Asian Women Mean Business (AWMB) is planning on making history by climbing one of the
world’s tallest mountains—Mount Kilimanjaro.
This August, South Asian women from the United Kingdom will be reaching for the stars as they
take on Mount Kilimanjaro, the world’s highest freestanding mountain.
Asian Women Mean Business (AWMB) is a UK-based non-profit education and empowerment
organization, whose main mandate is to inspire and encourage Asian women to dream bigger. When it comes to making history, the platform means business. This will be the first group of all South Asian women who will exclusively take on one of the world’s greatest physical challenges and climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Located in Tanzania, the permanently snow-capped mountain is Africa’s tallest and stands at approximately 5,895 meters—or 19,340 feet.
Rupinder Kaur—the founder of AWMB—will join 14 other climbers, all of whom are British born
and of South Asian heritage. Needless to say, reaching the summit of the mountain will be no easy endeavor. If you’re looking for an equivalent comparison, then think of climbing London’s Big Ben 61 times! Of course, there will also be weather conditions to think about. The weather will actually be difficult to predict as it will vary. The team will camp in tents on bare mountain paths for six nights and the approach to the summit is said to be especially demanding. Although even at this point the women will be exhausted, they will set off precisely at 12:00 midnight local time in oxygen-thin air for one final six-hour push. Heading off towards Uhuru Peak and the summit, the team will have to maneuver themselves over loose boulders and across paths that pretty much vertical in places!
Despite the huge challenge and uncharted territory, Kaur is excited. “Climbing one of the seven
summits is huge, especially when you’re doing it for the first time with a group of women! There
are many reasons for assembling an exclusively South Asian group of women to undertake this
climb. Our foremost motivation is without a doubt that we want to show the world what South Asian women are capable of, above and beyond the typical stereotypes. We hope that this Kilimanjaro expedition provides an example to others of what is possible; that ultimately you can hit pause as an Asian woman, and seek personal accomplishment and adventure for you,” she has said.
“We are not doing this because we want to be film stars or to massage our ego,” the organization emphasized on social media. “We are taking part in this documentary because we believe this momentous occasion should be captured and serve as motivation to others in our community. This could be a legacy for our children, especially for our daughters to dream bigger and have the courage to follow those dreams.”
The expedition is self-funded, and the organization says that it is seeking funding of £90,000 to film, edit, and produce the documentary via sponsorship and crowdfunding. In addition to huge initiatives such as this one, AWMB has a range of coaching and workshop opportunities to help Asian women get on the path to reaching their highest potential. They also highlight Asian women-owned businesses and have an Inspire Club, and can even get you moving by offering a “What Is Your Purpose In Life?” The two-minute quiz can help you figure out and determine what excites, drives, and motivates you. We can imagine that the summer will be spent in the throes of extensive training which will include spending two days camping and trekking in the Surrey Hills. They’ll also be taking regular 14 mile hikes across the Chilterns as well as an overnight climb to Mount Snowdon’s summit! No doubt this spectacular event should be captured on camera for all eternity. The team of women will have a film crew, spear-headed by Regmat Ryatt who is an award-winning documentary filmmaker to document this once-in-a-lifetime expedition. The crew will follow the group all the way from training in the UK right through to the climactic climb in Tanzania. Ryatt has won several awards for his film Toxification, and we cannot wait to see the video of this extraordinary group of women as they take on the biggest endeavor—quite literally—of their lives.
To take part virtually in these brave women’s journeys as well as support the expedition
financially, please follow Asian Women Mean Business on Instagram @a.w.m.b for the latest
updates. For more information, please also visit the Asian Women Mean Business website at
Wendy Kaur is a Toronto-based writer and journalist whose work has appeared in The Globe & Mail, ELLE USA, ELLE Canada, British Vogue, Town & Country, and others.