About the climb

In February of 2023, two teams of Africa New Life friends and supporters will hike their way to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in support of Africa New Life’s Food and Care Program. Each year, these teams raise vital funds that support Africa New Life’s students and communities with nutritious meals and food provisions. When our 2020 Kilimanjaro team raised $122,000 for our Food and Care Program, they had no idea how their efforts would be critical to our emergency COVID-19 relief efforts just a couple of months later! We are full of joy and anticipation for all that our 2023 Kilimanjaro expeditions will accomplish!


Each year, the Food and Care Program provides more than 1.5 million meals to Rwanda’s children and families, and last year during the food scarcity caused by COVID-19, we provided meals and food packages to our students and their families. Supporting the Food and Care Program ensures that lunches will continue to be served in our schools and provided to families who need them most, and that students all across Rwanda can focus well at school and pursue their dreams!

Trip Leaders


Anne Koehler

I have so much respect for Africa New Life. From their small beginnings to the organization they are today is incredible. It is such a honor to support and be a part of this nonprofit. Between my five girls and myself we sponsor seven children. For them I climb for a second time raising funds for food with Africa New Life!

Kelli Magee

I was first introduced to the work of Africa New Life in 2014 through my work with Noonday Collection. I got the opportunity to travel to Rwanda that year and meet my sponsored student and her family. During my time there, we had the opportunity to serve lunch at the school in Bugesera and my heart found one of its purposes. Since then, my grandmother and I have supported Africa New Life’s food program each month. Fitness and the outdoors have also always been a passion of mine, so the opportunity to climb Kilimanjaro AND support the Food Program at the same time feels like a dream come true to me!



Donna Barrett

Donna Barrett

My motivation comes from my hope to help Africa New Life continue to provide millions of meals annually to families in Rwanda facing food scarcity. Africa New Life believes education is the key to helping children escape poverty. They also recognize that children need to be healthy to be successful in school and life, which is why their Food and Care Program provides regular, nutritious lunches to students in Africa New Life’s schools and food relief to families during emergencies. This year, food prices have nearly doubled in Rwanda, and severe droughts are impacting rural areas that rely on fishing and farming for their work and primary food source. The money raised through our climb is needed more than ever, and I am humbled to be part of the solution.


I’ve been to Rwanda through Africa New Life and IF. I’ve always wanted to go to Africa for unknown reasons. It just feels like home which is weird when I hadn’t been there until I went to Rwanda. I wanted to take a big step out in faith again. Especially financially. I can’t keep going through the motions waiting for something big to happen. I’ve had this hike on my heart for a few years so why wait???

Jenna Lavik

Jenna Lavik

There are many reasons why I am climbing Kilimanjaro… to be an example to my three boys, to build confidence in myself, to serve, to reconnect with my passions after being a stay at home mom for 10 years, and to experience a physical challenge that will represent the many mental challenges we will face in life and to overcome them.

Jen Mott-MuellerJenny

I have dreamed of climbing Kilimanjaro since my last trip to Kenya 30 years ago. I’m a wife, mother of 3, grandmother of 1, and a retired teacher and coach. My youngest daughter and I plan on hiking all our beautiful national parks, and we’ve done 14 so far. With the recent loss of both my parents, I’ve chosen to honor their passions: children and education. I will follow my dream of climbing Kilimanjaro to benefit the children of Rwanda so they may pursue their dreams.

Lindsey and Nolan Palmer

We are so excited to partner with Africa New Life and change the lives of many kids and families in need of food. Missions has always been a foundational part of our family values and when Nolan asked how he could help kids around the world, he said let’s drive to Africa (oh to have the child-like faith!). Since 4 years old, he’s wanted to be a doctor that help kids who do not have the money to get proper care or nutrition. We have been praying for tangible and new ways to serve others over the last several months. That’s when a friend dropped the idea of climbing Mt Kilimanjaro in our minds. God is at work in the lives of adults, but also in the lives of children who want to see their faith made sight. Before Nolan’s grandma (aka Wawa) passed away in 2020, she told him to always use his devoted heart to serve others…this is the first of many missions trips. He will honor his Wawa and God in it all. I am blessed to be lead by a dear family friend, an amazing group of people who share the heart of missions and, mostly, to experience this life changing event with my oldest son. We value your prayers as we prepare for this journey in the months ahead.

Tasha Penner

Several years ago, I heard about Africa New Life and, after doing research to make sure they are legit and transparent about their funds, I started sponsoring two girls. My sponsorship helps them go to school not hungry. I write them and they write me back. I pray for them. They pray for me. It’s beautiful. Of course, Joshua appreciates education as much as I do and we are now also sponsoring two boys.

This past summer brought droughts that severely affected families’ food supply. Africa New Life is providing immediate food relief to the hardest-hit families in their communities. 100% of your donation goes to their Food and Care Program. None of it goes to me. This is why I will be climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro next February 2023. My personal goal is to raise $15,000 or more.

Tobi SampleTobster

Of course I am climbing to raise awareness and raise funds for Africa New Life’s food program, however, there are so many other reasons. The most important reason, for myself, is so more children have the opportunity to DREAM big dreams! It is hard to dream and think of the future when you are hungry and unaware of where your next meal will come from. I fell in love with Rwanda and Africa New Life when I went there in 2018 and met my sponsored child and her family and saw first hand how the food program impacts the lives of SO many! I am so excited to be a part of this journey!

Helen Shearer

Helen Shearer

I have been blessed to live out many dreams. Africa New Life’s mission is “Let Every Child Dream.” We all need food in our bellies and education to dream. I went to Rwanda in 2014 on a medical mission, and I know Africa New Life lives out their mission. My sponsored student is now at senior status, a position few students get to in Rwanda. It has been my pleasure to watch her grow over the years. I’m climbing Kilimanjaro to raise money for food so more children can dream, while fulfilling a dream of my own.

Deb Tate

Deb Tate

Most of the problems of this world are too big for me to solve, but sponsoring children through Africa New Life has allowed me to chip away at one big problem by supporting students and their families with some basic needs. This climbing event is giving me the opportunity to band together with a group of amazing women to be effective on a much grander scale, while inviting supporters to participate in the impact that Africa New Life has on Rwandan families.

Team Leaders

Matt Stein

Matt Stein

In February of 2023, I will be joining a group of dedicated adventurers to embark on the difficult climb up Mt Kilimanjaro. Each of us has our reasons for wanting to summit the tallest peak in Africa, but one cause we all have in common is the desire to helps thousands of students receive consistent, nutritional meals. I have a goal of raising $20k in this effort, which will provide more than 24,000 meals for kids. All gifts will go to Africa New Life’s Food and Care Program – helping feed vulnerable children and families in Rwanda.

Team members

Chris Busby

I have loved being in the mountains my entire life and I think climbing them is a perfect metaphor for life. We all face difficulty in our life, but if we are to overcome those challenges, we must continue to take one step forward at a time. I also fell in love with the country and people of Rwanda after my first trip in 2016. We now sponsor 3 children, and I am excited to climb Kilimanjaro to raise funds to support the mission of Africa New Life.

Jovan Muhozi

Jovan Muhozi

Life is about giving. I strongly believe that all of us have been called to a place of serving others especially the vulnerable and the voiceless. Africa New Life Ministries has for 21 years been changing lives and communities in Rwanda through acts of compassion and the preaching gospel of Jesus Christ. Being on staff, I am a witness of that change, and the Kilimanjaro climb is a unique channel of an opportunity to express the love of Christ by raising money to the needs and vulnerable families, children will have food and bring back hope and the future.

James Oliver

James Oliver

I love the outdoors and hiking is one of my greatest passions. I am always thinking of and compiling lists of hikes I want to do and peaks I’d like to summit. My wife and I have been sponsoring a child through Africa New Life for 6 years and we both fell in love with the organization and the life changing work they are doing in Rwanda. I have an amazing family who appreciates and supports my love of hiking and when my wife told me about this opportunity to climb Africa’s tallest mountain, I got excited and knew right then and there this was a higher calling, one where I felt a huge tug from God to join. The challenge is one thing but knowing how our awareness and fundraising efforts are going to transform lives is the ultimate reason for embarking on this journey.

Justin Wang

The mission is ambitious; summit all 19,341′ of elevation at Mt. Kilimanjaro to inspire a fundraising goal of $19,341 ($1 for every foot of elevation gain). This February 2023 I’m asking you to join me and my family as we take on this challenge one step at a time. Jillian and I took our first step 5 years ago by sponsoring 2 children through Africa New Life’s Education sponsorship. We have witnessed the transformational impact an education makes on the trajectory of a child’s life and are excited to target the next goal of food security. All contributions will go towards Africa New Life’s Food program, providing more than 24,000 meals for vulnerable children and families in Rwanda.

Don’t Need to give to a specific team member?

Participate from America!

Start your own Facebook fundraiser and raise funds for the Food and Care Program alongside our Kilimanjaro teams!

Create your own Facebook Fundraiser!

Kilimanjaro 2017

Kilimanjaro 2018

Kilimanjaro 2020

climb photo gallery