Amy Stoehr, President and Founder
Hi, I'm Founder Amy Stoehr. I achieved my dream of summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro in September 2019. While I trained for the physical demand of the mountain, what I hadn't anticipated was the life-altering experience I would have in being exposed to some of the most servant-hearted, hardworking, selfless people I've ever known in the crew that accompanied me and my companions on that trip. During that climb, every challenge or hardship encountered was met and conquered with the love and support of the 34 crew members. Repeatedly, they went above and beyond, whether it was helping one of our climbers with altitude sickness to eat and drink when she arrived exhausted to the camp after summiting, or singing and dancing to lift our spirits when we returned to camp each night.
Having had my own trials coming off the Summit, I was moved time and again by the heartfelt assistance provided to me. I wanted to find a way to give back to the porters, and in asking lots of questions I identified one thing many of them desire most is to help their children break out of their family's cycle of labor and discover a new world of opportunity through better education. The resources needed to assist a child in Tanzania were shockingly low from my perspective, relative to my own understanding of costs in the U.S. My husband and I immediately made the decision that we would sponsor a child, which meant not only the initial year's sponsorship, but staying with her through graduating her secondary education. It would be unfair to the student and her family to send her to private school for only a year, and leave them without the resources to continue. So sponsoring meant committing, not once, but for years. We were prepared to do that.
And then the wheels started turning in my mind. There were likely others who would share this desire to help, and as I spoke the story to my friends and colleagues, offers to support started flowing in. Now, to discover exactly how all that might work! I have been blessed throughout my life with amazing connections and was able to call on the wisdom of many colleagues who had experience in areas I didn't.
Our initial goal was to get 16 children sponsored through the duration of their school by the end of 2020. But it's grown much bigger than that, and discussions have turned to building a school (or two)! So I will endeavor to keep my ear tuned to the plans God has for us.