Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

Alumni Stories > Alumni Grant Reports > Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro in aid of Dig Deep - Amena (2020 cohort)

Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro in aid of Dig Deep - Amena (2020 cohort)

Amena Boyd (2020 cohort) received an Alumni Grant funded by the TTS Foundation to climb Mt Kilimanjaro in aid of Dig Deep. 

2022-2023: Alumni Grant Report.

In November 2022 I signed up for a charity expedition to climb Mt Kilimanjaro to raise funds for Dig Deep, a UK-based charity who work on increasing access to running water and clean toilets in Bomet County, Kenya. In the 9 months leading up the challenge I had to fundraise almost £3000, a portion of which covered expedition costs – this was the aspect that the TTS Alumni Grant helped me with.  

After countless pub quizzes, physical challenges and more, I finally embarked on the expedition in August as part of the Birmingham and Wolverhampton team. There were 19 of us in total, all strangers, but we immediately got on like a house on fire. After various briefings and kit checks we all nervously headed to bed, ready to get climbing the next morning. 

We undertook the 6-day Machame route, the first four days of which are spent slowly winding your way up through different vegetation zones to reach an altitude of 4700m, from where you start the summit push. These four days were spectacular! The climate and surroundings changed drastically as we moved higher and higher, quickly transitioning from rainforest to scrubland, and finally to a rocky alpine desert. We arrived at each campsite drained and lightheaded but still found the energy to grab a cup of tea and sit to watch the sun set over Mt Meru in the distance, with a carpet of clouds below it. After a chilly dinner in the mess tent (on camp chairs brought all the way up by the absolutely heroic porters) we’d crash into our sleeping bags at the wild time of 7pm, ready to do it all again at 5am the next morning.  

ventually, we made it to Barafu Camp at 4700m, from where we would attempt the summit. At this point we were all beginning to feel the altitude so forced down some food, prepared our bags and tried to get some rest. At 11.30pm we surfaced from our tents and joined the trail of headtorches. The next 7 hours were some of the most gruelling of my life to date. Besides the freezing cold and biting wind, I was suffering quite badly from the altitude meaning every step required an enormous amount of effort. We had almost hit Stella Point (when you reach the ridge of the volcano’s crater) when the sun began to rise. This incredible sight spurred us all on for the last couple of hours to the summit, Uhuru Peak (5895m), where we celebrated, hugged, cried and took lots of photos. As I suffer from Epilepsy, I was unsure how I would fare in the altitude so had honestly not expected to summit, making this quite an emotional moment for me!  

fter some time, soaking in the view from the top we pretty much ran back down the dusty slope to camp, trying to reduce our altitude as quickly as possible. The achievement of having reached the summit, combined with increasing oxygen levels, gave us all such a feeling of elation – the final night on the mountain was filled with chatter and laughter! Despite the difficulty of the summit night, I didn’t want the expedition to be over.  

Once down the mountain, we celebrated with the porters, guides, cooks, medical staff and all the others who had supported the climb – I couldn’t believe how many people were involved in this venture. It sounds cheesy, but this was definitely the most transformative experience of my life and one I would recommend to anyone looking for a good challenge. I gained lots of self-confidence, met some amazing people, and raised money for a great cause in the process. A huge thanks to the TTS Alumni Grant team for supporting me in this, and good luck to all future applicants!  


Amena Boyd (2020 cohort) 


Tanglin Trust School Singapore has a long tradition of providing British-based learning with an international perspective. At Tanglin we strive to make every individual feel valued, happy and successful.

Find us at 95 Portsdown Road, Singapore 139299

Tanglin Trust School Ltd
Registration number : 196100114C
Registration period : 7 June 2023 to 6 June 2029

This website is powered by