JCI Journey: How Anne-Marie Conquered a Mountain

JCI Journey: How Anne-Marie Conquered a Mountain

June 15, 2018 1:58 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

As part of our series of ‘JCI Journeys,’ we’re showcasing members who’ve achieved our 2018 slogan: Be a World Changer.

In this blog, we interviewed JCI Brighton‘s 2017 President, Anne-Marie Lestic. Below, Anne-Marie shares her amazing experience of climbing Mount. Kilimanjaro, how the challenge inspired the JCI Youth Summit, and how you can get involved in 2019.

The mountaineers holding a JCI banner

Spreading the word of JCI!

Hi Anne-Marie! What inspired this incredible challenge?

After an intense weekend with lots of sleep deprivation, I had an idea. As many great ideas begin, I was bored and seeking a challenge that would really push my limits. I started believing that climbing Kilimanjaro would be a real challenge.

Whilst researching the daunting trek, I called a newly-made friend from JCI Denmark who’d climbed Kilimanjaro 5 years ago. He gave me lots of useful advice…and then said I’d inspired him to climb the mountain again. I didn’t expect him to make me accountable for anything! I knew then that I needed to actually put my words in action. Who does that?!

We did.

As more and more people showed interest, we decided to turn the trek into a project for members to not only challenge themselves, but to make a positive impact on the world. How? Either by challenging themselves to climb the mountain, or by donating money to Nothing But Nets, a fantastic charity that provides mosquito nets to help eradicate malaria in Africa.

Amazing! Where there any particularly memorable moments?

We started the climb on the 4th of February. After 6 days of walking across the mountain, we were reaching altitude sickness and truly pushing the limits of physical pain and self sabotage. On the peak day, after 6 hours, 47 days of walking uphill – and being greeted by a beautiful sunrise – all 8 members of our team reached the altitude of 5,895m/19,341 feet, where the temperature was – 15°C.

2 people posing in front of a sunset

Creative way to frame the sunset

Signposts at the peak of Kilimanjaro

At the Uhuru Peak of Mount. Kilimanjaro

What’s your biggest takeaway from the project?

This challenge is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. It also gave me the best lesson I’ve learnt to date: If you want to make the world a better place, be a world changer!

JCI member sat admiring the clouds on Kilimanjaro

Self-reflection or cloud watching?

We were also delighted to raise $13,000 for Nothing but Nets. It’s incredible to think that the donation will help save 3,900 lives.

Sounds great! Are there any similar events in the pipeline?

Inspired by our life-changing experiences, we set up JCI Youth Summit. We’ll once again be climbing Kilimanjaro from the 31st January to the 10th February 2019. If you’re interested in challenging yourself and helping us achieve the project’s vision – ‘To change lives for a more sustainable future – you can sign up here. For more information about JCI Youth Summit, contact Kilimanjaro.jci@gmail.com.

Tents pitched under a starry night

Starry, starry night


Inspired by Anne-Marie’s JCI Journey?

For only £10 per month (£5 for full-time students) you can also get involved with our incredible international opportunities. Sign up for membership here or search for your nearest chamber via our handy directory.

If you’d like further information about international events, please contact our 2018 International Director, Lindsay McAteer.

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This post was written by Hannah Woodcock

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