‘Our eight months of planning finally came to fruition when the 20 participants came together to take on the four-day trek of 45km across the Great Wall of China. The heat was scorching and the air was humid, with no shade to protect us from the glaring sun. We realised we would have to rely on one another’s support for the challenge ahead.
The trek covered four sections of the wall; Mutainyu, Shuigun, Badalig and Juyongguan, the first being the longest section covering 18km. The journey to the start of the wall on the first day was one of the toughest parts as it gave us an insight into what was to come. Throughout the challenge our trekking poles became our lifeline – taking the brunt of our strides whilst we tried to reach the mini targets we had set ourselves to make the trek achievable. We reached a hut to get shade and hydration and we were so thirsty that none of us minded that our once cool water bottles were now warm.
As we carried on to complete the mammoth task, we found our motivation in the encouraging words from the participants and general public, the breath-taking views and most importantly the money we were raising for mothers in Afghanistan.
For all the little anecdotes and stories we had heard from those who completed the challenge before us – nothing could prepare us for this. But this was meant to be a challenge and it was worth it to raise money for mothers and babies in desperate need of support.
Afghanistan has one of the highest rates of maternal deaths in the world. The Muslim Hands Motherkind Clinic has supported over 28,000 expectant mothers since its opening in 2011. The clinic provides women with access to skilled midwives, medication and pre and post-natal care and advice. Our amazing participants have raised over £100,000 by doing this trek, all of which will go towards providing life-saving care to those most in need’.
Sahirah Javaid, Events and Volunteers Coordinator
‘The China Trek was an amazing experience. It tested my strength, endurance and patience, but what kept me focused throughout was the amazing cause we were all working hard to support’. - Haaris Karim
‘I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the trip, especially the chance to spend quality time with a group of like-minded, Islamically motivated individuals who I have built lifelong friendships with. The trip will be a cherished memory for years to come, all made possible by Muslim Hands’. - Mohammed Fatim
‘From beginning to end, what a truly magical and unforgettable experience! The team and team leaders became like family. You have the time of your life while raising money for a wonderful cause’. - Robina Rashid
‘What an amazing experience! It was tough on most days, but trekking with such a great group and for such a great cause made it worthwhile. Team spirit definitely kept me going!' - Ambreen Nawaz
‘It was an amazing experience and challenge for myself as well as everyone involved and I think it proved just how vital team work is in such extreme circumstances’. - Hanfia Ilyas, Muslim Hands Events and Volunteers Fundraising Assistant
‘After climbing Kilimanjaro and completing the UK 3 Peaks challenge with Muslim Hands I made the mistake of thinking The Great Wall of China trek was going to be a breeze. Oh how wrong I was! I led the brothers on the 45k trek and the first thing that strikes you on those very first steps is the burning heat.
Alhamdulillah, all the participants completed the challenge and fulfilled their pledges to all the people that sponsored them. The participants are already asking the events team to organise a trip to Everest or Machu Picchu! Go team MH!’ - Imran Ahmed, Events and Volunteers Coordinator