Global Adventure Travel company Exodus Travels has today announced The Mountain Lioness Scholarship, an extension to their already life-changing Kilimanjaro Porter Project, that will see the company further support women within the Kilimanjaro region.
Since the inception of the Kilimanjaro Porter Project in 2018, women in the Kilimanjaro area have already made great strides towards equality; gaining the same recognition as their male colleagues and breaking out of the traditional mould and out-dated way of thinking for women within their region.
While a shift in the perception on the mountain has begun when it comes to gender roles, it has not been an easy road for these women and there is still a long road ahead. Exodus Travels' Mountain Lioness Scholarship is the first step in continuing to bridge the gender divide, and will see the company, alongside Robertson Outdoor Bursary, award guide training scholarships to 10 women per year for the next three years.
The name of scholarship, The Mountain Lioness, was inspired by Lucia Kivoi as a tribute to the courage and determination that she has shown as one of Kilimanjaro's first female porters, and from there building herself a career as a guide working the mountain. Her story and that of the women porters working on the mountain is told in 'Ngumu' the women of Kilimanjaro, a film created by Exodus Travels and their award-winning Director and Videographer, Olly Pemberton.
Lucia said the impact Exodus Travels' Kilimanjaro Porter Project has had on the community has been widespread.
"There is a big impact in the community off the mountain as now most of [the] women are looking for mountain work... they are self-confidence [sic] now compared to early years."
The objective of the scholarship is to empower 30 women working on the mountain with the required qualifications, knowledge and skills to seek employment as professional guides working in the Kilimanjaro National Park.
Over a three-week training period, the scholarship will cover:
Introduction to Tourism and Protected Areas
Biological Resources Identification and General Mountain Ecology (birds, mammals, reptiles, insects and plants)
Interpretation and identification of Mountain Physical Resources
Tour Guiding Techniques (including ethical guiding)
First Aid, Emergency Care and Wilderness Rescue
After the course, each participant will receive a guide license, enabling them to work as a guide in Mt Kilimanjaro National Park.
For further information on The Mountain Lioness Scholarship, please visit https://www.exodustravels.com/au/insights/one-year-unveiling-mountain-lioness-scholarship