01 Oct 2013

The 80,000 Steps: fundraiser scales the Great Wall of China

Great wall of ChinaFundraiser Karl Djemal will be trekking 80,000 steps across the Great Wall of China later this month to raise funds for Action on Hearing Loss, a hearing support charity that helps his deaf son.

According to legend, a helpful dragon traced out the course of the Great Wall for the workforce. The builders subsequently followed the tracks of the dragon. Legend also has it that the Great Wall can be seen from the moon. Whether these tales of folklore are true, for fundraiser Karl, a trek along the wall will give a unique insight into China’s rich history.

The greatest engineering project of its time

The Great Wall of China is considered to be one of the most colossal engineering projects carried out by humans, especially for its time. Stretching over 13,170 miles, construction began in the fourth century B.C. Today, the wall is one of the seven, ancient wonders of the world.

The trek will cover 80,000 steps in all, taking in several sections of the Great Wall, including the Jinshanling, one of the best-preserved sections, and Gubeikou, an important historical pass. The Gubeikou served as an ancient checkpoint for travelers between the Northeast and Beijing.

Trekkers will also undertake an 8-hour walk through Black Dragon Pool Park – commonly referred to as the Temple of the Dragon King. The park was built in the 2nd year of Emperor QianLong's reign (1737) and is renowned for its crystal clean spring water.

Karl will be fundraising for national hearing support charity, Action on Hearing Loss. The trek is one of the charity’s numerous overseas fundraising adventure trips.

One in six

An estimated one in six of the UK’s population have some form of hearing loss.

Action on Hearing Loss campaigns for a world where hearing loss doesn't limit or label people, where tinnitus is silenced – and where people value and look after their hearing.

Apart from wanting to make a difference to those who suffer from some kind of hearing loss, it is also a very personal issue for him.

Karl’s nine year old son, Max, has hearing difficulties and wears hearing aids. Without the use of his hearing aids, Max can’t hear high frequency sounds.

Karl explains: “What does that mean? Well, without hearing aids he would struggle to understand speech because he wouldn't be able to hear consonants, such as the letters s, t, k, p and f. He would also not be able to hear things such as a bird singing or children talking.”

Ensuring 100 per cent of funds raised go to charity

Karl researched into online fundraising platforms that he could use to advertise his cause and accept donations.

He said: “MyDonate was the only one that does not charge for the use of their site and therefore 100 per cent of all donations go to the charity. This is very important to me as I wanted all the money I raised to go to Action on Hearing Loss.”

For Jo Pickard, head of community and event fundraising, using the MyDonate fundraising platform for the event programme makes sure more money goes Action on Hearing Loss, compared with using other online giving providers.

She said: “We’ve got hundreds of supporters taking part in any number of events (Great South Run, Royal Parks Half Marathon, Great Wall of China Trek) using MyDonate to gather sponsorship.”

You can view Karl’s fundraising page here.

BT has a long record of supporting people with hearing loss. To find out more please visit www.bt.com/hearinghealth. For more information about Action on Hearing Loss please visit their website.





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