The porters came to Yusuf in the spring of 2020 after COVID hit Tanzania. They wanted him to buy the gear they used to make a living because they needed money for food and there were no climbers. Tourism had totally dried up. As time went on, even Yusuf needed assistance to sustain his family. This is separate from the funding he receives for his children’s schooling (see Yusuf, Guides & Porters Scholarships). Yusuf also has been temporarily hired to help support another orphan schooling project (See CSP).
A porter’s job is seasonal, earning $35 a trip; a guide’s salary could earn up to up to a maximum of $200 per trip. On a good year they will be able to fit in 8 trips during the tourism season, but then have no other work for the remainder of the year. In Tanzania there is over 50% unemployment. Your contribution will have ripple effects we cannot begin to appreciate.
In the past, we have built houses and bought land for the porters. Now our focus is on making sure they can feed their families. The guys usually rely on minimal savings to make it through the dry months of work. Now there is no work, and the situation is dire.
What can you do?
The projects below are some of the ways we are trying to address their immediate and future needs. We have realized how tenuous their lives are, so we started with emergency action but our goal is to move efforts to creating opportunities for the porters and guides to sustain themselves.
Yusuf buys a 100lbs of rice, gallons of cooking oil, corn and some other supplies and delivers it each month to as many families as we can fund.
A farm was funded and started to provide 6 of the crew with ongoing income. They rented 5 chunks of land in 5 areas to account for erratic rainfall. Hopefully with now minimal assistance they can keep feeding their families and make some income.
HEALTH CARE, FUNERALS, LIFE EXPENSES
This year we funded a funeral, hospitalization for family members and house expenses to keep the families from losing their houses.
We are moving into seed money so the guys can support themselves. Funds for buying chickens, materials to make sandals and other organic ideas the guys themselves initiate are provided. The intent is once the seed money is laid out the project will support itself. This has worked well in other areas of the world we are working in. It may even be a stepping stone to the guys getting out of the porteri business.