Monday, 28 May 2012

Balls, Pens and Pencils: Travel Philanthropy in Africa

Traveling to Africa is very interesting, however if one does not get in touch with the local communities and they stick to the luxurious hotels and four wheel drive Safari Vehicles, they miss the reality of life in rural Africa because they miss out on natural interaction with the communities and children.
For philanthropy travel in Africa, it is important that tourists give items that will benefit the children and the community not only at that particular time but even in future. Such giving would include scholastic materials such as books, pens and pencils, construction of classrooms, tourists can also help to construct health centers where the whole community will be able to benefit.
Giving of balls to African children is also a noble cause, the children will be very happy. However it is important that this giving is done through community projects which tourists can be able to access through their ground handlers who will help to identify the right beneficiaries rest the items will end up in the wrong hands.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with Chrystal. There are many excellent and imaginative ways you can contribute to the local community when on safari. I'm not as keen on the idea of giving out pens and pencils, only because in my experience (as a tour operator in Tanzania) they often end up in the hands of children who don't really need them. School books are a great idea, though I prefer to have our guests buy the books when here, so that the schools end up with some books that are on the national school curriculum. As Chrystal points out, no matter what or how you choose to give, it's important to direct any travel philanthropy to the areas that will most benefit from such giving. Unfortunately, many visitors don't stray very far from the main tourist route and thus don't make it out to the needy rural schools, resulting in careless giving to kids in small towns near the entrances to national parks. This in turn can have detrimental effects on future visitors and on the children themselves. (See my blog post on the giving of pens and pencils, 'Naomba Pen,' at

    Happy (and thoughtful) giving everyone!