Supporting Porters (COVID-19)

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     Climbing Kilimanjaro can be a once in a lifetime experience.  Special bonds often form between trekkers and their guides, cooks and porters leaving a lasting impression.  These ties have inspired the Partner Companies and so many generous individuals to offer support to the Kilimanjaro mountain crews who have lost income due to COVID-19.

     Some of our Partner companies have shared with us their comments below.  This is not all inclusive and there are other admirable examples.  

     We are impressed with our Partners!  In addition to setting the premier example for porter working conditions, they have also extended themselves – along with their special clients and donors – in exemplary ways on behalf of their teams.  Our gratitude to all!

It has been important for us to provide additional support during these difficult times of the pandemic for the teams in Tanzania.  Along with our head guide, food packages have been coordinated for (at last count) 17 of our guides and porters to support them and their families while trekking opportunities are so limited. We’re grateful for the support of many of our trekkers and climbers who have generously supported this fund and wanted to help us with looking after the Tanzanian team who looked after them so well on the mountain.  360 Expeditions 

African Scenic Safaris was lucky to receive numerous offers of support from past and future clients for several fundraising campaigns. These funds were used to help the mountain crew and other local families who rely on tourism for their income. In total over 150 families received donations of staple foods and household supplies to help them along as they’re focused on finding other ways in which they could generate an income. We were also able to use our network of contacts to source casual labor opportunities for some crew members, for example farming and harvesting work.

Seattle, USA based Alpine Ascents International launched a fundraiser in November to benefit the Kilimanjaro crew and staff of their partner company in Tanzania – Big Expeditions of Arusha.  Spearheaded by long time guide and program manager, Eric Murphy, the proceeds will be used to distribute $25 USD food baskets each to the entire crew and staff of Big Expeditions, approximately 310 individuals in total.  Several distributions will be held over the next 4 months.  “Our hope is to give some small relief to all of the crew and staff, let them know they in are in our thoughts and spread hope that things will improve in the coming year”.  

We identified our crew and their families that are most in need and are including them in our program of purchasing and distributing beans, rice, maize flour, and cooking oil directly to our Tanzanian team and their families every 2 weeks. We will distribute food to 150 people for six months and will add more people to the list if we raise more money than our goal.  Barking Zebra Tours 

Easy Travel recognized that the mountain crew members needed to be looked after. We held discussions with the crew members and agreed that we would provide the crews and their families with maize to meet their short-term needs for food. This was a big operation. We purchased nearly 22.5 tons of maize and distributed equally to 372 crew members, representing three months’ supply for each. The pandemic has shown the importance of having strong partnerships to provide support to those who need it. And it has given Easy Travel the chance to show its mountain crew members just how valued they are.

The Embark Exploration Company community helped raise donations for the 45 staff members in the wake of the COVID pandemic and subsequent lack of work.  Everyone received 25 kilos of rice, 25 kilos of beans, and cooking oil.  They were blown away by the generosity and could not say enough in the way of thanks for such kindness and support from everyone in the Embark community.

Once it became apparent that travel would stop for some time due to COVID-19, several of our past clients started contacting us asking how they could help support the mountain crew to get through the slump. Our first response was that they could share their photos and experiences from trekking Kili on their social networks, which would really help to get a quick rebound once travel is safe again. But they wanted to do more, and it was becoming apparent that COVID was going to last longer than anyone initially expected. So we accepted donations that were used to hire porters and mountain crew to do specific projects. eTrip Africa

Our fundraising efforts have resulted in our starting a communal farm project providing our porters with paid work to build the farm and benefit from the harvest to feed their families.  Our porters have enjoyed working on the farm, as it has provided them with some pay, as well as a sense of purpose in the absence of mountain work. We also provided basic food care packages.  Several weeks ago, we began to harvest our first vegetables and are fortunate to have the farm coming into fruition now.  Local Moshi

When times are difficult, it is another opportunity to give back to those who make our success possible. Majestic Kilimanjaro Treks and Safaris is proud of our fundraising campaign to support 39 of our crew members. We are very grateful to our clients and friends for their generosity and most importantly showing that even though they are far away, they still care. 

We are happy to do a fundraiser for our crew for them to know we are all part of a team. Our staff provides our clients with experiences they will never forget, and it has been great to see the response to the fundraiser and their support. In these difficult times, every bit helps and we’re all thankful for the donations.  Mountain Madness

When the pandemic hit, we knew that our staff members would be economically devastated by the sudden disappearance of tourism in Tanzania. We asked our past clients for help and they came through in a big way. With our clients’ generous support, our crews have money for basic needs as we continue to face uncertain times.  Peak Planet

Pride Expeditions and Wilderness Solutions fundraising efforts were supported by almost 150 donors from around the world. It has been incredible to see the positive response to our campaign.  The funding was used to support the team of Just Kilimanjaro in receiving some much-needed income to help them through the pandemic.  It allowed them to participate in the Leave No Trace Event on Kilimanjaro for five days in September as well as assist with containing the fire on Kili in October. We return our love and thanks to them for staying positive and strong during these tough times.

We were blown away by over 85 past guests who reached out to support their beloved crew. We collected donations for 100 crew and staff and chose a direct assistance approach whereby the crew were given cash to use however they each saw fit. They were all grateful as the money came in at a time when they expected to be at their busiest – July. Some reported that it helped with rent, children’s school fees and food provisions.  Pristine Trails

Our big thanks to our past clients and Partner Companies for donating!  We were able to provide 72 of our mountain crew with food staples.  Our crew are very happy to get this food which will support them during this difficult time.  We would like also to thank KPAP for the wonderful idea of raising funds.  Snow Africa Adventures

We did fundraising to help our Kilimanjaro Mountain Crew with food packages. At Swett one of our core values is Together and that’s why we wanted to do this fundraising to support our local team. Together we are strong. No matter if it’s about helping each other to reach a top of a mountain or to overcome this pandemic. No matter if you are a Swedish guide, a guest or a local team member, we stand together.

Wilderness Travel and our partners on the ground organized emergency financial relief to our amazing team of local guides and the hardworking camp crew, cooks, and porters who take such good care of our climbers. On August 8th, Tanzanians celebrated “Nane Nane”, or Farmer’s Day, an important celebration in recognition of the contribution of farmers to Tanzania’s economy and people. Our climbers exceeded our expectations in support of our team of about 150 people to make sure this year’s Nane Nane celebration was bountiful and filled with joy and the promise of a better tomorrow.