The Wishing Well Challenge
Mt Aconcagua, 2013-2015
Ol’Painting is a proud sponsor & co-organiser of "Wishing Well Challenge” fundraiser for the Care Australia Water Appeal. We already raised enough to build 3 complete village water systems that would pump safe water to the homes in some of the world most underprivileged communities. Ol’Painting continues our work through the charity auctions to raise funds for the 4th village water systems.
To raise money in February 2013 our team climbed Mt Aconcagua in Argentina. At 6,960.8 m (22,837.3 ft) Aconcagua is the highest mountain in Americas, the highest in the Western Hemisphere, and the highest mountain outside Asia. It is one of the Seven Summits, and in February it is the highest accessible mount pick in world. So for few minutes our climbers were the highest standing humans on a planet.
The climb itself was tough 17 days. Main challenges were the physical exhaustion, high altitude, lack of oxygen, mighty winds up to 170km/h and temperatures down to -40C. The whole expedition was nearly canceled when the landslide damaged over 20km of the only access road, the area was declared a disaster zone and closed by the military.
The team had massive challenges to get through the landslide to complete their claim – probably the most dangerous part of the expedition. At some stage they even were reported missing by all major Australian newspapers. Some of the articles are here:
- Sydney Morning Herald - Australians trapped after Argentina landslides
- The Australian - Australians trapped after Argentina landslides
- Herald Sun -Australian mountain climbers feared trapped in landslides in Argentina
- news.com.au - Australian mountain climbers feared trapped in landslides in Argentina
- Brisbane Times
- Canberra times
Ol’Painting paid the cost of the expedition ourselves. All raised money went to the Care Australia – Water Appeal.
Why did we do it?
by Sasha Nadezhkin, Ol’Painting director
Our life in Australia is full of blessings that we take for granted. It is the driest continent on Earth, yet we have safe and abundant water not just for drinking – we enjoy warm bath, backyard pools, water features, dishwashers, carwash.
Yet almost 3,000 children die every single day from diarrhoea caused by dirty water and poor sanitation. In some areas in Cambodia nearly every fifth child under 5 dies from water related diseases. The fear and misery these families have to live with is unimaginable. Yet these deaths can easily be prevented. The safe water source will not only save lives. It will provide for harvest and stock. It will free up children and woman from heavy labour of carrying water for hours. So children can go to school and woman can earn an income.
Because of a personal interest in native cultures I visited places far away from the mainstream tourist routes. The poverty, hunger and luck of basics in many areas are appalling! Yet people you meet in the most remote tribes are so much like us. They love their family more than anything, want to live in safety, provide for their family, hear their children laugh and hope for the better future for them. Whenever I offered any help to them I always got back the most sincere gratitude and even small children always said “God bless you!”
So one day we though - what else we can do to help them? And we decided to do another fundraiser to help building village water systems.