Taksima Ferdous has been trekking some of the most famous mountain ranges in the world since  2012.

She is the Challenge Events Fundraising Coordinator at Penny Appeal, a charity who provide food, water and care for communities across Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

So far, Taksima has climbed Snowdon, Ben Nevis and Mount Kilimanjaro and overcame some of her fears by completing these challenges. Trekking has also provided a way to help her cope with anxiety and depression.

Taksima said: “When people tell me, “oh, I don’t think I can do it”, I always tell them “trust me, if I can do it, anyone can do it.” It’s all about pushing forward. Whatever pain or barrier I have, I just push forward and think, actually this is nothing if I just take one step at a time.”

Taksima, who is from East London, also defied stereotypes and committed to trekking whilst raising money for important causes.

She said: “I think you defy the stereotypes. Even when I’m travelling on my own, on treks or adventures, I go to certain areas and I might be the only one who’s wearing a scarf, but then I get to have these conversations with people and defy those stereotypes that are seen in the media.

“It encourages people to follow on, to not be afraid to do their own challenges, or seek their own adventures.”

When Taksima first started trekking in 2012 she would be one of the few Muslim women on the mountain.

But the numbers have grown over time and more Muslim women have been encouraged to take part in challenges around the world.

Penny Appeal’s challenges offer a safe space for Muslim women to travel and explore with like-minded people.

Taksima and 18 other women completed the Everest Base Camp Challenge in 2018/19 with Penny Appeal.

Taksima finds that challenges like these within the charity sector bring Muslim women together. She also wants to inspire others and embark on a journey of discovery and understanding together.

She said: “Somebody told me once, and I will always remember it, “as a fundraiser when you ask someone to donate you are inviting them to a good deed.” Allah (SWT) tells us in the Qur’an that we should give in charity and help those in need.

“So when you go out and fundraise for a challenge, you’re there as an ambassador for Allah (SWT), you’re giving someone the opportunity to do a good deed. If you see it in that way, it’s not that much of a chore or a task.”

Penny Appeal organise regional, national and international challenges throughout the year. More information can be found here: https://pennyappeal.org/event/challenges