Liza Avelino dedicated 2017 to train for Mt Kilimanjaro, to be the first Filipino domestic worker to summit Africa’s highest point. On 12 August she achieved her goal. Read about her climb and the new heights she plans to reach now that she is back in Hong Kong. Congratulations and welcome home, Liza!
HELP: What was your favourite moment on the climb?
Liza: My favourite moment on the climb was the last 10 steps towards the summit. I could see the goal, that had so long been in my head, right in front of me - the top of Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest point. I wanted to run but my legs were walking in slow motion.
I felt the tears swell in my eyes but I was smiling. I had made it.
HELP: What is your next big goal?
Liza: Climbing is my passion, and reaching Africa’s highest point this summer has affirmed this. My next big goal is my next big climb: the 96km trekking expedition of the WWII Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea.
HELP: How did it feel reaching Kilimanjaro's summit and what did it mean for you and your ambitions?
Liza: Without doubt I can say that it was a tough climb, both physically and mentally and because of how gruelling it had been, when I did finally reach the summit, I was ecstatic. I was beyond proud of myself and what I had just achieved. It affirmed the knowledge that success is not elusive and is never impossible. When you work hard and give your all you can make a reality out of what you only ever thought could be your wildest dream.
HELP: What are your plans for the near future?
Liza: I want to pursue a career in becoming a motivational speaker and travel writer. This has been a dream of mine before Kilimanjaro and it remains my next big dream. Excitingly, I can get started very soon! I have the honour of being one of the speakers for the TEDxTinHauWomen inaugural event this coming November, which is an amazing opportunity to kickstart this dream. I am excited to share my story and hope to inspire all who will be listening. I want to share with the world that you should believe in yourself, strive to work hard, give your everything, and can achieve all you hope to.
Liza’s story is one of aspiration, ambition and achievement. We thank Liza so much for using her climb to support the work we do here at HELP for Domestic Workers. Her journey is rooted in her motivation, her unwavering determination to re-humanise domestic workers as real people with real interests who are more than their jobs. There is still much to be done, if you have not already done so you are still able to donate towards Liza’s climb.