By climbing Kilimanjaro with Dig Deep not only will you be helping hundreds of children and their families to get access to clean drinking water, and have the experience of lifetime yourself - you will also be providing vital support to the porters of Kilimanjaro.
You're probably aware that you won't be attempting Kilimanjaro by yourself but will be supported by an extensive local team of guides, chefs, porters, drivers, hostel staff etc right from the moment you touch down in Tanzania to when you bid a fond farewell to East Africa at the end of your trip.
Kilimanjaro is truly the bedrock of the local economy. The climbing seasons are crucial for everyone, from the guides, porters and chefs on the mountain, to the hotel and restaurant staff and drivers in the nearby towns who all rely so heavily on the income to support their families.
With so many different climb companies competing for business, there is, unfortunately, a history of exploitation of the Kilimanjaro mountain crews. It is all too common for porters to not receive a fair wage, not be provided with the right clothing and equipment or even to receive their full tip amounts.
Dig Deep is currently the only UK charity whose climbs are approved by the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP), a local not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to improve the working conditions of the porters of Kilimanjaro.
KPAP does incredible work in raising the awareness of these issues, partnering with, educating and monitoring climb companies to ensure they adhere to fair and ethical standards as well as lending climb gear to porters to ensure they are appropriately equipped.
As I am sure you can appreciate, Coronavirus resulted in a 96%* decrease from 2019 to 2020 in ambitious adventurers challenging themselves on the world’s tallest free-standing mountain during the prime climbing season (June - October 2020). (*data from KPAP for treks with one of their partner companies, 8,513 people in 2019 compared to 339 in 2020)
To help the mountain crews get through this and continue to support their families, our partners at KPAP did incredible work including holding upskilling workshops on topics such as money management and organic farming. You can see feedback from various crew members who attended these workshops on KPAPs Facebook page.
Ultimately though, the return of tourism in 2021 will be the saving grace and KPAP has used this time effectively to ensure you can complete your climb in a safe environment whilst having the experience you have always dreamed of.
Following advice from the Ministry of Tourism and the Kilimanjaro National Park, they have provided information handouts on mask application, proper handwashing, Covid education and protection to ensure the safety and education of all mountain crew.
We are so proud of our partnership with KPAP and our two amazing KPAP endorsed partner companies, African Scenic Safaris and Trek 2 Kili. You will be able to climb safe in the knowledge that everyone supporting you on your climb is fully looked after and we can’t wait for you to experience Kilimanjaro in their care.
It is an experience that you will remember forever, an incredible personal achievement which you can look back on with pride in years to come - but as you will realise when you're out there, it is so much more than that.
You will be providing hundreds of local Tanzanians with a vital source of income, the ability to provide for their families and enable them to do what they love at the same time which is ultimately making your Kilimanjaro dreams come true.
We know that for you to have the best experience and best care on the mountain we need to look after the crew so that they can look after you. By holding ourselves to the highest ethical standards we ensure that you, as one of our fundraisers, have the best climbing experience you could have.
This approach is the reason why our climb groups achieve a summit success rate in excess of 90%, and why in the past few years, 97% of our climbers have reported being very happy with their climb crew with many of these stating that the crew was the best part of their trip.
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If you're feeling inspired and want to join our Kilimanjaro challenge, due to overwhelming interest this year, we have added an extra date to give more people the chance to join.
To secure one of these places head to our website to find out more and sign up https://www.climbforcleanwater.org/kilimanjaro-2021.