33 climbers from all walks of life, heeded the call to embark on a “climb of hope” to raise awareness of child abuse. They braved chilly cold winds, uneven pathways and a treacherous slippery climb up Mt Kinabalu to successfully complete the quest and raise money for SHELTER.
Held from 18th to 21st April 2010, the charity climb, themed “Stop The Abuse: See It! Hear It! Report It!” was organized by SHELTER to raise awareness and funds for advocacy work in child protection.
Heading the challenge without hesitation this year was 25 year old Melvin Tong, who lost his right leg to cancer at 17.
Melvin, who successfully made it to the peak of Mt Kinabalu and awarded a certificate as the first amputee to climb Mt Kinabalu by the Malaysian Book of Records, said that he was motivated to join the climb as he is passionate about helping the needy and was saddened to read about the numerous incidents of child abuse cases in Malaysia.
“Despite my challenges, I wanted to embark on this journey for the children as I believe that these children deserve a brighter future and if we don’t stand up to fight for their rights, the abuse will never stop,” said Melvin.
Fellow climbers echoed that the climb was both memorable and enjoyable because of the united purpose, as it gave them the opportunity to be a voice for the abused children and were proud to have lent a helping hand.
The climbers were taken in by the majestic view from the peak of the mountain. The spectacular scenery made the hurdles, aches and pains encountered along the way, worth the effort. The experience was made even more special as the quest was to help abused children.
James Nayagam, Executive Director of SHELTER, said that the response received from the public for this year’s climb was overwhelming and he was especially touched to receive the first application from Melvin.
“Melvin was an inspiration not only to the climbers but to everyone, as he proved that nothing is impossible. He demonstrated that with a positive mindset and attitude, one can accomplish anything one sets out to do,” said Nayagam.
He added that, every single Malaysia has a role to play in helping prevent the incidents of child abuse in the country. More often than not, we ignore the screams of a child, but we fail to realize that if we just report the incident, we can save that child.
“We at SHELTER express our sincere thanks and appreciation to all our corporate sponsors, the climbers and individuals who played a role in helping make this event a success. Without your support, this climb would not have taken place and on behalf of the children, we thank you.” He added.