Summiting Mount Kilimanjaro was one of the most exciting, beautiful and transformative moments in my life thus far. Standing on the top of the world’s highest freestanding mountain, at over 19,000 feet, had been one of my goals for years, and I couldn’t have done it without the entire team of guides, cooks and porters.
One of my observations during the trek was how hard all of these men work just to help us achieve our goal of summiting the mountain. Their passion and dedication to Kilimanjaro and mountain trekking really left me inspired. The whole experience really humbled me, and I wanted to learn their stories and what brought them to the legendary mountain. One of the qualifications to being a guide is an education, especially with the English language. Unfortunately, a lot of people in Tanzania do not have access to this education, and are left unable to live out their dreams of becoming a mountain guide.
We had the opportunity to talk with Nick Fabbri of Trekking Hero about their partnership with the New Reach Foundation and their goals to bring education and opportunities to the people of Tanzania. Not only will these courses make a difference in the lives of prospective and current guides, it will also make a positive impact on their families and community. Read on for more information, and a link to the site to contribute and make a difference.
Can you tell me a little bit about the New Reach Foundation, and what inspired you (at Trekking Hero) to partner with them and create this fundraiser?
New Reach Foundation is a Non-Profit Organization that is focused on impacting impoverished communities through a very local approach. It was actually started by one of our clients who made it to the top of Kilimanjaro with us, and we really enjoyed not only his passion for the region but also his approach to helping the community. There are a lot of great people who have a lot of potential in this region of the world, we simply want to help them get over some of the barriers that may hold them back. Forward momentum is a very powerful thing, and we want to see the community thrive on their own.
What are your goals with this fundraiser? What do you hope to accomplish short and long term?
Short term we are hoping to create a more personal experience with the climbing team and our clients, allowing a path for some of our climbing staff to reach the next level, weather it be as an assistant guide or climbing guide. Long term, we would love to be able to provide educational opportunities for people beyond advancing their climbing career, such as college tuition for other degrees and a program to provide private education for their families. We are also partnering with another local group involved in health care, and hoping to see a network of a few great organizations working together in the long run.
How will raising money for education and courses impact not only the guides but the community?
Can you tell us a bit about each course, and how it will make an impact on their lives?
Guide School – Being able to afford to get your qualifications as a guide can be a challenge, and their are many assistant guides working for us that could benefit from this course, allowing them to start running their own trips and increasing their wage. Being a guide is a great career, and something that many porters and assistants aspire to become. With climbing and safari tourism growing, more and more good guides are needed, which is great to see.
English Class – One of the largest barriers behind cost is the ability to speak the English Language. This course will benefit porters greatly, allowing them to start communicating with clients more and allow for them to start becoming assistant guides. Also, there are many assistant guides with great spoken English, but when they go to take their test as a guide, there written English falls short. This is a way to allow those who have picked up the language through television and personal interactions the ability to pass their guide tests and get their credentials.
Cooking School – Being a cook is a tough job, especially when you are cooking on a propane tank under a canopy. This course will allow for our cooks to gain valuable knowledge to not only benefit our clients, but also to allow them to attain higher wages and gain skills that could be useful for becoming a cook in one of the higher end hotels or restaurants if that is their goal.
How is the New Reach Foundation different? What sets them apart from other charities?
The big thing that draws us to this organization is the philosophy of allowing those who are willing to better themselves the tools to do so. We see so much potential in the people of this community, and we know that if we can give them the means, they will take that opportunity and succeed. Scott has first hand experienced our guides and porters and the amazing work they do, and he knows that his organization and connections are going to have a very positive impact. We are very excited to be a part of this and have the people that I have gotten to know over the years benefit from this.
Do you want to make a difference? CLICK HERE to donate to the guides and porters of Kilimanjaro.
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