A group of intrepid trekkers will embark on a trip to remember in April 2019, as they plan to complete the YP Space Everest Base Camp Community project. Local Anthony Abi-Saab is one member of this group, which aims to promote awareness of youth homelessness issues and to raise funds for YP Space Mid North Coast Inc., a local not for profit youth specialist homelessness service …
Hi Anthony. What’s your connection with the Greater Port Macquarie area?
I was born in the area and apart from attending high school/uni in Sydney and travelling overseas, I have lived most of my life in the Greater Port Macquarie area. Home is at Sancrox.
Tell us what you know about YP Space Mid North Coast …
YP SPACE MNC Inc is a not for profit youth specialist homelessness service that has been operating in the Port Macquarie / Hastings and Kempsey / Macleay LGAs for over 32 years.
YPS works with young people, aged 12 to 25 years, who are homeless or at risk of homelessness across our target LGAs. Their services are not just limited to providing a safe place for young people, but a range of emotional, financial support, including life skills to help these young people move into a positive future. The majority of young people YPS supports are experiencing homelessness due to domestic and family violence, child abuse and family breakdown.
Young people accessing YP Space services have generally experienced significant trauma in their lives and have developed survival skills that are perceived as negative and impacting on their health and wellbeing.
YP SPACE MNC Inc receives limited government funding and support. Port City Bowling Club limited has been working alongside the YPS’ amazing team over the past six months to provide assistance in the form of funding, whether it be donations tins, voluntary staff wage deductions, fund raising days and Christmas Charity donations.
What’s your association with YP Space?
I currently do not have any formal role with YP Space; however, I am happy to assist in this opportunity to raise awareness of youth homelessness on the Mid North Coast and to contribute to the raising of funds towards YP Space program improvements and plans for dealing with your homelessness.
You and some others will complete an epic journey in 2019. What’s the YPS Everest Base Camp Community Project involve?
The YP Space Everest Base Camp Community Project involves:
A trek to Everest Base camp with amazing views along the way, including Thyangboche Monastery; walking amongst the highest mountains in the world – the Himalayas; helping to restore Bhadra Ghale School with a community project day; insight into the local Sherpa culture and raising funds and awareness for youth homeless in our area.
We carry only a day pack, as we will be camping in camp sites, with facilities set up and waiting for us.
We fly into Kathmandu (elevation – 1,400 m) then fly to Lukla (elevation – 2,860 m) then commence our trek to Everest Base Camp (elevation – 5,380 m).
On our return we will have trekked approximately 130 km over a 14 day period, and we would have climbed about 2,500 m.
This trek is organised by Huma Charity
Challenge – a specialist provider of charity challenges, drawing on World Expedition’s experience and is supported by Port City Bowling Club.
When is this challenge set to take place?
This challenge will commence on 17th April 2019, when team members fly out of Sydney and travel to Kathmandu – Nepal.
The team will be away for about three weeks. I think we have at least 16 participants so far, and I believe that this is close to capacity for our group.
Why are you completing this challenge?
I love to travel and I have long wished to visit Nepal and trek to Everest Base Camp. I also like to keep fit. I feel the issue of youth homeless in our area (and all areas) is an important one to highlight.
The opportunity to combine the physical and mental challenge of this trek with helping to raise awareness and funds for youth homeless in our area proved an opportunity too good to pass on.
I hope to reach Everest Base Camp and see Mount Everest from viewpoints along our trek. I hope to be able to interact with the local Nepalese and learn more about their culture and life.
I believe the experience will be a very rewarding one, for many reasons. The local people; the fantastic scenery; the stillness and beauty; the mental and physical challenge of the trek; and the journey to the bottom of the tallest mountain on the planet – will all contribute to a much anticipated experience.
What preparation have you and your team mates been undertaking?
With three and a half months to go, preparation starts to get a little more focused. To date, training has included listening to a number of funny audiobooks (The Nepali Flat), reading up on websites about what it was like for others who have done this, including getting some training ideas and talking with individuals who have undertaken this trek.
General fitness involving strength and stamina training is obviously an important component to any longer term physical challenge. More specifically, it is important to simulate the conditions to be experienced during the challenge, and in this case it would be trekking up and down hills with a backpack.
To this extent, we have started to hike where we can with a backpack (12 kg) on my back. A few frequent visits locally include North Brother Mountain and the coastal walk between Town Beach and Lighthouse Beach. I am also really starting to like Harry’s Steps a lot more!
Along with this limited hiking practice so far, I have been working on my aerobic and strength training and of course, mental stamina.
Hopefully, we will get to do some training in higher elevated areas over the next few months.
How can we help your efforts, or find out more info?
All contributions will be greatly accepted. Donations over $2 are tax deductible and can be made by visiting the following Go Fund Raise web page: https://ypspaceeverestbasecampcommunityproject.gofundraise.com.au/page/AnthonyAbi-Saab
All donations received go to YP Space. All my travel expenses are paid by myself, and each of the other individual trekkers all pay their own way.
Please support this worthwhile cause. And just as importantly, please find out more about youth homeless on the Mid North Coast and within Australia and see if you too can make a difference in some way. Thank you.
For more info about YP Space MNC, please visit www.yps.org.au
Interview: Jo Robinson.