When people ask us what makes traveling with WHOA different, one thing comes to mind immediately: OUR PARTNERS. Because empowering and connecting women through adventure is at the heart of everything we do, we hold a strong commitment to social responsibility with every single journey we take. It’s extremely important to us that our partners and our work are both ethical and sustainable. That's why we partner with amazing organizations doing positive grassroots work in each of our destinations, and we work closely with each organization to address their greatest needs. Working together and sharing experiences is what makes our adventures extra special for everyone involved! We are so grateful for each and every one of them and want to share a little more about them with all of you.
Tembea Girls High School was started by Beads for Education, and is located in the shadow of Kilimanjaro near the southern border of Kenya. In a region where over 18 million primary school aged girls don't have the opportunity to go to school, Tembea provides girls the standard Kenyan curriculum, while also helping them develop crucial leadership skills that will prepare them to succeed for the rest of their lives. Their strong academic program is based upon critical thinking, practical experience, reading, writing, environmental stewardship, community service, and cultural understanding.
At WHOA, we consider ourselves lucky to be longstanding partners with this amazing organization! In 2014, through our annual International Women's Day climb, we raised funds to have a sports field built at their school, allowing the girls the joy of sport and the opportunity to play soccer, rugby and lacrosse on a daily basis! Additionally, on most of our Kilimanjaro climbs, we invite alumni and teachers from the school to join us in our journey to Africa's highest peak. We cover their fees and make sure they are well equipped for the climb, and across our seven days to the summit are able to develop meaningful connections with these inspiring women through the power of adventure!
The Stella Maris Lodge is a nonprofit hotel, and is our home away from home when not on the mountain in Tanzania. The funds generated by the hotel go towards helping the Mailisita Foundation's Stella Maris Primary School which provides financially self sustaining education to the growing orphan population in rural Tanzania.
Before and after all of our Kilimanjaro hikes we stay at the Stella Maris Lodge, which is located on the same property as the school (most mornings you will be able hear the happy singing of the students at their daily assembly)! Oftentimes our climbers like to bring school supplies, in addition to spending the morning after our climb singing, learning and playing with the students.
The Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP) is a local organization that ensures that the porters who work on the mountain are treated with dignity, respect and are supplied with adequate wages and suitable living conditions during the trek.
Our porters are the heart and soul of our Kilimanjaro climbs, and we know that without their hard work, strength and smiles, summiting Kili would be nearly impossible! We are continuously committed to KPAP's mission of improving working conditions on the mountain, and ensure that all our climbs adhere to their regulations and standards.