We first became aware of Pack for a Purpose 10 years ago in connection with a safari trip to Botswana and Zambia. Once we learned of the program, we connected that knowledge with the fact that our air carrier, South African Airways, allowed us two free bags each, but our small planes between safari camps only allowed us a medium-sized duffel bag. Presto!! If we could find a PfaP need near our first stop before getting on the small plane, we could deliver our two duffel bags full of school supplies and soccer balls to Sinde Village in Zambia, right near our first camp. Without having to pay a baggage fee!!
So, when this year’s long postponed (Covid) trip to Kenya came round, we were ready to up our game. Kenya Airways’ direct flight from New York’s JFK to Nairobi allowed us the same two free bags when we really only needed one. We started assembling goods two months in advance… chalk, colored pencils, jump ropes, craft scissors, soccer balls, protractors, band-aids. My daughter who is a teacher set out a box at her school to take advantage of year end cleanup from her fellow teachers. Our traveling companions did the same at their church.
When all was said and done, we had seven bags of donated goods weighing over 51kg (110 pounds)! Our travel agents, Travel Beyond in Minnesota, donated some bags to help transport! Once we arrived in Nairobi, our ground travel contacts at Bush and Beyond made sure that the donated goods found their way to Safarilink (a Pack for a Purpose Partner), a local airline serving many Kenyan safari camps. Over several days they transferred these bags to Lewa Wildlife Conservancy near Mount Kenya. Once there, the Conservancy distributed those goods to 23 different schools in surrounding communities.
We wish we could have been there to see these goods arriving in the hands of the teachers and children, but we are so thankful for all the people along the way who made this happen for us and these schools, including Bush and Beyond, Travel Beyond Travel Agency, Safarilink, Lewa House, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, and of course, Pack for a Purpose.