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Project Elevation in New Orleans, LA

Updated on July 11, 2017

The Mission....the Goal....empowerment

Project Elevation aims to fight violence against women by demonstrating the innate strength of the women involved. Our team will unite our hometown, New Orleans, LA, with a sister city, Moshi, Tanzania, through a group hike up Mount Kilamanjaro to Uhuru Peak. Through sponsorships, our hikers will raise funds for organizations in both cities that work to empower local women, while also raising awareness of our cause. Our hike will prove the might of women when given the opportunity, and we hope that just as we ascend from one of the lowest points in the United States to the highest point in Africa, the women supported by our mission will also overcome the necessary obstacles to find elevation in society.

Tackling Violence Against Women In Africa

"The United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women of 1993, defined violence against women as ‘any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.’

In a 2005 study, the World Health Organization (WHO) observed that domestic violence is a global problem affecting millions of women. However, African women are the worst affected by violence. For example about 51 percent of African women have been victims of violence, 11 percent suffer violence during pregnancy, 21 percent marry before the age of fifteen and 24 percent experience female genital mutilation (FGM).

The WHO noted that FGM could lead to “bleeding and infection, urinary incontinence, difficulties with childbirth and even death.” The organization estimates that 130 million girls have undergone the procedure globally and 2 million are at risk each year, despite international agreements banning the practice."

By Stan Chu Ilo

Cafe Istanbul at the Healing Center 4/16/13

The first fundraiser for Project Elevation was absolutely amazing. The energy in the room was magnetic and full of the most unique and diverse people. I was impressed with how organized everything was for the first of three events this summer. Betina Brockcamp picked an amazing line-up of music for everyone to enjoy; and I don't think many people left empty handed with the amount of amazing items that were up for raffle. I am truly looking forward to the next event and having a tough time deciding which hiker to sponsor since they are all super stars!

Letter to Friends and Family


By Betina Brockamp

I have been waiting for this day to arrive. Here it is, Facebook family. Please just take a moment to read my letter and please share it with everyone you know:

Dear Friends and Family,

I am organizing a climb to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa at 19,341 feet above sea level. However, this will be no ordinary climb. There comes a time when we must all realize we can actively bring change in our world, and I’m thinking this is that time for me.

This is where the inspiration for this project began:

As 2012 was coming to a close, a 23-year old Indian woman died following a brutal sexual assault by five men on a bus, and a 16-year old girl in Ohio was repeatedly raped by a group of high school football players. These two high profile violent sexual assault cases took over the media, and I became consumed by the stories. But I knew, too, that there were thousands more like them, happening everywhere, all the time—scandalized or ignored, these crimes were ubiquitous. All I could do was cry and ask “What the hell is wrong with people?”

But was that actually all I could do? It occurred to me—NO! There are things I can do, and I’m going to do them! I approached a good friend of mine from roller derby, Jas Lounge, and asked if she would be interested in hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro with me.

It would be a big feat for us, but we could make it even bigger. Why not do it for a cause? Why not do it to raise awareness of violence against women? Why not do it to help empower women, to raise money and give them a fighting chance?

Over the course of our planning, we’ve grown into a team of passionate people, people who give a damn about what happens to women across the globe. What started as an idea grew into the worldwide network that makes up Project Elevation—literally! We have people in all corners of the U.S., South America, and Africa—and I am grateful to everyone who has contributed to the cause.

What I am asking of you?

We are connected in some way or you wouldn’t be reading this—we’ve met personally, you know a friend of mine, or you’ve inadvertently become a part of our network by stumbling upon this site. I need your help to make Project Elevation reach even farther. Share this letter with your friends and talk to people about the project. Please help us reach our fundraising goals! Thank you for your time and I hope you decide to jump onboard with me!

To learn more about Project Elevation:

Visit our website:

Visit our Facebook:

Passionately and sincerely,



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    • DerbyDevil1974 profile imageAUTHOR

      Holley Rich Coleman 

      8 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      thanks so much! I think this is a wonderful way to help get the word out there on Project Elevation and to keep people in the loop about the next two upcoming events in New Orleans. xox

    • Cerebral Aspect profile image

      Cerebral Aspect 

      8 years ago from Detroit, MI

      Congratulations on your first hub! Very well written and an important issue! I joined a little less than a month ago myself.


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