Gulf for Good: Making a difference through adventure challenges

This month we sat down with Gulf for Good’s Governor in Dubai, Tricia Evans, to catch up on their activities. Thuraya has been a regular supporter of Gulf for Good, a Dubai-based charity organization for a few years now. We learned more about how G4G’s programs helps both its participants and its beneficiaries.

October was a packed month for the G4G team, with two separate teams embarking on eight-day challenges in Mongolia and Africa. The objectives of our cause are two-fold; to motivate participants to push their personal limits through extraordinary journeys while having fun and also make a positive change on the lives of underprivileged children.

G4G works with individual participants as well as organizations on adventure challenges which support worthy charities in the same country of the challenge. We provide trip and route planning, equipment, ensuring that travel conditions are safe and that there is always a senior member on the trip to oversee activities. We facilitate these challenges by helping participants prepare for their journey with endurance as well as survival skills training. Furthermore, each G4G adventure challenge is led by a challenge representative, who is well supported by a highly experienced local teams of ground handlers and local guides. Additionally, we provide our teams with mobile satellite communications equipment from Thuraya that helps them stay connected while they are trekking though terrain with no terrestrial connectivity.

The recently concluded Wilds of Mongolia challenge was completed with great success. Participants helped New Choice Charity by raising sponsorships that will be used to build a children’s health center. The Children's Centre will be built 30km outside Ulaanbaatar in the Gachuurt Village and will provide underprivileged children with long term medical treatment and care. The Centre will also provide a learning and recreational environment for children with down's syndrome. Participants on this challenge tested their mettle in a series of activities that included trekking, cycling and horse riding through Mongolia’s spectacular mountain passes, dramatic gorges and sparkling lakes in the fascinating land of Genghis Khan. I was part of the Mongolia challenge, my eighth life-changing journey.

In October, we also organized the Kilimanjaro challenge in Africa for one of Dubai’s leading media organizations, OmnicomMediaGroup. The OMG corporate challenge supports two charities, working for children’s welfare and education in Tanzania and PalestineThe quest to conquer 'Kili' (as she is affectionately known) or Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa and fourth highest of the Seven Summits is one of our most popular challenge. Kilimanjaro is considered the tallest freestanding mountain in the world, rising 15,100 feet (4,600 meters) from base to summit. It is also the most prominent mountain in Africa. The team took the Marangu route on the eastern side of the mountains, where we trekked through dramatically varying terrains including rain forests, meadows, moorlands and 'The Saddle' - a high altitude, 5km wide desert. The journey took us to the renowned Gilman's Point (5,681m) and the glaciated summit at Uhuru Peak (5,895m).

These adventure challenges are often described as a life changing journey by participants who stretch their limits; pushing themselves beyond their comfort zone and most importantly enjoying the challenge and experience, as can we see from the pictures that they share regularly.  Even better, almost 60 percent of our participants return to do another challenge.

Often because of the nature of the challenge, the challengers are cut off from civilization and modern amenities like the internet and the phone for most of their journey. Mobile satellite communication becomes the best way of ensuring that the group is connected with the G4G ground teams in case of any emergency. This communication channel also acts as a back-up for teams to send regular updates and pictures to the G4G team in Dubai. Communicating via satellite provides us with a sense security and peace of mind; knowing that we reach out touch if needed.

Working in G4G has been an amazing experience. Helping people overcome their personal challenges as well as working with charities has been highly rewarding and fulfilling. It is an experience that I recommend people undertake at least once in their life.

For any budding participants who would like to take on a G4G Challenge, I recommend joining our social media pages and attending our events. All the information about the challenges and events is available on our website. Review the information with your family, friends and colleagues. Who knows, they may want to come along for a life-changing journey for good cause! You can also sponsor a friend who has signed up for a challenge to help them meet their target. And if you would like to see more of our adventures, become our social media support and share our stories via our Facebook page.

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