Previous guests have suggested that we provide some guidance on the sorts of gifts/donations that people could bring with them, or buy in Uganda, to give out. Please enquire if you would like further advice.
Cash, although not very glamorous, is often the most practical gift you can offer. We find visitors sometimes do not want to make a ‘show’ of presenting money but sometimes a public hand-over helps the intended beneficiaries to hold recipients to account.
If there is no obvious institution on your programme that you would like to support, you could contribute to institutions that Venture Uganda supports:
You may also wish to donate any leftover currency at the end of your visit for any of these causes.
Often universities bring branded gifts such as pen sets, power banks, USB memory sticks, wind-up torches, water bottles and clothing (fleece jackets, T-shirts, baseball caps).
Clothes can be a nice gift but avoid giving ladies shorts, camouflage/army fatigues and underwear. Jumpers and jackets are also welcome – it can be cold in Africa!
Footballs/netballs are hugely popular and should be given to team captains/local leaders/head teachers rather than individuals. Hardwearing balls are best. They can easily be pumped up here.
Please do not give sweets or money to groups of children, especially selected ‘favourite’ children. This can lead to fights between the children and it encourages children to beg from foreigners.
To avoid disappointing people, please only give out your contacts if you are happy to correspond with people once you have returned home.
Often, gifts are not required. We encourage you to simply engage with Ugandans, especially fellow students; to debate with them, share your experiences and enjoy each other’s company.