Do you give money to children that beg, or take a bag of books and toys for orphanages?
Just saw this article on the BBC News website
about giving money to kids that beg. Always a really tough decision when the kids are cute and so obviously incomparably poorer than you are, but I agree with the author that donating money, sweets etc to these kids encourages a culture of begging that will never benefit the children. In Africa I was constantly bombarded with demands for money, a present, a pen etc but tried to stay strong and say no. Getting your camera out, taking their photos and showing them to them, playing games etc all seemed to distract them fairly quickly from the demands.
In contrast I also came across a website called Stuff Your Rucksack
which allows you to search for charities in the locations your are travelling to and see what they most need, be it stationary, books, games, clothes etc, and then bring them as a donation. Sounds to me like a better way of linking donors with charities and ensuring they directly get what they actually need. Has anyone used this website or heard anything about it?
hmmmm nope no giving money to kids or beggers from us. It just seems to encourage more which is not what i want or need on a holiday.
I would rather prefer to take a bag of books and toys for orphanages....
Great thread, one close to my heart. I travel everywhere with stuff for kids. I lug carrybags full of cheap toys, pens, pencils and puzzles through five bloody countries and its worth every bit of the hassle. I never ever give money to orphanages, always show up unannounced with my bags of toys and a sack of rice. And bubbles. Its kind of an international language. Every kid on this planet breaks into a smile when blowing bubbles...the way I see it...If i donate to a campaign there is administrative costs etc that eat into all but the last dollar so this way, at least I know two things.
1. These kids got fed, even if for just one night.
2. These kids got a couple of hours escaping from the life of an orphan when some crazy westerner showed up with toys and blew bubbles and chased them around. They laugh.....you cant put a $ on laughter.
In response to: Msg #151632
Littlewing you've just brought back such fond memories to me - I take bubbles with me every time I go travelling too! Almost
everyone breaks into a smile - I was in Timbuktu for Christmas 5 years ago and thought I'd bring a smile to myself and the kids on the street outside my hotel with some bubbles. Blew the first wand full of bubbles around these kids and they all screamed and ran away...I thought the parents would be over and I was going to be run out of town for trying to attack their children!!! But 20 seconds later they were back and the second attempt raised giggles and after that they were clambering over me to have a go blowing bubbles themselves! They are such a good icebreaker!
I think donating sacks of rice and other foods etc direct to organisations is also a good idea, with a much smaller risk of corruption than giving money. Also these are things you can buy from the local community, supporting more livlihoods.
[Edited: 2012 Feb 10 04:19 - Forget 9 to 5:25003 - oops whole thing didn't need to be in italics!]
wow guys! i am impressed and that is really really nice of you! beautiful to hear
I used to give money and food to children when I was in Thailand, Vietnam and Mexico, but 5 years ago, I came across a few articles and heard many stories from locals that there are gangsters out there who would kidnape children and make beg for money or steal. So, eversince that, each time I see children beg, I ask if they need food, then I buy them food to eat there, and also I bring with me a few items like toothbrush, soaps, pens or pencils and give them as gifts instead of money.
Very impressive littlewing ...I normally have never given money out, however do remember purchasing woven bracelets at the cruise ship ports from the little girls.
[Edited: 2012 May 08 00:44 - Jo Trouble:16935 - Advertising link removed.]
I will exchange money for goods like craft etc... but giving them money directly, that will surely encourage them more.
When I was traveling in Africa a few years ago I found myself with too much stuff at the end of my trip, and decided that I needed to lighten my load. I bought a decent back pack at a shop and filled it with the shoes I did not want to carry, and all of the clothes that I did not think I would wear when I got home. Some of them I had bought on the road and some were from home. They were all in decent condition. My friends did the same and we dropped them off at an orphanage, along with candy, soccer balls and playing cards. We had a great time playing soccer and tag with the kids!
These children pull at our heart strings. On occasion we gave a bit of money but realized quickly that was the wrong thing to do. We have given them a sandwich or two.
I really like the ideas of taking toys and bubbles.
We've taken t-shirts and trinkets to give as gifts along the way.
i will donate some useful clothes for kids so they look nice .
In Cambodia in exchange for bracelets as I guess there is a little incentive for them there, but then some of those little ones can be quite persistant, but can't recall ever giving a direct hand out. I've been to places where children have obviously been given direct hand outs of cash by tourists so can be a little bit difficult to deal with as they don't really have any social boundaries, been lashed out at before for not giving over cash to children beggers. So that would perhaps be a sole reason for me personally not to give directly to child beggars. I'm more inclined to give to those with physical disabilities.
We never give money to begging children, and we don't buy from children either. Reports we've read and NGO workers we have talked to, all confirm that the money very rarely benefits the children in any way, and it encourages families and organised thugs to keep using children on the street (not to mention the easier access it gives paedophiles).
We try to research grassroots organisations in the area we are travelling to and give a donation towards clean water or education projects... and we also support restaurants and shops that train disadvantaged kids and employ marginalised groups. The Lonely Planet guide usually has a list of 'good cause' places.
If you want to help poor people, giving them food or any other kind is better than giving them money.
[Edited: 2012 Dec 13 04:01 - Jo Trouble:16935 - More urls deleted.]
I don't prefer to give them money, I always give them food.