Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Programme
When climbing Kilimanjaro, we are all so reliant on the hard work of the porters who carry heavy loads for us trekkers on the mountain. They are the unsung heroes of all climbing teams and without their help we would not be able to experience this wonderful mountain. Unfortunately, they have very few working rights and all too often they are underpaid, poorly fed and overloaded by trekking companies operating on Kilimanjaro. Earth’s Edge are one of the few affiliate companies of KPAP, an American run NGO who are campaigning for porter welfare on Kilimanjaro. We signed up to a strict set of guidelines and invite a KPAP auditor on each of our climbs to ensure all our porters are treated fairly. This means when you book to climb Kilimanjaro with us you can be sure that you are part of a group who are treating porters fairly. To donate directly to KPAP and help support the vital work they do please visit; kiliporters.org. If you would like to know more about our work with KPAP please contact us or scroll down to read more about our Equipment Lending Programme.
Tree Planting Programme
Each year we plant three native trees in Ireland on behalf of each of our clients. We appreciate there is a huge environmental impact each and every time we take an international flight. In an effort to reduce this impact we invite all our clients to join us on a tree planting day every December. We plant native woodland that will grow for many years and provide a valuable resource for both man and beast long into the future. If you would like us to plant more trees on your behalf, please let us know; it only costs €1 to sponsor each additional tree! Better still, if you would like to join us on our next tree planting day visit – www.earths-edge.com/tree-planting/
Porter Scholarship Programme
We believe it is essential that all our staff get the opportunity to progress in their chosen careers. Each year on Kilimanjaro we reward one of our hardworking porters by paying for their training to become a guide. The course which costs USD$900, is far beyond the means of most porters who make roughly USD$115 including tips per climb. After they feed and house their families, there is very little money left at the end of the month, which makes attending guide school themselves virtually impossible. Once they qualify as guides their pay with tips will increase to roughly USD$220, which means they will have much more disposable income to feed and educate their families. Another fantastic benefit of this programme is that it has fostered a healthy sense of competition amongst the porters which has led to even better levels of service on the mountain! In May 2019 two of our porters Fuso (2018 winner) and Thomas (2019 winner) qualified as guides.
Guide Exchange Programme
We believe in rewarding outstanding customer care and service. Every year we show our appreciation by selecting one of our local guides to take on an expedition somewhere else. They get to immerse themselves in another culture and bring home their new knowledge and experiences. We organise everything from flights to visas and vaccinations, so they can enjoy the full experience from the ‘other side’. Another benefit of this programme is that it has fostered a healthy sense of competition amongst the guides which means they are on top of their game all the time! In 2017 we took Mohammed from Morocco to Tanzania to tackle Kilimanjaro. In 2018 Lakpa from Nepal travelled to Tanzania as well and in 2019 we took Goodluck from Tanzania to Nepal to trek to Everest Base Camp. To read about their journeys follow these links – Mohammed’s Story & Lakpa’s Story.
Explore Experience Evolve Programme
Our office staff wanted to use their skillset in a unique way as part of their volunteer programme to benefit our local community here in Dublin. In June 2015 we started working with Warrenmount Presentation, an all-girls school in inner-city Dublin. Every year students are selected to partake in the Explore Experience Evolve programme based on their attendance and discipline record in school. We created a programme which offers an interactive and engaging experience in the outdoors. A change from the typical classroom environment! The project aims to introduce the students to new skills and promote a greater appreciation of the outdoors. In 2018 we won a Chambers Ireland Corporate Social Responsibility Award.
Equipment Lending Programme
As anyone who has climbed Kilimanjaro will know, we are all so reliant on the hard work of the porters who carry heavy loads on the mountain. Without their help we would not be able to experience this wonderful mountain. Unfortunately, they are frequently ill-equipped for the harsh conditions on the mountain; porters are often seen making the demanding trek without proper footwear or adequate layers. KPAP (Kilimanjaro Porters Assistant Programme) an American run NGO operate an equipment lending programme for the porters who cannot afford the proper equipment themselves. They take a deposit (e.g. a phone) from those who borrow equipment, ensuring it is returned after each climb and therefore will always be available for those who need it. Every year we reach out to our clients asking them to donate equipment they no longer need to the porters. We collect the equipment and bring it with us to Tanzania throughout the year. If you have any equipment you no longer need and would like to donate to the incredible porters on Kilimanjaro please contact us!