Kilimanjaro Trek Raises More Than $136,000 for M.J. Sharp Peace and Justice Scholarship

John Sharp scatters his son’s ashes on the summit of Kilimanjaro. Remembrances were also shared of Zaida Catalan, MJ’s colleague, and Glen Lapp ‘91, a peacebuilder who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010.

As the story of murdered United Nations armed group expert Michael J. Sharp continues to spread around the world, the endowed scholarship set up in his name by friends and family to support Congolese peacebuilders at CJP grows as well. Sharp was a 2005 graduate of EMU.

David Nyiringabo, the first recipient of the scholarship, enters his second year of graduate studies in conflict transformation at CJP this fall.

One reason Sharp’s legacy continues to grow is a March 2019 trek up Kilimanjaro in Tanzania that helped to raise more than $136,000 and garnered international publicity. Climbing the mountain was always something the United Nations armed group expert had planned to do, but his work kept him from the goal. At the summit, MJ’s father John scattered his son’s ashes.

The 8-day effort earned the attention of former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki R. Haley and Nobel laureates Leymah Gbowee MA ’07 and Dr. Denis Mukwege, each of whom sent video greetings and encouragement to the hikers as they made the ascent. Actress and activist Jane Fonda also posted a message of support on her blog.

In the months following, more donors have been inspired by his story to help Congolese peacebuilders. Recent donors include a group of Amish youth, a former Central Intelligence Agency official who had worked in the region, and two couples who matched each other’s gifts.

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