In August, 100 brave HSBC employees will be trekking 100 kilometres across the Arctic to raise money for WaterAid. We were lucky enough to have a Q&A with Amyn Husain, the top fundraiser of the group so far having raised an incredible $10,502.34! Amyn shares what has motivated his commitment to fundraising, as well as some of his tips on fundraising and training for the upcoming trek.
Congratulations on being the top fundraiser Amyn, how did you do it?
It’s been all down to the incredible generosity of colleagues, friends and family. I started fundraising last August, exactly a year before the trek. A careful selection of early generous ‘anchor’ donors set the bar high for other donors (you don’t want your first few donations to be £10 each!). I came up with a list of 100 individuals who I chose to target and I’ve still got 30 left on the list I need to chase.
What motivates and inspires you to raise money for WaterAid?
I read a statistic in National Geographic that shocked me – that more people on our planet own a mobile phone than have access to a toilet. Sanitation and water are taken for granted by most of us yet we have somehow failed as society to rightly allocate resources. Some of it of course is beyond our control such as Cape Town having the driest spell in 400 years, but there are shocking discrepancies even in areas that are rich in resources. I grew up in East Africa and it always disturbed me that expat communities could have all the luxuries of clean water and sanitation yet a few miles away there would be families without access to clean water.
What are you looking forward to the most about taking part in the Arctic Challenge?
The isolation and natural beauty and of course the 20+ hours of daylight. I have been fortunate to participate in long treks in the Andes, Karakoram and Himalayas but never with such a degree of isolation and remoteness. The camaraderie will be a highlight as well - a number of us have been doing training hikes together and the outdoors has a special way of bonding together individuals with otherwise different interests and backgrounds.
How will you be preparing over the next couple of months?
I have followed a strict personal training routine for a number of years which I hope will give me a solid footing for the trip. Focus on lower body strength training with a lot of squats, lunges and core strength work are key. The toughest thing to simulate is the cumulative 5 day impact of walking 100km carrying 15kg and this will ultimately be a mental as well as physical challenge. Some weekend hikes over the next 2 months will be important – Box Hill in the Surrey Hills is a personal favourite and has stunning views.
Over the past five years, WaterAid and HSBC have worked together to transform lives in six countries: Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Ghana and Nigeria. Together, we have reached 1.65 million people with clean water and 2.5 million people with sanitation and hygiene. The work funded by HSBC Water Programme allows communities to build skills, increase their productivity and future-proof economies of the regions they live in. Find out more about WaterAid’s work in partnership with HSBC.