TWO kind-hearted students are aiming to climb Mount Kilimanjaro – weeks before they graduate.

Joe Shippam and Sophia Rushforth will be climbing Africa’s highest peak for the Child’s Reach charity.

The challenge comes a year after the Huddersfield University duo went to Tanzania to work with disabled children.

Now they are set to complete the challenge of a lifetime just weeks after finishing their physiotherapy degrees.

Joe said: “Last year we went to Africa with the Tanzania Eco-Volunteerism to work on environmental and community orientated projects.

“We went as we wanted to see the different we could make to the children’s lives using our knowledge and skills gained from our physiotherapy degrees.

“We helped in a school for children with mental disabilities in Tanga and took on an extra project to renovate a derelict classroom, turning it into a playroom with various murals painted to help them develop and challenge their mental ability while making it fun.”

The duo did some trekking in Tanzania last year on their free weekends, but nothing on this scale.

They will climb Kilimanjaro on June 23 and will spend the time trekking up the mountain, following in the footsteps of popstars Cheryl Cole and Gary Barlow who recently completed the climb.

They will return in time for their graduation on July 13.

Sophia added: “The work we did last year had a huge impact on us so we wanted to do something again because we also saw what a difference it made to the kids and Child Reach works with some of the most vulnerable kids.”

Joe and Sophia have to raise £2,200 each to make the trip, with the majority of the funds going to the charity, and will be bag packing in supermarkets and holding raffles.

Joe added: “I’ve heard about the Comic Relief walkers and the amount they have raised is amazing – it’s an experience we can’t wait for.”

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