Step Up – I Want To Walk Kilimanjaro

Support Sasha’s every STEP UP, he is making them on prosthetics from June 17th to June 22nd! Help Sasha raise funds for children with disability – ONE STEP – ONE DOLLAR


A team of 10 volunteers will climb Mount Kilimanjaro In June 2012 with Sasha D’Jamoos and Sasha Pochilko, two of the children who got access to prosthetics through the I Want To Walk program (program ran by Happy Families, Artist Foundation and the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children ).

Our goal is to show that nothing is impossible or unreachable! A photography exhibition will be held upon our return to raise awareness towards disabled children.

You can help us fund this wonderful experience by participating to our ONE STEP – ONE DOLLAR program.

Sasha will attempt to climb the 3720 meters to reach the second camp towards the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, equaling to approximately 5500 steps!

We need your help! Sasha will climb as high as he can to support people with disabilities.

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“I Want to Walk Kilimanjaro” is a great partnership opportunity! It is a new project from Happy Families International Center. The purpose of the project is to support children with disabilities, many of whom are stuck in the orphanages. The goal is to show what they can achieve in spite of their physical limitations, and to give them hope for a better life.

Alex D’Jamoos, previously known as Sasha Shulchev, was born with no legs and spent most of his life at an orphanage in Russia. His biggest wish was to be able to walk someday. His desire was so passionate that he touched the hearts of many people, who decided to help make his dream come true. Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children agreed to provide surgery and make prosthetics. Sasha endured the amputation of his deformed legs, phantom pains, a language barrier, many fears and much more. But it was all worth it after Sasha began to walk! The family that had hosted Sasha during his surgery and adaptation could not imagine letting him return to the orphanage and they became his family forever.

Today, Alex is an incredibly bright and sociable young man. He speaks English fluently and has mastered French; he was accepted to a great college and is pursuing his career path. Not only did Alex learn to walk, but he even learned how to ski! Now Alex wants to help other children like him believe in themselves and achieve their goals, so he decided to embark on an extraordinary journey and task – to will climb Mt. Kilimanjaro!

Alex will be climbing with a group of 10 volunteers to Kilimanjaro in June of 2012, through Happy Families’ Program “I Want to Walk”. New York Times photographer Eric Johnson will be walking with Alex and making photo and video footage for the project. After the walk is completed a photo exhibit will be held. The approximate cost per person $4,000, which include the air and ground transportation, climbing accommodations, fees for the National Park’s guides and porters, visa, insurance & the necessary supplies.

The program “I Want to Walk” was created by Happy Families in 2007 and since 2009 has been running in partnership with the Artist Foundation in Russia. The program helps orphaned children obtain their dream of walking. The program is currently developing further – in order to assist children, when they leave the orphanage and help them to walk through life on their own. Happy Families developed a relationship with Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, which provide the best prosthetic surgery and physical therapy. The program includes the training of Russian doctors. Already, seven children received prosthetics. Among this group, three children found families and four already went to college. Twenty-five children received medical consultations and hundreds got necessary medical supplies. Through “I want to walk” Happy Families provides various types of training and education for children, helping them to make the first step outside the orphanage and begin their independent lives.

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