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The town sits in the shadow of mighty Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, and the school has been set up to help the porters who work so hard on Kilimanjaro to improve their English, and consequently, their job prospects.
The training lasted for five weeks with two classes: one for ‘beginners’ and one for ‘intermediates’ for those porters with some experience in English already.
There were English language classes five days a week throughout this period. In attendance were ten ‘beginner’ and twelve ‘intermediate’ students, and they finished with the thirteen most improved students being selected to work as porters on the next departure of would-be conquerors heading up Kilimanjaro on the Rongai Route.
This extra work during the rainy season represented both an extra income and also they were given the chance to practice their new English skills with these Exodus trekkers. On summit day a couple of the intermediate students also went along with the clients and guides to the summit gaining further experience useful for their future.
We spoke to Said Swalehe, a porter who attended the course in April this year:
“I was born in Babati in November 1983 and after completing primary education I was not selected for secondary education, so I started to do various odd jobs to make some money. In 2002 I moved to Arusha and a year later went for the first time as a porter on Kilimanjaro.
Later I joined African Walking Company as a porter. In 2013 I attend the free English course during the long rains. This helps me to improve my English and in 2014 I got a chance to attend the company’s first aid training. Since then I have been 15 times to the summit of Kilimanjaro as a summit porter.
On these trips, I have got lots of experience and I know the chance came only because of improving myself on the Exodus English Course. Again this year I get the chance to attend the course and further improve my English. I thank Exodus to help porters to reach our goal.”
Find out more about our Kilimanjaro Climbs below.