About Mount Kilimanjaro Porters Society
This society was registered under the name Mount Kilimanjaro Porters Society on 30th September 2005 as a non governmental organization with a certificate no 13296 under the organization art of the United Republic of Tanzania. The society exists as a shield for porters who are registered under it with the goal of improving the living and working condition of these porters.
Now the Porter's Society is an established organization with its own constitution, includes over 700 porters, and is completely self governed. The ultimate goals of this society are to protect the rights of the porters that work on Mount Kilimanjaro. The first of its kind in the area, some of the beneficial measures provided by the MKPS include:
(1) weight limits on the number of gear porters are required to carry,
(2) minimum standards for wages, rations, and sufficient gear,
(3) free twice daily English education classes,
(4) free first aid and mountain safety education classes,
(5) free educational classes on sustainable tourism and environmental conservation of the mountain,
(6) and micro-finance loan assistance and provision of emergency funds for porters' families.
Additionally, the porters of this society take part in two climbs per year in which they clean the mountain on their way to the top. In these ways the Porter's Society is working very hard to protect the health and safety of the porters while at the same time supporting the community and providing better customer service for tourists.
The fact that a large percent of the porters are low-income earners who are either semi-illiterate or illiterate, mount Kilimanjaro porters society ensures that these porters are taken care of in the case of payments as they come back from work and other aspects that relate with work and their normal lives. With a big assistance from Zara Charity, mount Kilimanjaro porters society ensures that porters are benefited in the listed ways below:
1. Health Insurance
With the nature of work the porters do it is easy to get sick or injured while they work, for this case, all porters under Mount Kilimanjaro Porters Society are registered on the National Health Insurance Fund to secure them if they get sick or injured while working. Together with that at the beginning of every high season (more tourists climbing Kilimanjaro), mount Kilimanjaro porters society ensures that all porters are healthy checked so as to start the season while everyone is physically fit.
2. First Aid Training
To reduce the risk of losing lives for both tourists and porters, the porters under mount Kilimanjaro porters society are trained with the basic mountain first aid knowledge which enables them to be of help between themselves and even to clients. The training is usually done during low season (fewer tourists climbing Kilimanjaro) because here many porters are in town and they attend in high numbers.
3. Beginner English Learning Classes
Almost 90% of the porters cannot speak English, for this reason, it is hard for them to communicate with tourists whenever required to. To remove this misunderstanding mount Kilimanjaro porters society organizers tailor-made English classes for the porters which enables them to gain the basic language knowledge and be able to communicate with the tourists. Also, this is done during low season (fewer tourists climbing Kilimanjaro) because many porters are in town and the number of attendees is high.
4. HIV Aids Education
HIV AIDS has been a threatening disease in our country for a while now. People with less knowledge on how to prevent themselves from such a disease have been attacked by this disease generations to generations. Poverty and illiteracy is the main cause for this disease that is why mount Kilimanjaro porters society usually arranges HIV AIDS classes for the porters so that they can learn how to prevent themselves from it and also to be able to go to work and take care of their families.
5. Financial Management Education
With the income they earn without proper methods of saving and using it will be difficult for porters to take care of their families. Mount Kilimanjaro Porters Society arranges financial management classes for porters from time to time and also ensures that all porters have bank accounts for which their salaries are paid to and also they use them to save money for the future especially during the low season when few tourists climb Kilimanjaro.
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The Porter's Society is an established organization with its own constitution, includes over 700 porters, and is completely self-governed. The ultimate goals of this society are to protect the rights of the porters that work on Mount Kilimanjaro.