Since Porters’ Progress UK’s (PPUK) inception in 2005 its aim was to support trekking porters in Nepal who, at that time, experienced acutely poor welfare and working conditions and in many cases were exploited by the trekking companies.
As a small UK-based organisation we realised the best way to affect change was to fundraise in the UK and work with grass roots partner organisations in Nepal. We have also supported further programmes in Pakistan and Tanzania. These local partners dispersed our grants across agreed welfare, training and learning activities that would best support porters and their families. We remain proud that having been managed entirely by volunteers, ALL our proceeds have been directed towards supporting porters’ welfare and training.
There are still many areas that can be improved across the trekking and tourism sector, but over the years conditions for porters have improved slowly. They now have a Government directed minimum wage, the majority of trekking companies take responsibility to look after the porters they hire by ensuring they are properly clothed and have health insurance. Local in country organisations run annual training sessions so porters are made aware of their rights when trekking and have a greater awareness of their own health and safety at altitude.
We have been incredibly grateful to all those who have supported us over the years. However we now believe the nuances of change that is required is increasingly beyond our control. What’s more fundraising in the UK has become increasingly difficult, and now with COVID 19, almost impossible. This comes at a time when the projects we funded are complete, and we feel now the time is right for PPUK to close down.
We are honoured to have worked with our partner organisations dZi Foundation, Community Action Nepal, International Porter Protection Group (IPPG), Khurpa Care, KEEP, Medex and Medical Expeditions, Mount Everest Foundation. KPAP and The Small World.
Our remaining funds will be split between World Expeditions’ Lend a Hand Appeal and Community Action Nepal and will go directly to support porters in Nepal.
World Expeditions will direct our funds to support porter families in Rasuwa / Ramche (Langtang Region), Palpa villages (Annapurna Region) and Solo Khumbu (Everest Region). At least 110 families will receive a care package of 40kg rice, 40kg flour, 20 litres cooking kerosene and 2kg tea which will help a family of 5 for at least a month.