Andrew Patterson (38) an avid hiker and entrepreneur, originally from Johannesburg has put together an innovative crowdfunding campaign in hopes to transform 1 million lives in 365 days.
With his 365 Ubuntu Climbs initiative, Andrew has pledged to hike up Table Mountain everyday in 2018 to raise R1 million on donations-based crowdfunding platform, BackaBuddy. The funds managed directly by BackaBuddy NPC, will be distributed to the following 3 non-profit organizations.
“I aim to empower 1 million South Africans that through no fault of their own started on the back foot in life.” – says Andrew
- Habitat for Humanity, to build homes for the disadvantage and fulfill their basic right to safety against the elements. “Habitat for Humanity is an organization I got my previous company involved with after Nelson Mandela passed away, where we hoped to build two homes a month for the less fortunate.” – says Andrew
- One Heart For Kids, to teach children the value and importance of reading and writing to positively impact South Africa’s literacy rate. “ I met, Lisa Thompson-Smeddle, the founder of One Heart For Kids, the day after I had my idea and she had so many ideas and was so supportive.” – Says Andrew.
- The Sunflower Fund, to create awareness around Leukaemia in South Africa, in hopes to increase their donor base. “I’ve worked with the Sunflower Fund in the past, raising money during Argus season for the past 5 years.“
Enchanted by Cape Town’s remarkable beauty and taking into consideration the unfortunate circumstances some South Africans are born into, Andrew decided to dedicate his year to a cause bigger than himself.
“Eight days before my last day of work the idea came to me whilst driving past the mountain on my way to Stellenbosch. My retrenchment was effective July 1st and instead of returning to corporate life – I decided to focus on honouring my idea which I treated like a business training both my body and my mind simultaneously. ” – says Andrew.
Although Andrew had been involved in a number of adventure activities in aid of various charities, he had never attempted a project on this scale, that would require this level of commitment and strain on his body. Thus began a comprehensive training schedule, which involved at least 3 hikes up table mountain a week.
For his final training challenge, Andrew conquered 9 peaks in a row, completing a hike up Lions Head and Table Mountain on the same day.
Whilst the majority of South Africans were on the receiving end of New Year’s celebrations, Andrew’s year started bright and early.
With words of encouragement from his mom and aunt and a ‘high five’ from friend, David Thompson, Andrew made his way up Table Mountain, where he watched the first sunrise of 2018 on top of Cape Town’s most popular peak.
“The saying ‘the longest journey always begins with the first step’ has never been more appropriate for me than 4:33 am on January 1st when I began my year long journey” – says Andrew
Understanding the monumental task in front of him, Andrew shares the method to his madness, his mantra for 2018, “It’s one step at a time”
“Sometimes you might feel overwhelmed by an idea you have or a task you need to complete. These can all be broken down into bite size chunks. 365 sounds a lot; focusing on the one I need to do today sounds much more manageable doesn’t it? Focusing on just the very next step means before you know it – you’ve completed a quarter of the climb; half the climb; the whole climb. Whatever you tackle in life.” Says Andrew.
Although Andrew’s campaign was met with mixed reactions, he remained headstrong and has already completed a total of 19 climbs and has raised an impressive R39 875 through BackaBuddy. He’s also been joined by 3 international climbers so far and has secured donations from New Zealand, Iceland, USA, Belgium, Denmark and Germany. Local tour guides are also pledging their support to tell as many of their guests about it to join and contribute.
“Some people were very supportive and understood right away what the scope and potential of the BackaBuddy campaign was; others needed more time to get there. The reality is when I had this idea; it didn’t matter what anyone told me. I knew that it was a powerful idea it was and nothing would stop me from doing it.” – says Andrew
How to get involved:
Andrew would like to encourage all South Africans to donate to his project to create a positive impact on those less fortunate.
By making a donation via ’s BackaBuddy campaign, donors will be invited to join the experience on a day of their choosing. Weather permitting, Andrew suggests a 6am early start or a late afternoon hike starting around 3 pm.
Andrew’s project is a perfect fit for a successful crowdfunding campaign: the idea of reaching a sizeable target through many small contributions from a network of individuals who share your passion, illustrates our collective potential to bring about meaningful change.
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