Freedom Climb was conceived and launched by the late Cathey Anderson. What started as a grand idea has now become a global movement called the Freedom Challenge, with climbs and physical challenges all over the world. “Trafficking is a worldwide epidemic,” said Cathey. “Freedom Climb attacks the problem at the source — in countries where women and children are most vulnerable.”
In just four years, The Freedom Climb expanded to the Freedom Challenge and has raised nearly $5 million for programs working to end the oppression of women and children in slavery globally. The movement has attracted hundreds of women across the U.S. as well as from other countries. The money raised to date represents opportunity for over 50,000 women and children living under oppressive conditions in 30 countries who have already been impacted and put on the path to freedom.
The Freedom Challenge is a unique cause-driven organization. Through mid- and large-scale community events, women gather to participate in physical challenge events together such as scaling the world’s largest mountains, running 5k and 10k courses together, daily fitness tracking campaigns and more. The women who sign-up to participate then petition their community, family and friends to sponsor them financially.
Funds raised support programs and activities facilitated by Operation Mobilization (OM), the founding organization of The Freedom Challenge and an international missions organization working in over 118 countries worldwide. OM’s four-part strategy to impact modern day slavery includes prevention, development, rescue and restoration activities which have proven successful in several target regions. In some countries, self-help group models are being employed where successful graduation of programs spawn new self-replicating groups reaching more and more women in the area over time.
“When we get our community involved, we are raising awareness about this issue,” said Tina Yeager, US Director of The Freedom Challenge. “When women announce they are going to climb a mountain, walk or run and donate all funds raised to free a woman from modern day slavery, it’s exciting. Her friends and family join together to support her efforts. We’ve seen how they all become inspired.”
The challenge does not stop there. Additional Freedom Challenges this year feature climbs in Estes Park, Colorado, and Machu Picchu, Peru. or Freedom Circles which support both local organizations and international OM projects all year long.
New supporters can join the movement and support the team as they raise funds and awareness for their challenge. For more information, visit www.thefreedomchallenge.com.