Giving Through Travel and from Home
Aug 14, 2021
Namaste from Kenya.
Giving is the greatest gift. Learn more about tourism with a purpose and giving from home... most importantly, how to involve kids!
Part of Travel Plus Them’s mission is “tourism with a purpose.” It is not only important for our children to become global citizens and share those learnings with all of you- but also to help the local communities of the countries we travel to.
Thanks to our travel agency, Wild Destinations in Kenya , we found the beautiful Mogra Children's Centre in Nairobi, Kenya. The home has children of all ages and thus we did our best to bring various items for all ages.
Here is what we do:
- Seek guidance from the local people: Contact the hotel concierge/Air BnB host, tour guides, or travel agents for recommendations on where we can donate. We ask specifically for orphanages.
- Why this approach? Because there are so many places that do not have an online presence and receive limited funding- thus you may not find them when you search on Google.
- How to make it happen? We try to contact them in advance (mainly via email) to ask how we can help, what are their current greatest needs of donations, and how / if we can visit during our travels.
Important Actions You Can Take Now:
- You don’t need to travel to give! You can also this at home. There are various shelters that accept donations.
- The key in all of this is—- having the kids select and pack the items- both used and new. Involving my children in the process has made a huge difference in them understanding and embracing the concept of giving.
To prepare for our experience at Mogra, my daughters packed two suitcases of items. Both of the suitcases were at maximum baggage allowance weight. They included items ranging from newborns all the way to teenagers. Items such as:
- Baby Bottles
- Clothes- never worn and partially used but in good condition
- School Supplies
- Monetary Donation- While donations listed above are great, there is always a need for money. While some people wonder where the money goes, it is needed for items such as medical care, medicine, food, etc.
How was our experience?
- It was emotional and of course educational as well.
- We were so humbled by their love… and touched by their smiles. We sang a few songs including the national anthem of Kenya.
- The kids also wanted to learn from us. They asked us where we are originally from- India. Thus, we taught them a "greeting"- Namaste. Similar to saying "Jambo" in Swahili.
- We we welcomed by an amazing team of care takers who took so much time to discuss the history of the orphanage, the kids, the volunteers, the adoption/sponsorship process, etc.
- While it was a lot for my daughters to process, they connected with the kids. They started to appreciate what they have and seeing that others may not have. We experienced moments of reflection and appreciation with ongoing aspirations to help others.
Would love to learn from you… how do you ensure your kids give back?