At the beginning of October 2017, we were contacted by Nelson Mgalla, a young porter we had sponsored to finish his final 2 years of high school, to say that he had done well at his final exams and been accepted into many universities. Nelson wrote "I have been selected to all places where I applied and have decided to take Bachelor of Tourism Management which is a three years training (6 semester) at - Sokoine University of Agricultural."
He explained that the course fees and expenses are very high at US$1,460 per year and he was asking for our assistance for 50% of the fees. His family would cover the other 50%.
We agreed to the pay the 50% from the profits of Majestic Kilimanjaro Treks & Safaris, which would be US$365 per semester, on the basis that he do well in his studies each semester. We gave him a 1 year commitment to be reviewed each year based on his results.
Nelson started his course on October 31st 2017.
"Hi Liana and Steve
I'm writing to you aiming to thank you for your big support on beginning of my university studies I really appreciate it.
The lessons of the semester has began since 31/10/2017 and will end on February 2018.
Please see the attached bank slip of the payment I made.
We asked Nelson why he wanted to study this course:
"Hi Steve and Liana
I'm happy that I began my studies and I'm doing well on your support in Sokoine University of Agriculture.
Since I work as the porter with Majestic Kilimanjaro with experience of years now, with the help i got from you guys with half of my high school payment, I got inspired to continue with high learning on the same field of studies.
Then I decided to take bachelor of tourism management at Sokoine University of Agriculture which I believe will add me more experience :
I'm taking different studies including Introduction to Resource Economics, introduction of tourism, tourism, environment and development, food and beverage, introduction to animal kingdom, english composition, introduction to english language and culture 1 and introduction to spanish language and culture 1
And I really appreciate the support I got from you Liana and Steve, I can't stop smiling.
Our latest update from Nelson: "On my side I am doing well too with my studies. On 26/2/2018 I will start my semester University Exam, then a break till March"
We wish Nelson every success and look forward to following his progress.
As part of our Porters' Scholarship Program we were very happy to be able to sponsor Beny Satu Nkussa and Swibert Zenno to attend the one year Professional Tour Guiding & Leadership Advanced Certificate Course at The Professional Tour Guide School (PROTS), that Tumaini originally attended. The two men started the course in May/June 2017.
As part of the scholarship, Beny & Swibert received:
- 1 field trip paid for each
- 3 wildlife books for sharing
- stationery $25 per person
- the 1 year certificate course
- a loan of US$150 each.
To encourage them to work hard at their studies, if Beny and Swibert get 'A' and 'B' grades for their courses we will pay for their 2nd field trip. If they get 'A' and 'B' grades all year until the completion of their course they will not have to repay their loan of US$150.
In their application forms for the scholarship they both wrote that the reason they wanted to be guides was so that they could improve their own lives and the lives of their families.
We wish Swibert and Beny all the best and hope they make the most of this opportunity.
Great news: Nelson's Graduation was in April which he shared with his beloved Mother.
Then in June 2017, Nelson passed his A level high school exams and scored division 2!
We first met Nelson when he worked as a porter with Majestic to earn money for his high school fees. We helped him out by paying for half his fees for his final two years of school. You can read our original post here
We are so very proud of you Nelson and we wish you all the best for your future!
Nelson and his Mother on Graduation Day
Long time Porters with us, James and Amani, were part of our initial scholarship launch and went on to complete a three months beginners English course followed by a one month driving course. As part of their scholarship, we also gave them a monthly allowance so they could continue to look after their families while studying and not working.
For the next step in their advancement both James and Amani decided they would like to train as cooks. Cooks working in trekking teams on Kilimanjaro make considerably more than Porters so they saw this as a wise choice, and it allowed them to work while learning.
Our wonderful Cook, Rashid, one of the best on the mountain (just ask our clients) was their trainer. He taught them on the mountain as well as for a full two weeks in his own home. It was a real win/win as Majestic Foundation paid Rashid extra money to teach James and Amani and they got to learn from the best.
Learning to cook on the mountain
Learning at Rashid's home
This year, a young man named Nelson (17) started working with us as a Porter to earn enough money to put himself through his final years of high school - A-Levels. When Tumaini heard that Nelson was working to earn school fees, he suggested that even though Nelson had only just started with us we should consider Nelson for our scholarship program. We did, and have since paid for half of Nelson's remaining tuition fees so that he can finish his A-levels.
Nelson has written a little about himself and his dream of the future.
"I'm Nelson John Mgalla i was born in the family of three brothers raised by a single mother.
On education background i started my primary school in 2002 and completed in 2008. Then i joined secondary school education four years (2009-2012)at Kimandolu secondary school in Arusha.
Due to financial problems I fail to go on A-level studies for two years (2013-2014).
During that time i decided to work as a kilimanjaro porter in order to save some money for school fees.
Then in 2015 i got chance to join Marangu high school for A-level studies. But this has been very big challenge on making enough money on time for school fees.
To me education is very important because it gives awareness and i got to learn many thing from teachers and other students at school. Also through education i will be able to reach my plan.
My future plan is becoming a politician so i can be able to help my society in solving different problems like poverty, ignorance and bring awereness in their rights and responsibilities for development.
I hope when i will be to achieve my goals in education my dream of changing the society and my nation will come true."
We wish Nelson all the success he desires and deserves!
As a company we always trying to improve conditions in the local community, and so in 2015 as well as our continued support of the Paradiso Orphanage, we started our Majestic Kilimanjaro Scholarship Program. This fund enables selected Porters to attend a choice of three (3) month English language courses, driving school, wilderness first aid training, nine (9) month guiding school, hospitality school or mechanics training. We also provide a monthly stipend/allowance so these men can continue to look after their families during the training.
Further education of this nature is well out of the reach of most porters. Apart from the cost of the courses, there is also the challenge of being able to continue to support their families while studying. Our scholarship fund, which has been formed from profits from the Kilimanjaro climbs and safaris we run through Majestic Kilimanjaro, looks after all that so that the recipients can just focus on their studies.
Scholarship Program Launch
On 23rd March 2015 we launched the program with James Kahumba, Christian Lomnyaki, Amani Ernest and Silvano Clemence (who has been working with us as a cook for the last two years), starting their three months English course at the YMCA Vocational Training Centre. This was followed by a one month driving course. These 4 men attended class every day for 45mins and then were expected to complete homework. English language skills and a drivers license will allow these men to take up opportunities that weren't open to them before. On their successful completion they will be able to choose whether to attend either a nine months guide, hospitality or mechanics training.
We are very excited and wish them every success!
About Majestic's Foundation
Majestic's Foundation - Maisha Bora - is funded by the full 50% of Liana and Steve's share of the profits generated from Majestic Kilimanjaro Treks & Safaris. In fact, Steve and Liana take no income for their work in the business either.