Our Programs

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To Return is a 501 C 3 non profit organization dedicated to enhancing education and support for porters and guides of the Mt. Kilimanjaro region by creating opportunities for continued connection between visitors and locals.  We offer scholarships to the children of Mt. Kilimanjaro porters to attend quality local schools along with providing opportunities for porters and guides to attend wilderness first aid courses to improve mountain safety. We also provide warm clothing and mountain equipment to the porters as part of our gear donation program.

Children’s Education

At To Return, we recognize the power of education. Education is more than learning a skill or completing a class, it is a doorway into new potential, perspectives, and responsibility. While the challenges surrounding education can seem daunting, we’ve chosen to tackle it on the basic level: providing individual access to education for the children of Mt. Kilimanjaro porters. To Return’s Children’s Education Fund focuses on pairing sponsors with students to help fund the cost of a child’s education.

Gear for Kilimanjaro Porters

Often, Kilimanjaro porters are ill equipped for the mountain environment and underpaid, resulting in challenging to dangerous working conditions. To Return was founded to help support this amazing group of mountain workers. Appropriate footwear, rain gear, and sufficient warm clothing are rare.   To Return donates new and gently used outdoor equipment directly to Kilimanjaro porters.

Medical Training for Kilimanjaro Porters

To Return organizes and supports continuing education opportunities for porters and guides on Kilimanjaro.  Via partnership with  Sentinel Outdoor Institute, annual wilderness first aid and leave no trace courses are held in Arusha, Tanzania.  This training not only strengthens local participants employment prospects but also provides them with valuable skills to act as leaders with their own staff and coworkers, extending a level of medical care and environmental stewardship not typically seen on the slopes of Kilimanjaro.

Kilimanjaro Charity Climbs

Interested in climbing Kilimanjaro and contributing to the local community? Consider partnering with To Return for your upcoming Mt. Kilimanjaro climb and supporting children’s education in Tanzania.

Success Stories


  • Laura lost her mother early in life. Her father was left to care for a young daughter while spending weeks away from home on Mt. Kilimanjaro as a porter. Lacking a safe environment for his daughter, he contacted To Return. A primary school student, Laura attends a private boarding school in Moshi, Tanzania through a To Return scholarship.

  • Aimee set a goal of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro for her 30th birthday and raising $3,000 for children’s education in Tanzania. In addition to training for the climb, Aimee contacted friends, family and fellow climbers and asked that they support her endeavor. Her efforts were enormously successful in funding a student’s scholarship for several years. And she climbed Kilimanjaro!

  • Happiness is special needs student whose father was a porter on Mt. Kilimanjaro until leaving his family in 2010. Her mother contacted To Return in need of assistance with the cost of education. With a To Return scholarship, Happiness attends a vocational, boarding school where she studies to be a seamstress and is learning to care for herself. Happiness will graduate in late 2013 and will join a group of local seamstresses.

Get Involved

To Return is a 501 C 3 organization and all donations are tax deductible.