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Fijian quest

Mere Naleba
Sunday, January 19, 2014

A FIJI-born woman, now living in Australia for almost 30 years, is planning to trek to the base camp of Mt Everest in her bid to raise funds to help the "forgotten lot of society".

Jean Mar, 41, a member of the SistazUnite Charity Club in Australia hopes to raise enough funds in order to assist families of those who are incarcerated in correction centres in Fiji.

Ms Mar, born and bred in Suva, says the 17-day trek to the base camp of the highest mountain in the world is a challenge she welcomes.

"This is something I have always wanted. I have been training for this, and training started in August last year. This trek is the closest I can get to God on foot," she said.

She said the funds raised from the 18,000 feet trek would be spent on helping single mothers with newborn babies at the hospital as well as inmates who had left behind their spouses and children to struggle for their lives.

"Most of the prisoners who are in jail were once breadwinners of their families, and so we are trying to help out these families," she said.

"We are hoping to get the Fiji Corrections Service as well as the organisation that looks at the inmates' families to help us identify inmates whose families are struggling to put food on the table."

In her preparation for the trek, Ms Mar has two personal trainers and has been running and swimming a lot as part of her training exercise.

She is expected to live for the Himalayas on April 19, and will start her trek up through the South base camp in Nepal on April 21.

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