Paula, Regional HR Manager for Genus Europe, and Andrei spent several months preparing for the expedition, including undertaking four extreme training sessions in the mountainous Prahova Valley region of Romania.

During the challenge, they endured five days of trekking for up to 15 hours a day before their final push to the summit. Paula says: “Undoubtedly, the most difficult part of the challenge was the trek to the summit. We went to bed at around 7pm the evening before, wearing plenty of layers to protect ourselves from the frosty conditions. After a restless few hours sleep, we were woken by the group leader at 11pm. We forced some porridge down and then left the camp at midnight.”

Using only the light from their head torches to guide them, they navigated the steepest and most demanding part of the route - the gruelling final ascent to the 5896m summit. It took six hours. “I can’t describe how good I felt when we reached the summit”, says Paula. “The rising sunlight created the most unforgettable view across the plains below of Mount Meru – I literally felt on top of the world.

It was an amazing experience, but exhausting! It’s a true challenge at every level you can imagine, but the local people were absolutely fantastic and determined to help at every step of the way. I am delighted that we have completed it and raised so much money for Send a Cow.

In addition to their physical achievement, Paula and Andrei raised over £6,500 for Send a Cow through sponsorship and by organising a range of fundraising events before their departure. If you would like to show your support to Paula and Andrei for this remarkable achievement you can still donate on their JustGiving pages https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/paulakilimanjaro and https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/andreikilimanjaro

And if you are inspired by Paula and Andrei’s achievement and would like to find out more about Send a Cow’s new overseas challenge event for 2017, please contact our Challenge Event Manager tom.lacey@sendacow.org.

Genus ABS EMEA started its three year charity partnership with Send a Cow in 2014 with a target of raising £65,000 by August 2017 – the equivalent of 100 dairy cows. Thanks to the generosity and enthusiasm of their clients and employees like Paula, the partnership has now raised over £35,000 in support of Send a Cow. Thank you Genus ABS EMEA!