The Foundation of Goodness is a holistic rural development model that seeks to bridge the urban-rural divide in Sri Lanka via 10 empowerment divisions across 900+ villages island-wide, and reached over 307,000+ beneficiaries in 2022 alone by way of 15 Empowerment Centres, free of cost.
At the Foundation of Goodness, we were deeply moved by the remarkable journey of Richard Haughton and his family, who embarked on the formidable challenge of conquering Mount Kilimanjaro with unwavering determination in September 2023. Their incredible feat is dedicated to raising funds for the Meth Sewa Foundation, and the generous donation facilitated by the Foundation of Goodness is set to contribute to the well-being of the children at the Mentally and Physically Handicapped Children’s at the Home.
Below is Richards own account of his adventure.
“We knew we would be way outside our comfort zone climbing Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, but the challenges of physical tiredness, altitude sickness, freezing temperatures, no shower for 7 days and mental fatigue were harder than we expected. But going above and beyond our limits is what shapes us and makes us stronger.
My 19 year old son, 16 year old daughter and I accepted this was going to be tough and possibly beyond our breaking points, but we were highly motivated. We wanted to attempt this climb together as a family and also raise funds to support the Foundation of Goodness, particularly the incredible work at Meth Sewa. We paid all trip expenses ourselves, but 100% of all donations would go to a great cause in Sri Lanka.
I had visited Meth Sewa in 2017 when driving a Tuk Tuk 1,250km around Sri Lanka with my Dad and was really humbled by what I saw. At the time there were maybe 100 disabled children and adults being cared for and it was clear that any help we could provide would make a tangible positive contribution to their lives and to their carers. This experience has stayed with me ever since.
During our climb we all experienced altitude sickness; my daughter suffering the worst with headaches, loss of appetite and physical sickness, but she bravely carried on and did not give up despite these problems. In our group of 12 hikers, 5 people did not make it to the summit – which illustrates how demanding it is.
We helped keep each other going, slowly, one little step after another. Hearts beating much faster than normal due to low oxygen at almost 6,000 metres above sea level, but after 5 days of hiking we successfully made it to the top. I cannnot describe in words how proud I was to see my children overcome their difficulties to accomplish climbing this mountain and also help other children in Sri Lanka through their efforts.
Few experiences in life have been so richly rewarding and I want to thank FOG and Meth Sewa for giving us the opportunity to help and also to the many people donating so generously at a difficult financial time for many families.’
– Richard, Jonathan and Hayley Houghton.