Bridging Abilities: Conquering Mountains

By Bridging Abilities | 18 February 2016

Between 13 and 18 December, Hannes Doman and Rieghard Vermaak climbed Kilimanjaro to raise funds for Bridging Abilities. We asked them what started this ambitious holiday idea…

How did you come up with this idea/ how did you get involved?

We both like travel and adventure, but it was Hannes who first had the idea to climb Kilimanjaro (as a start to his dream of eventually doing the “Seven Summits”). So, one evening over a curry, he convinced me (and my wife) that I should embark on this adventure with him. We then decided to also use the opportunity to raise funds for a worthy cause and so hopefully make a difference in the lives of others. Candace, my wife, is one of the founders and directors of Bridging Abilities, so this was the obvious place for us to start.

Why Kilimanjaro?

Growing up in Africa and hearing about people climbing Kili stuck in the back of our minds. We began wondering whether we could do it and how it would feel to stand on the tallest mountain in Africa, gazing down on the glorious creation and place we call home.

Tell us a bit about yourselves.

We both grew up in small towns where life was not so fast paced. A few years ago an interesting encounter led to the start of our friendship. The first coffee comes to mind where we realized that we share the same educational background from the same University, in the same year with similar interests and that a cup of coffee was the beginning of a pretty awesome friendship.

Between the two of us we share three degrees (one a doctorate in Engineering), two Cape Epic finishes, 2 Comrades finishes, one 36one finish, twenty five countries we visited and both of us a 5km Colour Run that we quit before we even went over the starting line. It is almost a Pinky and the Brain kind of situation!

On a more serious note, we both have the same eternal vision: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” – Jos. 24:15

How much did you aim to raise?

Bridging Abilities told us that R25 000 would go a long way towards helping their community activity groups so we thought to ourselves, if they can do all this with R25 000, how much more would they be able to do with double that amount? So our aim is to raise R50 000 with this campaign.

How can we get involved?

You can share Bridging Abilities’ vision and get involved with uplifting the lives of the people around you who weren’t given the same abilities and opportunities. Like their Facebook page and visit their website for more information on how you can help or become involved.

What will the funds be used for?

As said, we aim to raise R50 000. The funds will go to their Community Activity Groups for Adults (refer to their website for more info on their projects) and their Sports and Recreation Events. The remaining amount will be used for things like training of volunteers, transport, further wheelchair equipment, fees for events our groups’ members want to enter and much more.

Follow the journey:

To follow this journey, you can follow Bridging Abilities’ Facebook and twitter accounts or read more updates on the blog on our website: The campaign will continue until the end of February.

To donate, please go to the GivenGain site:


P: P.O. Box 3375, Matieland, 7602, Stellenbosch, RSA.
A: Third Floor, Eikestad Mall, 43 Andringa Street, Stellenbosch


PBO No: 930029912
Cyrus Trust: IT2831/2008