COCO trek Kilimanjaro

COCO society raise over £25,000 to help educate children in Africa

Sophie Norris
30th November 2015

Over summer 2015, 11 students climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in support of COCO, a Newcastle-based charity.

The charity, which was set up in 1999, aims to provide education for children from poverty-stricken countries in Africa in order that they can fulfil their potential.

Student volunteer Hannah Randall said: “I decided to take part in Climbing Kilimanjaro project at a Newcastle University freshers’ event.

“It was something that I had never thought about before but when I saw the impact that the money would have, it was a no brainer for me.

“I started training about nine months beforehand at the gym, but as long as you’re fit and healthy and exercise regularly I don’t think anyone would have a problem.”

Fundraising for this year and last year’s treks raised over £25,000.

Currently they focus on Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, however Ghana and South Africa are being increasingly included in the charity’s work.

Previous successes of the organisation have focused around the development and eventual self-sustaining of schools.

They have set up two nursery schools, Uwawayaki and Olomayani, providing both the building and setting up a chicken farm to help the school to self-sustain.

They raised money for a ‘Schools for Life’ project, launched in July 2014, which aims to provide solutions to poverty which will ultimately benefit more children in Africa.

The ‘Schools of Life’ consist of six elements that they believe will improve access to education.

These are shelter, power, water, food, recreation and entrepreneurship.

Additionally, COCO organise an annual ball, coast and castles cycle challenge, Maasai cycle challenge and golf days.

Hannah added: “COCO are always looking for volunteers to help promote and fundraise for events.

“They offer opportunities for students to take part in, one of the events being our annual trek up Kilimanjaro.

“All opportunities COCO offer look brilliant on your CV and show a variety of skills.

“We are eager for people to join the society and we are looking for people to sign up for next year’s trek.”

For more information, visit

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