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  • Christie Wade

Kicking goals with purpose: Connected conquers virtual Kilimanjaro to help create forever change

Connected joins Forever Projects’ ‘What’s your Kilimanjaro’ challenge with a 62km relay to help Tanzanian women walk out of poverty and create self-sufficient families.

Thank you to everyone who supported our team and this great cause!

On 23rd September, 13 team members ran from Stanwell Park to Wollongong and back in support of our charity partner Forever Projects. Together we raised over $7K to support women in Tanzania break the cycle of poverty and create a self-sustaining future.

From one family to hundreds, forever changed

When we began our September charity challenge, we didn’t need to look far for this year’s inspiration. Forever Projects was founded by local, Illawarra-based couple Mark and Anna Dombkins after a documentary changed the course of their lives, and thousands of others, forever.

The couple’s life changing moment came while watching a documentary on the plight of malnourished and abandoned children around the world, all while watching their baby boy sleeping soundly next to them.

A few years and another baby later, Mark and Anna left their life in Australia and moved to Africa with the view to adopt a child. Their trip started a whole new chapter of their lives, seeing them adopt three beautiful siblings and start Forever Projects on their return.

‘The story behind Forever Projects is truly one of a kind’ says Connected CEO and Founder Laura Hamod Barnes. ‘Mark and Anna not only changed the course of their lives, but they continue to change the course of thousands of others. They’ve taken what they have and magnified it to make a real change in the world. It’s impossible not to be inspired after hearing their story’.

Forever Projects initiatives start with an immediate need – to helping mums feed their babies – and then they work with families to build businesses and walk from poverty. 100% of all donations goes to work on the ground in Tanzania to make this happen.

Conquering our Kilimanjaro

‘My Kilimanjaro’ is an annual fundraising event that challenges people to choose their own goal and conquer it with purpose.

We chose a 62km relay to reflect the 62km trek up the real-life peak of Mt Kilimanjaro.

The fundraising event was organised by our Strategy Director, Christie Wade. ‘As we’re based just south of Sydney, we thought a 62km relay along our beautiful coastline would be the perfect challenge for our team. With some creativity and planning, we found we could cater for all levels of fitness and lockdown restrictions while challenging ourselves and hitting our goal’.

We covered 62 kms in seven hours and raise $7,168 - and counting.

‘Our Forever Projects team has been so inspired by the way local businesses like Connected have come together and joined our What's Your Kilimanjaro campaign this year’ says Mark, who is now Founder and Director of Forever Projects. ‘Despite the immense anxiety swirling around right now, leaders like Laura and Christie invited their teams to mitigate uncertainty by contributing generously. It's been remarkable to hear how this challenge has not only empowered women and children in Tanzania but also added value to the lives of the participants here in Australia’.

Beyond the challenge

While the running challenge is over for this year, Connected continues to partner with Forever Projects with work currently underway to help transform their digital marketing infrastructure. With plans to grow awareness and reach, this will help set Forever Projects up for success.

‘Our local partners in Tanzania rely on a reliable runway of funding to continue scaling their life-changing work’ says Mark. ‘Throughout 2021, Connected has generously guided our team at Forever Projects to build the digital infrastructure required to reach donors who are eager to fund this work. We're extremely grateful for this partnership with Connected and can't wait to implement some exciting new media strategies together in 2022!’


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