Thanks to increased awareness and responsibility, the porters working on Kilimanjaro have seen drastic improvements in their working conditions over the past few decades. Nevertheless, the need for continued improvements and care remains. The reality is that working as a porter on Kilimanjaro, while difficult, remains an attractive employment opportunity for many low-income Tanzanians to supplement farming income. Typically the heads of household, fathers and older sons, work as porters and if they become sick or injured on the mountain the ramifications are felt over their immediate and extended families.
We recognize the interconnectedness of porter welfare and that influence on the well being and potential of their families and communities. At a basic level, porter support entails helping ensure that porters are properly equipped for the mountain. We support and supplement current efforts to distribute gear and equip porters for Kilimanjaro, helping porters stay healthy and safe while working in the alpine environments of Kilimanjaro.
Since 2007, To Return has distributed over 1,000 pounds of outdoor clothing including jackets, pants, rain gear and hats to groups of permanent porters.
To Return accepts bulk donations of select outdoor gear items such as non-cotton insulating layers such as fleece jackets and pants, rain coats, insulated jackets and coats, hiking boots in good condition, winter hats and gloves. We do not accept individual items or any cotton or casual wear. Please do not donate anything you yourself would not wear to 19,000′ in the mountains.
The reality is that Kilimanjaro is a long way away from the United States and costs are incurred to ship the gear to Kilimanjaro. We request that you contribute $5/lb of gear so that our funds for education are not diverted to pay for shipping costs, storage and distribution.