08 November 2012, Dhaka. A Flag-Off ceremony for “Wasfia Nazreen’s 2012 Vinson Massif Expedition” was held at 6:30 pm on Thursday, November 8, 2012 at the BRAC Centre Auditorium.
Wasfia Nazreen, the youngest Everest summiteer of the country is setting off to an expedition to climb Mount Vinson of Antarctica, the remotest continent on Earth, for the fourth leg of her “Bangladesh on Seven Summits” campaign. On the eve of Bangladesh turning 40, she had taken up the challenge of climbing the highest mountains of each of the seven continents to celebrate women’s progress of the last four decades and highlight to the world the resiliency of our people.
BRAC, bKash and BRAC Bank are the supporters of this expedition to the highest mountain of Antarctica. At the flag-off event, BRAC also announced its pledge to collaborate with Wasfia Nazreen by making her its Goodwill Ambassador for the next one year. In this one year, she will work to champion the cause of women empowerment and motivate, encourage and inspire the young women leaders of the country.
Tamim Iqbal, national cricket player and youth icon, hailing from Wasfia’s hometown Chittagong, attended the event as a special guest. Tamim lauded Wasfia’s pioneering feat and commended her courage for her upcoming risky journey. “I request our young generation to come out and do something for the nation and themselves” he stated.
Renowned social activist Ms. Khushi Kabir, Coordinator, Nijera Kori, saluted Wasfia’s efforts to bring Bangladeshi women on the map. “Wasfia has created an example for all of us. Not just as a woman but also as a citizen of Bangladesh, conquering the seven summits is not an easy task”, said Kabir.
Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Chairperson of BRAC, and the Guest of Honour of the event said: “BRAC has been working for women empowerment since years and having Wasfia as a goodwill ambassador will further enhance our endeavours. Hopefully her successful venture will bring forward more people to support her in this incredible journey”.
Though Shakib Al Hassan could not make it to the event, he sent his best wishes for Wasfia. “It is a matter of pride to me that a Bangladeshi woman is pursuing such activities and I am confident that this will inspire our youth to take on “out of the box” challenges in any field of activities.”
Wasfia in her speech mentioned “If by finishing my seven summits I can create an impact to even 10 women’s life, I will consider myself successful”. She also expressed her humblest gratitude to her sponsors for supporting her.
Wasfia leaves the country this month to first spend three weeks of training and acclimatisation with Patrick Morrow, the first person in the world to have finished seven summits roughly 30 years ago, in winter wilderness of Canada, and then from there she will set her foot on Antarctica via the Chilean territory.
Updates on her journey will regularly be posted on Facebook and Twitter via both Bangladesh on Seven Summits & BRAC pages.