Yesterday, we made our first Pack for a Purpose school supply delivery. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you may remember a couple of weeks ago we ran across a TripAdvisor review that mentioned Pack for a Purpose. We packed a medium size North Face duffel bag full of pencils, colored pencils, crayons, pens, erasers, pencil sharpeners, flash cards and stickers. We also included a couple of mini-white boards with eraser markers for the teachers.
The resort we stayed at, Essque Zalu, is in a remote part of the island of Zanzibar, Tazania near Nungwi. While they are not on the official list of Pack for a Purpose, we did contact them prior to our visit about donating school supplies to the local village school. Fortunately, other guests have done this in the past, so there were well acquainted with the local school officials. They gave us a short list of things that the school usually needed and that helped us put together the items we brought with us. We had a friend who was a school teacher, so they gave us a great local resource at home, where we could purchase supplies at a significant discount. Overall, we had enough items for around 100 students and the cost was less than $100.
When we arrived at the resort, they suggested that we make the delivery in person. One of the hotel senior staff took us into the village where we met the headmaster. They thanked us for the donation and took us to three different classrooms to give the items directly to the children. We were very surprised at the number of children in each school and in each individual classroom. Most schools in Zanzibar have upwards of 1000-1500 per school, with anywhere from 40-100 students per class. The colored pencils and crayons went to kindergarten students, while the other supplies went to third and fourth year students. After handing out the supplies, the headmaster had the classes come outside for a photo.
Overall, we loved the experience and plan to make it a regular part of our travels. It was very easy to put the items together and bring them along. We also involved some of our neighbors in the project, which made it even better. For more information about Pack for a Purpose, follow this link. Here are some additional photos of the kids and the school.
Last modified: January 6, 2014