Our Impact: Porter Stories

Since 2003, KPAP has positively impacted the lives of thousands of porters working on Mount Kilimanjaro. We are proud of our legacy and are humbled by the stories shared by our community of porters.

Photo of Stanley

“Through working with KPAP, I have managed to build a house and am independent now.  I am supporting my niece and nephew with school and I have also started a pig farm as a side business.  I feel badly when I see other porters suffering with non-Partner companies.  I wish all companies would join KPAP as I see these porters are getting their rights.

-Stanley, porter


Photo of Anna

“There is a big difference between now and [before joining] KPAP. I have benefitted a lot and have made huge steps in life. My children are in school, I rent a farm for agriculture and I also keep three goals and two sheep, all from mountain wages. May God bless KPAP because they have helped us a lot.”

-Anna, porter


Photo of John

“I started with non-partner companies and things were not easy. It was very discouraging — some days we only got one meal in the evening and the amount [of food] was not adequate, bags were heavy between 23-24 kg…When I started working with a KPAP partner company the procedures were clear and the porters’ rights were taken seriously…Personally…I have gained self-awareness…I had dreamed of moving to a more decent settlement and I’ve attained this. I have been able to buy a plot of land and I have made a big step in life.”

-John, porter


Photo of Hamdani

“Starting with a non-partner company the job was hard, carrying heavy bags, starving for some days with only one meal at dinner which wasn’t enough at all. I was fortunate to get registered with a KPAP Partner company which was the turning point for my life. Now I could pay school fees for my children. I am proud as one of my children is in Tanga for field studies and another is planning to attend form five [advance level] in Singida.  Another major benefit for me is being able to meet my family’s basic needs of food and shelter. I have also started building a house and it is in its initial stages.”

-Hamdani, porter


Photo of Michael

The working conditions for porters changed when KPAP came on the scene. The difference between KPAP and non-KPAP companies is like day and night.  When working with the KPAP partner companies, I no longer pay a bribe to join a climbing team and receive the 20,000 Tsh per day salary recommended by the government. Furthermore, a transparent tip procedure increases my earnings per trip. Abuse of porters is still common among non-KPAP partners. I wish more companies would become KPAP partners.”

-Michael, porter


Photo of Emmy with her family (woman and child)

In 2017 I became affiliated with KPAP. I have since been able to rely on timely salary payments and receive a porter’s fair share of tips. Meals, bag weight, sleeping and climbing gear arrangements are managed satisfactorily.”

-Emmy, porter


Photo of Freddy

At the age of 35, Freddy became a porter. A brother who was working for a KPAP Partner company helped him with placement and loaned him most of the gears, until he was well established and connected. Freddy had taken upon himself to care for his mother, and renovating her house was a priority. Together with his wife they budgeted for food, building materials, school fees and for savings. In three-years they were able to convert the mother’s mud house into a three-room brick house. Last year they began construction on their own house.

Freddy comments that had he kept working for non-KPAP partner companies, renovation of his mother’s house would have taken him much longer and he is certain that keeping up with his children’s education expenses would have been impossible. On reflecting on his journey, sometimes Freddy finds it hard to believe how far he has come, and yet he is sure that if he stays on this path better days are yet to come.


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KPAP depends on donations and grants to help fund our free programs for porters. Please consider supporting our work.

Donations made through our parent organization, the International Mountain Explorers Connection, a 501c(3) nonprofit organization, are tax-deductible according to U.S. law for U.S. donors.