AUGUST 17 2011 14:29h

Climbing Kilimanjaro to save lives

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JERUSALEM, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Twelve climbers from the U.S., Israel, Canada, Ethiopia and South Africa reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds to save 100 African children.

The Save A Child's Heart, a non-governmental organization based in Israel, said in a statement that doctors, volunteers and supporters climbed Africa's highest peak in an effort to raise $1 million needed to save the lives of 100 African children in need of urgent heart surgery.

It took six days of climbing under difficult conditions until the climbers reached the mountain top in Tanzania, Emma Hacohen project coordinator for the climb dubbed "Climb Your Heart Out: Mount Kilimanjaro 2011," said.

"The climbers arrived from different countries, speak different languages and are various ages, but they all share the same goal, to save lives of the children in Africa," she said in a statement released by the organization Monday.

The aim of the organization is to provide life-saving heart surgery and follow-up care for children from Africa, Iraq, the West Bank and Gaza.