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Shivana, 9, conquers fear of heights, raising £13,000 for children in Kenya

Eyleen Gomez

Shivana Tulsidas Gulraj has conquered her fear of heights by climbing Mediterranean Step, raising over £13,000 in the process for 12 young children in Kenya.

The money will go towards building a home for these children who live in a remote village in Nyahururu.

Joining Shivana, who is nine years old, were friends and family members but also the person who inspired her to overcome her fears, Dr Meenal Viz, who carried her baby Radhika in a pouch the whole way.

The duo’s story started when Shivana saw Dr Viz on the television and reached out to her to tell her that she was inspiration.

Weeks of training and preparation ensued.

At Jew’s Gate on Saturday morning, a small crowd gathered ready to support and encourage Shivana.

As the young fundraiser set off on her near 2km vertical climb, there was not a hint of her fear of heights.

Laughing with friends, she paused to look at some Barbary Macaques in the distance and commented on how “cute” they were.

As she hiked upwards, the fear never raised its head and in fact, when asked about two thirds of the way up how she was feeling, she replied: “I believe in myself.”

A strong affirmation and an example of the determination packed into such a petite young girl.

Pausing a couple of times for a drink, there was much laughter and enjoyment as Shivana, Dr Viz and their entourage made their way to O’Hara’s Battery.

Once there, there was a combination of relief and disbelief from Shivana and she could not believe she had done it.

Dr Viz took her last step up to the top with Shivana leading and stated how proud she was of the young girl.

To donate and help visit https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/kenya-childrens-home

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