A former Waiariki Institute of Technology nursing student is embarking on a mountainous journey to raise funds for vulnerable children in war-torn Syria.

Danny Sebastian has his sights set on Nepal, as he prepares to climb 5380m to Mt Everest Base Camp next month.

Once he reaches Base Camp, Mr Sebastian will push on to the summit of Kala Patthar (5645m) to see the much lauded views of Mt Everest, Nuptse Nup II, Changtse and the summit of Lhotse.

The climb has become a fundraising effort with a Givealittle page set up for donations to Unicef New Zealand which will, in turn, go to helping provide necessities for children suffering in Syria.


Mr Sebastian said climbing Mt Everest had always been on his bucket list.

"It is something I've wanted to do for a long time, ever since I visited Indonesia and climbed two active volcanos - Mt Ijen and Mt Bromo. I discovered a love for mountaineering and my passion has taken off from there.

"I've always dreamed of contributing to something bigger than myself, so I saw this as the perfect opportunity to combine my dream of climbing Mt Everest with a fundraising campaign for Unicef," Mr Sebastian said.

"The challenge I will be facing is nothing compared to what children in Syria are faced with every day. As a nurse, I can totally relate to what Unicef is doing on ground zero, so if I can help that cause in any way, I will.

"Those children urgently need blankets, heating, access to medical care warm clothes, shoes and blankets to safeguard them against freezing winter conditions. Every child deserves the best possible start in life but, because we do not choose where we are born or the circumstances by which we are surrounded, not every child is afforded this chance ... I feel a sense of duty to help those children who, through no fault of their own, face a harsh reality of life."

Mr Sebastian came to Rotorua from India seven years ago, and completed his New Zealand nursing registration at Waiariki before moving to Hamilton.

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"My whole trip is self funded, the idea to set up a Givealittle page was so I could give back to those in need.

"Every dollar helps and will go directly to helping vulnerable people in terrible positions."

Mr Sebastian plans to inscribe the names of every person who donates on a special flag he will be leaving at the final peak of his journey as a "lasting symbol of all the support I received for this cause".

- To donate, go to www.givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/dannysebastian143