We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

What is wanted?

Buckingham, United...
Level Contributor
464 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
What is wanted?

I want to take some things out to the people when I visit in a couple of weeks. Can anyone tell me what is actually appreciated i.e crayons, Oxo, toothbrushes that they cannot get and would be of use to the people out there and what are the best things to take to bargain with?

UK
Destination Expert
for Malindi, Ukunda, Kenya
Level Contributor
4,724 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: What is wanted?

Just take money. Be prepared to stop and buy things, do a bit of a bargain, but not too hard, and leave some cash. That's what people need desperately all the time.

Cash for medicines

Cash for school fees/uniforms (although "free" all parents have to pay for various things, or the child gets sent home

Cash for vets' bills for animals

Cash for bureaucratic fees and red tape

Cash for getting from A to B, often so they can get to a market

Cash for seeds – if they have any rain for planting

And so on . . .

It's nice to take bits and pieces, but people can buy anything they want if they have the cash. All those items are available in Kenya.

Hope that's not too preachy!

Richard

plymouth england
Destination Expert
for Kenya
Level Contributor
5,880 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: What is wanted?

Sadly Richard I NEVER advise giving/leaving money with any Orphanage staff or even Manangement unless I know the home personally .

Over [ now] almost 12 years I have seen thousands of shillings meant for the childrens welfare secreted into deep pockets.

I agree wholeheartedly with you Richard , it is Much better to buy food whilst in Kenya - I have said this before but many of us like to eke out our budgets and buy a little something each week to the run up of the holiday......then perhaps that couple of extra pounds Aunty- granny & friends have chipped in to give you, can be spent on bags of Maize Porridge fruits and vegetables ...even a top up card for the mobile.

If your flushed with the dosh take the childen to the dentist - this is something many homes simply cannot afford.

UK
Destination Expert
for Malindi, Ukunda, Kenya
Level Contributor
4,724 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: What is wanted?

dd

Sorry, I should have been clearer. What I meant was, *spend* money, on local items, in the dukas, on souvenirs etc. I didn't mean just hand cash to people! Agree, that's always very tricky.

And I'm completely with you on taking what you can, buying food locally. And a trip to the dentist - brilliant idea!

Richard

UK
Destination Expert
for Malindi, Ukunda, Kenya
Level Contributor
4,724 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: What is wanted?

dd

Sorry, I should have been clearer. What I meant was, *spend* money, on local items, in the dukas, on souvenirs etc. I didn't mean just hand cash to people! Agree, that's always very tricky.

And I'm completely with you on taking what you can, buying food locally. And a trip to the dentist - brilliant idea!

Richard

plymouth england
Destination Expert
for Kenya
Level Contributor
5,880 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: What is wanted?

Have I "scared" you Richard? seems a jittery finger has come upon you lol ;)

Many develop a stammer in my presence!!!!!!!!!!

Oh one other thing for nicki50 and any others reading this post ..dont take items to Barter- buy the ruddy stuff and GIVE your old socks flip flops t/shirts AWAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Buckingham, United...
Level Contributor
464 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: What is wanted?

Can I take them so toothburshes and toothpaste then and some oxo cubes, soup mixes etc?

plymouth england
Destination Expert
for Kenya
Level Contributor
5,880 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: What is wanted?

Take what you want and also some packets of Womans personal Monthly requirements - and that isnt the old mans wallet !!!!!!

Berlin, Germany
Level Contributor
66 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: What is wanted?

Well I have my own opinion on bringing things to Kenya. People survive as small traders in just about anything, now we come and give things for free. Imagine the small trader: no business! Imagine the unemployed: no oportunity for small business.

Yankari is right, what they need is money to send their children to school, to buy clothes from a neighbour, to make boreholes up country where there is drought. To make them stand on their own feet is how you truely help.

The best thing to bargain with is money, its in their culture but keep it fair.

I always come back from Kenya with wood carvings, traditional clothes and presents for my family.

plymouth england
Destination Expert
for Kenya
Level Contributor
5,880 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: What is wanted?

Yes- the people DO need Money but nine times out of ten it never gets to the RIGHT person ....

This small ( not everyone reads TA ) and I mean VERY SMALL section of visitors taking some of the suggested items will not put any business man out on his ears ..... simply the opposite - by not having to buy these items this leaves the homes /schools allocated funding available for Bus fares .hospital visits charcoal, gas etc:

I can tell you that NOT ONE TA member who has asked for suggestions of what to bring just gives that to any home --- they also buy shopping/toiletries - fruits and vegetables- some buy -or leave money for charcoals and some have taken children to a dentist ....

In fact in Mtwapa the extra business for fruits/veg and books has allowed two stall holders to start there own children up in a small business

PLEASE do not stop packing things ...

UK
Destination Expert
for Malindi, Ukunda, Kenya
Level Contributor
4,724 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: What is wanted?

dd (not stammering, honest!)

Laurenzz isn't saying give money away, and nor am I. We're both saying *spend it*.

Like him, I always buy stuff I don't really want. . .carvings etc. I love the Makindu Handicrafts Coop on the Nairobi-Mombasa highway where you can go round the back and pick up rejects for not too much. My garden is full of slowly decaying Maasai stick warriors, three-legged elephants etc.

Of course people should take things to donate, that's fine –  decent unwanted clothes, stuff that would otherwise be thrown out or taken to the Oxfam shop.

But please don't *buy* things before you go on holiday and take them to Kenya to give away. That just perpetuates the root causes of the problem - unfair trade. And it may not seem very much, but multiplied by tens of thousands of people in more than 100 countries, it's damaging. So give, give, give, yes, but buy the goods in Kenya, not at home.

Richard