Although recovering from a knee injury and suffering from vertigo, Great Wall of China Trekker, Zehan Albakri, is determined to “lead by example” and trek the Great Wall of China to raise funds for girls’ education in China. She tells us more in this article written just as she arrives in Beijing with her two team mates at the threshold of the seven day trek.

Zehan writes:

I was born in Malaysia and came to school in Yorkshire at 17 where my mother is from. I studied Architecture and stayed on in UK as my husband is English. I stopped practising Architecture when I started a family and got involved in voluntary work. This lead to my involvement in the launch of PAWA and I am now a Trustee and Chair of the Management Committee.

A physical challenge

Since we launched PAWA Champions, several of our supporters have taken on fundraising challenges so they inspired me to also try to raise funds on my own imitative.I felt I needed to do a physical challenge as due to a knee injury, I have had to limit my physical activities. I also enjoy trekking which allows you to see areas unreachable by any other means. It was also to encourage more PAWA supporters to take on overseas fundraising challenges….. “Lead by example! “


Zehan Albakri

Zehan Albakri

Hill training

I started 3 months ago doing 1 to 2 hour walks every week than built it up to every other day ending each week with 3 to 4 hour walks. Halfway through I did a 3 day walking weekend in the Brecon Becons to get used to walking with trekking poles and in more hilly terrain.

Throughout the summer, I was travelling a lot so fitted in walks in Provence, Yorkshire Dales, New York and California –  great way to sightsee ! I live on 5 floors so would train by going up and down 3 times – 300 steps !


I am Looking forward to the scenery and seeing new places, spending time with my team mates Clare Muhuideen and Rahiyah Yahya as well as meeting new people in the group and getting away from it all – have left my laptop behind!

Great Wall of China


I am most worried about the steep inclines of steps as I suffer from a bit of vertigo!

Also walking continuously for 6 days which I have never done so hope my knee holds out!


Firstly to try to raise as much as I can for PAWA and to raise awareness of the need to support teenage girls in Asia but I have also reached a certain age when attempting more physical challenges is important to help motivate you to keep fit and healthy!

Support Zehan

Support Zehan and donate to this great cause to fund girls’ education in China – go to her online donation page at:

Follow despatches from the Great Wall Trek

We aim to bring you updates every few days as our PAWA team trek along the Great Wall over the next week. Do check back to read their despatches.

You can also read ALL the articles about this great fundraising adventure at

The PAWA Great Wall Trek 2017 



Zehan Albakri is a Trustee and Chair of the Management Committee.



Zehan – from her personal album

Great Wall – from (CCL) thanks to lublud


PAWA is focused on a single purpose: To support teenage girls education in Asia. In 2016, we supported 2,367 girls in 8 projects across 7 countries. Educate a Girl, Change a Life. Support PAWA’s work by donating to PAWA’s Great Wall Trek via one of the links below:

Go, Zehan, Go:

PAWA Magazine, is the onlline magazine of PAWA, the Pan Asian Women’s Association. The magazine shares news and stories of PAWA People and Projects supporting girls’ education across Asia.

Ref: grtwltrk


Meet Zehan Albakri – Leading by Example ¦ PAWA Great Wall of China Trek
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