Home' The Great Southern Star : August 9th 2016 Contents PAGE 22 - “THE STAR” Tuesday, August 9, 2016
By Brad Lester
INDONESIANS are smiling and
they have South Gippsland to
Inverloch’s Fleur Speed recently took
eight wheelchairs, two walking frames
and three sets of crutches to people in
need on the island of Lombok.
The goods, as well as boxes of medi-
cal equipment and toys for children,
were sponsored by donations from South
Gippslanders, and particularly Inverloch,
within the short space of just two weeks.
“Inverloch as a community, especially
with what is going on with the farmers,
really wants to help,” Ms Speed said.
“We even had a local lady, Peny Id-
don, and her children make and sell
$400 worth of quince jam and donate
Ms Speed met with island officials and
police to ensure donations were given to
“The wheelchairs to buy in Indonesia
would cost $10,000 so they do not usu-
ally want you to bring these things in,”
Ms Speed said.
She also covered the surgical and
medical costs of a girl hit by a motorbike
whose family otherwise would not have
been able to afford treatment.
A foundation she has established –
The Garden City – has received a dona-
tion of three acres of land with derelict
buildings in Mataram, the main city on
Lombok, for 15 years.
The foundation will build a commu-
nity centre to service locals’ needs, in-
cluding a hospital house that will enable
children to receive hospital treatment and
their families to stay for the duration of
Families will also receive informa-
tion about vaccinations and family plan-
ning from volunteer nurses and teachers
expected to come from around the world
“The community centre will take six
years to build and we’re hoping to have
progress within 18 months,” Ms Speed
The foundation also paid for a boy to
study hospitality to give him hope of a
Ms Speed will be organising further
fundraisers and welcomes donations at
the office of her employer Southcoast
First National Real Estate, Inverloch.
LOCAL uncle and niece adventure duo,
Jim Newton, Leongatha and Kristy-Lee
Jones successfully summited Mt Kiliman-
jaro recently, the world’s tallest free stand-
ing mountain in Tanzania, East Africa.
Jim and Kristy-Lee climbed the Machame route
that took them seven days, summiting to Uhuru peak
at 7am on July 17. With temperatures of up to -22
degrees the climb is definitely no walk in the park
but both agreed the breathtaking sunrise and stunning
views of the glaciers is well worth the challenge.
Reflecting on the summit climb and Kristy-Lee
said, “It is hard to explain, no words or photos will
give the experience justice.
“The overwhelming feeling of happiness and
seeing one of nature’s beauties literally leaves you
feeling on top of Africa”.
Jim said, “It was one of the hardest things I
have done, I suffered some minor altitude sick-
ness with a headache and it definitely got the heart
pumping at times but it was one of the best things I
have done in my life and I loved doing it with little
pocket rocket Kristy-Lee.”
Jim and Kristy-Lee have been travelling East
Africa for the past three and a half weeks with Na-
than Taiaroa, founder of the Adventure Out Loud,
an Australian based tour company specialising in
delivering authentic travel experiences.
The adventurous duo also hiked up the world’s
coolest temperature active volcano Ol Doinyo
Lengai, located in the Gregory Rift, south of Lake
Natron in Tanzania. Standing at 2,980m above sea
level, the climb took 16 hours to summit and de-
scend and proved the perfect training for the big
Mt Kilimanjaro climb.
“It was quite the hike being so steep and defi-
nitely challenged all who climbed but what an ex-
perience it was,” Kristy-Lee said.
“The view from the crater at the top just after sun-
rise was spectacular, I remember standing up there
and looking back down over the plains and feeling a
great sense of achievement. It was amazing.”
As part of their African adventure Kristy-Lee
and Jim fundraised to sponsor a full year ’s educa-
tion for three students who are living in the Kibera
Slum, Africa’s largest urban slum and one of the
world’s biggest slums.
Kristy-Lee was fortunate enough to meet one
of her sponsor’s aunts at her home.
“There are not too many times where I am lost
for words, seeing the difference your sponsorship
can make and having that personal connection when
visiting the aunt’s home was overwhelming and I
struggled to hold back the tears,” Kristy-Lee said.
Jim agreed and said, “No one should have to
grow up in an environment like that in the Kibera
Slum, yet they make the most out of nothing and
still manage to enjoy life”.
Both Jim and Kristy-Lee could not speak more
highly of the experiences and friendships created
whilst stepping in to the shoes of those living in the
slums all thanks to the relationships Adventure Out
Loud has built with The Mirror of Hope, a commu-
nity based organisation dedicated primarily to serving
AIDS – affected children in Kibera Nairobi.
Prior to departing on their east African adven-
ture the Leongatha newsagency generously donat-
ed a significant amount of stationary and stickers
to give to students in East Africa. The stationary
supplies were welcomed by many schools includ-
ing the East Meru Community School, opened in
2012 to offer a free education to students from dis-
Jim was not only in his element using his con-
creting skills around the school but he also loved
the interaction with the students.
“The energy and infectious smiles you see
when playing with the students is so warming, you
cannot help but be a big kid yourself and join in on
the little things in life that you take for granted in
your day to day living,” Kristy-Lee said.
After an incredible month in East Africa, full of
so many memorable moments, the duo is now home
in Australia, both with warm hearts, big smiles,
many stories to share and of course planning their
return to East Africa in the not too distant future.
More photos on The Star’s Facebook page.
Helping hand: Fleur Speed (centre) of Inverloch visits Mataram
Lombok blind orphanage with her daughter Arabella, who has
helped her mother undertake aid in Indonesia since she was seven.
Indonesians thank Inverloch
Life at the top: Leongatha’s intrepid adventurer Jim Newton and niece Kristy-Lee Jones
have returned home after climbing the world’s tallest free standing mountain Mount Kili-
manjaro in Tanzania.
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