Travelling to Kenya offers an experience that cannot be easily forgotten – at least not quickly. The undisturbed sceneries, the great gaming safaris and, of course, the hospitable people who go out of their way to make you feel like royalty, just have a way of leaving a mark in your life that lives on long after you have left this enchanted land.
But as you continue to come back to relive the magic of Kenya, at some point you begin to wonder how you can equally make a lasting impact to the lives of the local people you interact with in your regular safaris. That is when you quickly find yourself staring at a huge challenge – where, when and who to make this impact on.
This is where Pack for a Purpose, a non-profit website which provides information to enable travellers to bring requested supplies to lodgings that are sponsoring community projects, comes in. In 5 minutes, a traveller can go to the site, find a participating lodging and the requested supplies and see how to pack them.
The underlying idea behind Pack for a Purpose is that giving back to the communities a traveller visits is a great way to enhance a trip.
The supply lists for destinations on their website are provided directly by the local community-based projects that will receive them, enabling travellers to make informed decisions and bring items which meet the needs of the people who will be using them.
This way, a traveller knows that they are truly meeting the demands of the community they will be interacting with – talk of a great way of answering the where, when and who.
The idea of Pack for a Purpose emerged out of a travel experience the founders had when they first came to Africa. They realised that while they were limited to 18.14 KG of hand luggage on safari, the airline they travelled in had an allowance of 45 KG of checked luggage.
This was a valuable lesson learned and on their second trip they looked into visiting a school near the lodge they would stay in while in Botswana. On contacting their travel consultant, they determined the needs of that school. They were able to deliver 64 KG of school supplies, including soccer balls, to the school.
This proved such a rewarding endeavour that saw more trips and ultimately the birth of Pack for a Purpose. The project has since managed to deliver about 453 KG in donations of clothing, school and medical supplies through travellers visiting Africa.
The concept is quite simple and cost-effective. Travellers are asked to pack 2.27 KG of supplies they can travel with up to their accommodation. This way the traveller brings much needed supplies to communities they will be visiting at no extra cost – their holiday yields impact for both the host community and the visitor who gets to enjoy the spectacular sceneries and wildlife.
Next time you are travelling to Kenya and want to know how you can help make the lives of communities you visit much better, pay a visit to the Pack for a Purpose website. This way you can make sure Kenyan travel is not only memorable to you but also to the lives of those you meet while on safari.
Have you packed for a purpose or intend to do so? What was your experience? Let us know by leaving your comments below.