side lines. I immediately starting researching which organizations were already established in this region and providing humanitarian relief for these women. This is how I came to know of International Medical Corps (IMC), which has been working in Congo since 1999 (www.imcworldwide.com). I was really impressed with the work IMC was doing in Congo and I knew I had to reach out to them to see if there was a way I could help with their efforts. After meeting with the most amazing group of women at IMC and learning more about the crisis not only in Congo but also in Uganda, I was fully committed to creating a campaign to raise funds for their organization as I attempted to climb the Seven Summits.
Coming across that article was a real turning point for me. It motivated me to get started on my dream of attempting the Seven Summits because I knew it would be a great fundraising vehicle for this cause. Women in Congo and Uganda have been faced with civil conflict for over 21 years. Tens of thousands have been torn away from their families, murdered, adducted, brutally raped, tortured, and overall forgotten. After all that I have learned about these women, I feel a personal connection to them and view them as an image of strength. It is truly remarkable what some of these women have endured and yet survive and continue to fight to live and support their families. That is a true image and symbol of strength. They motivate me to be a woman of strength and make me want to conquer or at least try to conquer just about anything. Thus, I need to do something to help them. I think many women around the country will join me in that vision.
My goal is to raise both funds and awareness that will bring the physical, emotional, and financial resources necessary to help these women empower themselves. IMC’s mission is “From Relief to Self-Reliance,” and that is what we are hoping to achieve. Reaching the Seven Summits is a journey that develops and requires strength, confidence, and determination. I currently plan to raise $50 for every meter of each of the Seven Summits I plan to climb, which is approximately 43,324 meters, which equates to a $2,166,200. Every dollar raised can make a tremendous impact in the lives of these women and their children.
As, you may be wondering by now, I am not a professional climber by any means. I am currently Director of Development at a Los Angeles based residential real estate development firm and have a corporate background. Although I have always loved experiencing the outdoors, I got the hiking and climbing bug soon after starting my MBA program at LMU. Hiking was my mental escape from the corporate world, the text books, and got me immersed into nature. I definitely consider myself an amateur climber that has A LOT of training to do. Thus, in early 2008 I will be taking ice climbing lessons, joining an introductory winter mountaineering expedition, and climbing Mt. Rainer in late May prior to attempting my first summit. How long this journey will take is still to be determined, yet Summit number one is on the calendar and I will be heading to Russia in July. Mt. Elbrus Here I Come!
If you would like to learn more about my Climb Take Action~Seven Summits Challenge initiative or make a donation, please visit www.ClimbTakeAction.com. All donations are tax deductible and directly benefit International Medical Corps women’s programs in Congo and Uganda. For more information on International Medical Corps and the situation in Congo and Uganda please visit www.imcworldwide.org. Together we can make a difference!
I am currently seeking corporate sponsorships for this initiative and welcome any ideas, assistance, and support. I will keep you posted on my progress and on local fundraising events scheduled later this year. A Hike to Empower event is tentatively scheduled in Los Angeles for September 13, 2008. For more information please visit my website and join the mailing list.