1. Support the Local Economy
We strongly believe that poverty is best solved by supporting individuals to invest in themselves. The best way to increase global economic growth is to empower community members in their personal economic growth. What does this mean exactly? You know the saying “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”? The same lesson is relevant to our work in Africa.
I will come out and admit that yes, I have turned down donations. I’ve turned down people who want to do school supply drives, clothing drives, toy drives. I’ve turned down a brand-new TVs and shoes and books and bicycles. Why? Because there is a difference between charity and philanthropy. Charity has rarely solved anything, often providing a short-term solution to a complicated problem. Philanthropy on the other hand, provides social change in the form of long-term solutions.
Let me provide an example: Let’s say I accepted the invitation for a school supply drive. The donors compile enough school supplies to take care of an entire school. The supplies are shipped from America to Kenya and all the kids are set for the year. Sounds simple enough, right? Unfortunately, not. See what we are missing is the impact this has on the community. One of the student’s fathers owns a school supply store in town. He relies on the sales from his child’s school mates to make a living for his family. Now he is out of business and struggling to provide for his family. While it was not intentional, we passed on a burden to another family, another child.
Imagine instead that we raised money for school supplies. We sent the money to Kenya and bought the supplies from the same business owner AND, because supplies are less expensive in Africa, we were able to buy even more supplies than were donated in the previous scenario. Which sounds like the better scenario to you?
2. High Shipping Costs
When we got our first corporate donation, we were ecstatic. It was so rewarding to see our support include local companies. This first donation was books, Frisbees and soccer balls. We knew the kids would absolutely love these items, so we went to the post office to ship it to the kids. There was a total of about 20 books, 10 frisbees and 5 soccer balls in the box addressed to Bungoma, Kenya, with a hefty shipping price of just over $200. We opted to send the items and the kids loved the gifts but also learned an important lesson that day, shipping to Kenya is super expensive!
3. We Just Want Your Support…and Money 😊
Want to know how best to support Children of Bungoma? Spread the word! Let your family, friends, co-workers, workout buddies, strangers and everybody else know about the important and progressive work happening to ensure children living on the streets have equal access to shelter, food, education and healthcare.
Of course, we are always open to monetary donations. This helps us not only directly support our kids but also the community in which they live.