Whenever I help someone like this I get such a good feeling I wonder if true ulturism exists. Reply to this
I usually give things like fruit, bread, pencils, any school or art materials, clothes.... if I am handing them out directly to the kids on the street. Basically, I give them what I would approve of as a healthy gift for my own daughter. If giving them to an orhpanage or an organisation, I would ask them directly what they need, or just give them the money.
I would avoid giving candy. I think this is likely what tourists hand way too much of to cute kids.
Whenever I help someone like this I get such a good feeling I wonder if true ulturism exists.
Well, naturally people feel good when they do something to help or benefit others. In my opinion, the human spirit wants to be generous and kind. Makes me wonder why more dont do it more often, when it can make them feel good.
Mel Reply to this
We've travelled through many African countries (26), and we decided not to encourage begging. What we found was that kids/people would see a white person and immediately ask for money, or cadeaux. They would look at us and assume we are rich.
The best way to help a country is to spend your tourist dollars at local businesses, eat at local restuarants, shop at local stores etc. If you give kids money this will only encourage them to continue to beg from tourists instead of going to school.
Please do not give the kids anything, I agree with ElAustraliano, if they are providing a service or selling something, then encourage entrepreneurship. Do not encourage the kids that begging is free and easy money.
Reply to this
...if they are providing a service or selling something, then encourage entrepreneurship.
But, wouldnt that encourage child labour? Reply to this
It's common in Africa for kids to beg for pencils/pens because for some reason tourists get the impression that they need them to go to school. It's a common misconception. Kids trade these items like hard currency to get candy, etc. Same thing with empty water bottles. If you really want to help out, you're better off giving school supplies directly to a school so that they are used where they are needed.
No matter how much you think you're helping them, it does exactly the opposite. As said before, the best way to help these people is to spend your tourist dollars on local services.
Kathie Reply to this
Would you give to beggers on the street in your own country?
If the social welfare system was not providing for them, I would. I think a lot of those begging on the streets here in Germany(or in Ireland where I come from) have psychological problems or problems with drugs and/or alcohol and that is why the social welfare system is not enough for them.
But, if I was in a country which does not have a propper social welfare system, and I was very poor with not many options to follow, I would like somebody to give me and my kids things I need. If I was in that situation, what would I think about wealthy tourists saying that I should be working and that I should send my kids to a school I cant afford, when I dont even know where todays food is going to come from.
By not giving to the poor and desperate, in certain countries because it encourages begging, we are essentially saying that our problem about being pestered by beggers is more important than their problem of being poor and desperate.
This is only my opinion, there are many differing opinions.
Kathie Reply to this
There are always exceptions to the rule.
How do we decide what the exceptions to the rule are, when we have never met the beggers before they beg off us, and often dont speak their language? Reply to this
Beggars - Do you give to beggars in your home country and/or when you travel?
Reply to this
They would look at us and assume we are rich.
We mayn't be rich by the standards of our own countries, but the fact is that them moment we step of the plane we are rich. Just using that plane proves it. I try to remember this as I make the difficult decisions about who to give to, and what to give. Reply to this
In response to: Msg #97606
I commend you for being such a conscientious traveler! There are many visitors to Ecuador who are heartbroken when seeing children begging for money. Just as you mentioned, unfortunately, many of these children are working for gangs or other organized groups who take advantage of them so if you give directly to them, you do tend to perpetuate the cycle. In recent years, a few organizations have drastically improved this situation and have taken many of these children off of the streets. The best way to help ALL of the children is to give to these organizations. Here are some suggestions:
Garabateatro (for blind children) Garabateatro.org
Centro del muchacho trabajador (centromuchachotrabajador.org)
Also, you can use some of your luggage space to contribute supplies through PackForAPurpose.org.
We run a tour operator here and recommend these options to all of our concerned visitors and hope that the situation for these children continues to improve. What an incredible perspective and example you and your family are spreading!
Amazon Andes Sky Reply to this