An intrepid trekker from Stourbridge, United Kingdom, is preparing for Mount Everest.
Ishtiaq Hussain, aged 37, has signed up for a trek to Base Camp on the world's highest mountain, Mount Everest, in aid of Penny Appeal's Rebuilding Pakistan Appeal, which aims to rebuild the village of Kamar Mashani in the Punjab region of Pakistan.
Countless villages in the region were swept away by the devastating floods that followed the heavy monsoon rains in July 2010, and which killed at least 1,700 people and displaced over six million others.
Ishtiaq is profoundly deaf and a teacher of British Sign Language, who lives in the Lye area of Stourbridge. He commented: "I visited Pakistan in April, where family and deaf friends told me about the devastation brought by the floods. My heart sank knowing that families have lost lives, homes and livestock, and whole villages have been wiped out. It's impossible for me come back home and carry on as normal. I have a good family life and a stable home which I am so grateful for. So I felt I needed to do something."
"I am looking forward to reaching Base Camp, which is a hard and risky challenge and to knowing that I have achieved my goal and raised as much money as I can to make the rebuilding project happen. That will be a very proud moment for me."
At 5,360 metres, the Everest South Base Camp in Nepal offers a serious challenge for even experienced walkers, but the breathtaking panoramic views that take in eight of the world's highest mountains will make the trek a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Adeem Younis, Chairman of UK-based Penny Appeal, said: "The Everest Base Camp trek is all about remembering the plight of the forgotten victims of the Pakistan floods. We're aiming to raise over 40,000 - enough money to build a small village of two-bedroom houses, as well as to construct wells and distribute much-needed aid packages."
The charity trek takes place from 2nd to 18th December 2011 and Ishtiaq has set himself a fundraising target of 3,500. Donations are welcomed and can be made at www.justgiving.com/Ishtiaq-Hussain0.
"It's a challenge that will leave the group with a lifetime of memories," said Adeem Younis, "and everyone who takes part in the trek will be making a very real difference to the lives of disadvantaged people in Pakistan."
Further information about Penny Appeal's Everest Base Camp trek can be found at www.pennyappeal.org