first_imgEvin with some of his fellow pupils at Deele College.When Raphoe schoolteacher Evin Devenney sat down to plan a new challenge at the start of the year he quickly realised he’d be going to new heights.That’s because he has set his sights on heading off this summer to climb Africa’s highest mountain – Mount Kilimanjaro.The 24-year-old St Johnston man teaches maths and science in Deele College and also takes a Leaving Certificate agricultural science class in the Royal and Prior School. And while he has always had an interest in helping charities he has never taken on anything of this magnitude before.“I always felt that whenever the time was right, I would help people as much as I could. That’s what I always wanted to do and it was one of the main reasons I became a teacher.“I have helped local charities and events lots of times but I still wanted to do something on a much bigger scale. In January when I was brainstorming and the opportunity to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro came on my radar, I saw it as the perfect opportunity to help people. I signed up for the expedition, without putting too much thought into it.”Stepping outside his comfort zone will see Evin head off to tackle Mount Kilimanjaro in July when he will climb for 8 days between 10th July and 21st. “I’m going on the expedition as part of Earth’s Edge, an Irish-owned adventure company. There is a group assembled for the expedition and we are scheduled to meet in May for a training weekend to prepare us for the challenging climb. In all there will be 8 days of climbinbg to the summit of the mountain that stands at at 5,895m which is over 19,300 feet.”He admits that, were he to think about it too much, the whole thing could become a bit overwhelming. Instead he has kept focus on the fact that he will take on the challenge to help raise funds for two very worthy causes, the Cancer Bus and Cancer Care West in Galway.“It is terrifying and exciting at the same time, but I’ve learned not to let the fear of it stop me from doing it. If I sit and ponder, I could talk myself out of it, but that would be the easy thing to do. I put my fear to one side and decided to go for the expedition anyway.It is a personal challenge too, to say that I have climbed it will be a great achievement for me. But the reason why I’m doing it is the real factor in my determination to reach the top of the mountain.“I never would have imagined ever signing up for an expedition. I’m not a mountain climber or even a hill walker! When I told family and friends, they thought I was crazy, but many people have successfully climbed the mountain before. I have a strong mindset and I think that being mentally prepared is just as important as being physically prepared.”Initially Evin had set a fundraising target of €3,000, but he has already surpassed that figure and while he has set a new target of €5,now he says he is just trying to raise as much as possible.“I wanted the charities to have all benefits from the money raised. So I decided to pay for the entire cost of the expedition on my own, so that all money raised goes directly towards the charity. It has been tough and the majority of my income over the past few months has been to pay for the expedition. But it isn’t about that for me. It’s about raising as much money as possible so that other people can benefit. I really believe that if you give, you will receive.” For now the focus is on the fundraising and on the training and he says while it will be physically demanding he’s certain that mental toughness is what is required to succeed.“I think that there is so much we can do, but fear holds us back. If we sit and brainstorm all our ideas, many of us wouldn’t even dare to do half of them because we are too afraid to do them.“Although it can be physically demanding, I think it will be more mentally challenging for me. But I have already have a vision in my mind of me standing at the top of the mountain. Once I have a vision of that, then I know I have to do it and I believe I can do it. It makes it easier than filling my mind with self-doubt and disbelief in myself.“I think that anyone can apply this to any aspect of their life. If they want something or have a burning desire for something, imagine it in your head, put aside fear and doubt and opportunities will come along to help you achieve what you are looking for.”On the fundraising side Evin says that the support and generosity of the general public has been fantastic. “I’ve already had some very successful events and I have managed to get a pair of signed gloves from Shay Given from the Republic of Ireland v Germany match last year. They are up for auction with the highest bid so far €410 and bids are still open.There will be more fundraising events in the coming weeks and months as well, but no dates have been finalised for those just yet.”Looking beyond Kilimanjaro Evin firmly believes he’ll be setting more challenges in the future with the aim of helping others in the process.“For me, Kilimanjaro is only the beginning in my mind. Yes it is a challenge, but I’ve already been thinking and planning my next challenge for when I return. My mission for Kilimanjaro is to help cancer patients and their families. Even if it just helps one person, then it would have been all worthwhile.“In the future, I would love to work with and support charities that provide help and support for mental health, especially amongsEVIN TAKES HIS CHARITY CHALLENGE TO NEW HEIGHTS! was last modified: April 14th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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