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School/other donations

Chicago
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School/other donations

With a quiet holiday afternoon, I spent time browsing the forum, especially those about bringing gifts to individuals, and bringing donations or school supplies. I started wondering. Are there groups in Arusha/Moshi or the area that would be able to help get donations to the children who might really need them. Is there a group with a larger influence than just one particular school who could help disperse the supplies into the more rural areas away from those areas that are already innundated with tourists. Or... does nothing like that exist, and each visitor/donor just is on their own of trying to figure out who needs what and where? If there is nothing like this available, maybe this is the perfect volunteer opportunity to create a service like this one-just a thought.

melbourne
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for Tanzania
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1. Re: School/other donations

sciguy

Many operators have their own particular charity that they support. most Tz operators also give a lot to the community. Many have and are building schools, clinics, and water resources.

Some advertise what they do- others do it in a quiet unobtrusive manner.

I dont know of an overriding group that would dispense the tourist dollar apart from normal things like World Vision and the like where often more money goes in adminstration than actual benefits to the needy.

I cant remember your itinerary off hand but would ask your operator if they have a favourite charity and consider that- then there is nothing like going off the beaten path and actually making a donation to some village in need.

I know of a tourist who bought 50 bags of maize and had it delivered to the village godown for the use of those in need.

On the other hand I know a tourist who gave a village a $ 5000 water tank.

Many years ago -it is still there and not a drop of water has gone in or out-they forgot that a pump was needed to fill it.

The question of donations and wanting to contribute something real is a hard one and I am a bit of a sceptic-even on Xmas day.

Depending on how much you want to give-rather than helping 100 with very little I would help a few with something to make a difference. What that is would depend on your resources.

Other will of course have a different opinion and just as valid as mine.

Edited: 25 December 2012, 07:32
Ottawa, Canada
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2. Re: School/other donations

merry Christmas.

I can put you in touch with a Moshi friend who has lived there for a year, worked with my old NGO and knows od a few out of the way villages. Of course, these are getting support from some already, though no where near as much as is needed. There are also sometimes places, like the Moshi youth detention centre where there are needs. I could tell you stories.

IAB and BrianinBrooklyn could help with a project out the Ikoma area (I think that is the location). Project Zahwadi. Google it and read about it on this forum.

It would make sense for you to do this maybe the first days while in Arusha, but I bet it would mean more to do it after a little more exposure to the country.

One problem can be lack of time. It takes time to decide where to send things, and then how to transport it? if very out of the way, they take local bus and then it is carried in. Who will lay the expenses ofmthe person delivering it? Even NGOs can't always drive to the places in need.

Soccer is big there and a soccer ball only lasts about four games due to the rough soil. They are expensive to replace. I can help with contacts for that.

It seems that so many things we take for granted here are complicated there due to poor infrastructure, so it can become a daunting task to get things where they are more needed. But know the excess box lunch you give away is feeding some. The school supplies given to the principal will be used eventually.

Maybe the area near Ikoma will be an area better able to distribute things outside the major tourist donation route.

Start by asking your TO, and for specifics. I would also contact Ikoma camp directly and question them about the area.

I understand NoExpert's perspective. Some of our good works have caused bigger problems or waste, but food, water filters, basic needs are of value to both the giver and recipient.

Minneapolis...
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3. Re: School/other donations

Over the years we've developed some criteria for our charitable giving.

One is that we know most or all of the donation is actually addressing a real need and is getting to the folks it is intended to help. This can be hard to judge on a short visit - saints and con men are often indistinguishable. We rely a lot on the advice of people with more experience. QM actually spent her own time and money to volunteer in Moshi - and she is a smart lady. She saw the good work but wasn't blind to the flaws... you may want to message her to discuss things in more detail.

Another criterion is that it has some staying power - the old give-a-man-a-fish/teach a man to fish idea. Will there be anything left a month from now? Of course - I exempt toys and soccer balls from this criterion. Kids should have soccer balls. They are good for them. They wear out. It's OK!

A third - maybe really the same as the second - is that our gift does not foster dependency. Our friend in the Peace Corps in Guatemala taught basic health care in remote villages. She found some communities would say "We'll get our kids to brush their teeth and wash their hands... if you get American companies to keep up a supply of toothbrushes and toothpaste and build us cleaning facilities. Instead, she'd help them learn how to build the facilities themselves and where to buy toothbrushes and toothpaste at discounted prices. Cooperation, not neocolonialism.

Best advice? Read about different organizations in the area. Pick one you feel good about. We visited an orphanage/school operation that started out tiny and has grown (with a lot of foreign donations) into quite a large operation. We gave some supplies... and a bunch of stuffed animals from our kids that the primary teachers were quite pleased with to use as classroom "incentives." We gave soccer balls. And we gave money.

We visited two schools near Mugumu. One was part of our cultural tour. We donated there, but our guide encouraged us to keep our supplies and soccer balls - and the next day he took us to a school that doesn't usually get visitors... the visit was not polished and the director wasn't quite sure what to do with us - and vice versa - but that was one needy place and a rewarding spot to leave some cash and goodies.

…photobucket.com/albums/…

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Findlay, Ohio
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for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
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4. Re: School/other donations

It's very difficult to get to those with the most need, thus those in the Moshi and Arusha area typically get, sometimes an overload. I am somewhat like NoExpert on this, I too have seen strange donations (the ones I used to see were Electric Keyboards and guitars to churches and schools who were off the electric grid, they typically gathered dust in the corner. When I knew the name or knew of the donor I would ask them why they did this when it wasn't useful, and I actually had one tell me, well someone may donate a generator to them (I didn't bring up the fact that they wouldn't have enough money to buy fuel for the generator. I am always amazed by this.

Now having said all this, what you might want to do is to contact a small school/orphanage just outside Arusha and I would guess they might come and get you or meet you at a hotel. The name is Good Hope School and you can visit them on the web at //www.goodhopeorphanage.org/. They are kind of outside the tourist loop so their needs are typically large.

Mambo
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5. Re: School/other donations

Look at the website from packforapurpose to find places and the things they need

Minneapolis...
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6. Re: School/other donations

I've never looked at pack for a purspose before... nice service

packforapurpose.org/docs/countries/tanzania/

As you can see, they've got lots of places in Arusha - none in Moshi - and some out along the northern safari ciruit. Of course, if an organization is on the list they are likely not THE neediest... but that is an elusive goal anyway.

I try to make sure my generosity isn't being abused - like the person in charge using the charity for personal benefit... but as long as there is need and I can help, it doesn't have to be the very neediest... just somebody who will benefit significantly from what I can give for little sacrifice...

Chicago
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7. Re: School/other donations

Thanks for the info on Packs for a Purpose. I have written down the info, and will contact them. It also gave me ideas, for example, one group is helping villages in the Tarangire area, so maybe I can hook up with some people there on my own, as I am staying outside the park at Whistling Thorn.

Ottawa, Canada
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8. Re: School/other donations

It's funny how this organization is just coming to light. I have heard of "stuff your rucksack" but it wasn't as extensive as this org. Today I was reading about Ruaha lodging and noticed a number of the support pack for a purpose. I like this.

You may want to contact your TO and the camps directly to see if any of them support this or other endeavours. If they do - in a serious way - maybe they would join this org. It is a convenient way for us to pack a little extra.

surrey
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9. Re: School/other donations

I'd never heard of 'Pack for a Purpose' either - been using 'Stuff Your Rucksack' for a while. We have a big suitcase full of things to bring and need to donate it in Dar - the only organisation I can find through either of the above is Art in Tanzania - http://artintanzania.org/en/ - does anyone know anything about them - I assume they are OK as they are part of UNICEF Children Agenda Tanzania.

I intend buying some footballs to take - will they have pumps and valves etc or should I bring a couple - for anyone coming from the UK - there's lots of places you can get footballs for £2.50 - not sure if it's OK to name one or 2 shops.

Also today I went to a £1 shop and stocked up on pencils, coloured pencils, crayons, notebooks etc - oh and some bags of sweets - is it awful to hand out sweets to engaging little children you may encounter.Are batteries useful to take? I will keep a couple of footballs back to take to Zanzibar with us. I'll probably take 12-14 in total.

Ottawa, Canada
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10. Re: School/other donations

Yes it is awful to hand out sweets to little children - at least in my opinion. There is little to no dental care. Truly, they need real food over junk food most of the time. I now it is just your generous heart, and wanting to treat the child, but it is not the same as in Sussex. Also, it isn't uncommon to have some older kid bully the younger kid for that candy - or food for that matter. A harsh reality. It is always better to give it to an adult to be handed out appropriately. We must respect these things. I never gave anything directly to children - this also encourages begging.

What would you think they need batteries for? Yes they are expensive there, but they also try to avoid using things with batteries - so a waste and a burden to their poor sanitation and waste disposal. Again, IMO.

On the other hand, I always do take pumps and valves with the balls. They really enjoy these and love to be able to just have a game of pick up football.

Have you asked your TO if they have sources for donations? Despite having 'free' school, students cannot attend if they don't have pencils or paper. Just saying.

I noticed a number of camps I was perusing (and drooling over) state they work with 'Pack for a Purpose', though I am not sure that every one is on the PFAP website. As I think I mentioned, utilize your TO and the different lodgings or places you will be visiting.