The new scholarship aims to assist 30 women in realizing their ambitions to become porters and guides in the traditionally male-dominated workforce of Mount Kilimanjaro
Toronto — Exodus Travels is celebrating International Women’s Day with the launch of its Mountain Lioness Scholarship, a fresh new chapter in their ongoing initiative, the Kilimanjaro Porter Project, and an attempt to increase the number of Tanzanian women working as porters and guides—traditionally, male-dominated roles—in Kilimanjaro National Park.
Created in partnership with the Robertson Outdoor Bursary, African Walking Company, and Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project, Exodus’ Mountain Lioness Scholarship will sponsor 10 local women per year for the next three years (30 in total) on a three-week-long course whereby students obtain the qualifications and skills necessary to seek employment as professional guides.
The Mountain Lioness Scholarship’s name is inspired by Lucia “the Lioness” Kivoi, one of Kilimanjaro’s first women porters and a featured subject in Ngumu: The Women of Kilimanjaro, as a tribute to the courage and determination that she has shown as a trailblazer building a successful career working on the mountain. Lucia says that since women began stepping into porter and guide jobs once reserved for men, she’s seen an increase in women’s confidence when it comes to claiming space in the workforce, and that “a lot of women are applying for the jobs.”
This marks a major shift, as traditionally women in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania are not typically encouraged or permitted to work as porters or guides. A change in the perception on the mountain has begun when it comes to gender roles but there is still a long way to go, and a goal of the Mountain Lioness Scholarship is to assist in removing some barriers—financial and otherwise—that prevent women from entering the field.
“Empowering women by giving them the tools and qualifications they need to carve out a place for themselves in a male-dominated field is a special thing to be a part of,” says Robin Brooks, Marketing & PR Director for Exodus Travels in North America. “Collaborating in this way with local women in one of Exodus’ favorite destinations is such a great example of how travel can give back and improve life for the people we meet, places we visit, and planet we explore.”
Mountain Lioness Scholarship recipients will be announced in July 2020, and training will begin in October 2020. The three-week course will include lectures and practical training, covering topics such as ethical guiding, mountain ecology, introduction to tourism and protected areas, first aid, emergency care, wilderness rescue and tour guiding techniques. The resulting license is a requirement in order to guide on Mount Kilimanjaro.
For more information about the Mountain Lioness Scholarship, visit here.
For more information about Exodus Travels, visit exodustravels.com.
About Exodus Travels
Celebrating 45 years and winner of the 2019 National Geographic Traveller Reader Awards, leading adventure tour operator Exodus has a vast range of adventure and activity holidays across seven continents, offering places as diverse and as exhilarating as Kilimanjaro, Machu Picchu, the Ice Hotel and Antarctica. We have hosted over 250,000+ travelers on adventures across the globe. Whether it is solo travelers, couples, groups or families, Exodus offers an incredible choice of trips for all ages and activity levels. Operating in 100+ countries with 600+ tours, Exodus insists on low impact tourism and contributing to local communities. Learn more at ExodusTravels.com.
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