Why do you need suitcases?
We offer a complete trouble-free service to passengers who are willing to take an extra suitcase of clothes and other much needed items to Kenya on our behalf. We will provide everything including the suitcase.
What size and condition do you need?
We are happy to accept any suitable size suitcase (medium to large) which is in a condition to take one more international journey. Those with wheels and handles are especially welcome.
What happens to the suitcases when they have been emptied at the other end?
Suitcases make a welcome storage case for many items and will always be reused. They offer protection from vermin and insects as well as keeping things together.
When do you need them?
We accept suitcases all the time so that we are always ready when an opportunity arises to get clothes and other items to Kenya.
Where do the suitcases need to go?
We are based in the New Forest, England and can give you directions for delivery of the suitcase, and/or arrange for it to be collected from you. In time we hope to have a full network of contacts and hubs for the transfer of suitcases and clothes around the country. For now we would need you to get the suitcase as far as Southampton, Salisbury, Bournemouth, or anywhere within the New Forest.
What sort of things do you need?
This list is not exhaustive but we need:
- Western style clothing for children of school age
- Baby clothes and re-useable nappy systems
- Sports gear
- Baby bottles
- Underwear – bras (second hand or new) and pants (new only)
- Sanitary wear – re-usable sanitary pads
- Educational items – pens/pencils etc. No metal items such as compasses.
- Children’s watches
- Toothbrushes and toothpaste
What condition do items have to be in?
Items of clothing can be new or second-hand providing they are really clean and relatively undamaged. Pants and sanitary items must be new.
What happens to things you reject?
Any items which are too heavy or unsuitable to be sent to Kenya will be recycled via St Francis Animal Welfare if at all possible. Otherwise items may be disposed of at our discretion. We will do our level best not to waste anything.
How do we get these items to you?
We are based in the New Forest, England and can give you directions for delivery of the items, and/or arrange for them to be collected from you. In time we hope to have a full network of contacts and hubs for the transfer of items around the country. For now we would need you to get them to Southampton, Salisbury, Bournemouth, or anywhere within the New Forest.
Can I make things to send to Kenya?
Yes please. Items of clothing and sanitary wear are especially appreciated and we can direct you towards patterns for each.
Do you accept corporate donations?
We certainly would. Please contact us. Any support is absolutely welcomed.
Would you accept money donations instead?
Since we are not registered as a charity ourselves, we would rather not accept money direct. If you wish to donate money then please contact:
Taking a Suitcase to Kenya
How easy is it to take an extra suitcase to Kenya?
You are permitted to take extra baggage into Kenya providing it is directed straight towards a charity when you get there. We will provide you with the appropriate paperwork to show that this is the case. In order to comply with airport security we will make sure that the suitcases are unlocked so that you can satisfy yourself that there is nothing untoward before you travel and also be able to answer the question, “Did you pack this suitcase yourself?” with complete honesty.
How much weight can I take?
Right up to your full baggage allowance on your international flight – don’t forget your own suitcases though!
How arduous will this be?
All you need to do is to carry the suitcase from your car, bus or taxi to check in on arrival at the airport and then from baggage collection to an Elewana driver who will be waiting for you at the international airport in Nairobi.
Can I fill my own additional suitcase with items for the charity?
Yes of course. Just follow the list of items that we recommend. Let us know your expected date of arrival in Nairobi and we will let an Elewana driver know to expect you.
How will I recognise the driver?
They will be carrying a card with the name “Elewana” on it and your name too.
Unless you are travelling with Elewana, don’t forget to go with your own driver!
Which charities do we support?
Through the Land and Life Foundation (in association with Elewana) we hope to support many projects and indeed other charities in remote areas in Kenya. Land and Life have agreed to transport the suitcases to each of the Elewana lodges from where the clothes and educational materials will be distributed to the surrounding communities. This will include charities such as the Loisaba Foundation.
Note: these charities will also accept direct monetary donations. In order to claim Gift Aid please check that the charity that you choose to support is registered in the UK.
The major beneficiaries of these donations are people who live in remote communities where clothing, educational, and sanitary supplies are hard to come by and money is scarce. Our definition of poverty in the UK does not come close to the real levels of poverty in these communities. Their traditional lives are very rich in some respects but education is the key to escaping prolonged hardship. Whilst other organisations are involved in education itself, particularly for young people, and for women’s empowerment, there is still a real need for physical items.
The clothes we send help to ensure that children have more than one change of clothing, something more than just their school uniform, something fresh to put on at night to deter the bugs that bite, something to protect them during menstruation so that they can still go to school. A smart pair of shoes will see someone through an interview and a watch will help them to tell the time. Sport’s wear lifts the spirit of the person wearing it, encourages teamwork and even talking about the issues of drugs, alcoholism and personal health. It can make the world of difference.
What are your Ethics?
We are loathe to use pictures of individuals suffering from poverty, especially children. No-one likes to be labelled or to be an icon for poverty. Accordingly we will not use pictures without people’s permission and only then to show their everyday lives.
We also recognise that sending items to Kenya might undermine the economy of the country. All we can say is that the people that we hope to help are not able to afford to buy things and so the damage is absolutely limited.
Finally, we also recognise that extra weight on an aeroplane does use more fuel. We have chosen the most cost effective way of getting items to Kenya, on aeroplanes that are already going. Using these direct links as far as we are able maximises the help that we can give and minimises the financial cost and environmental cost of doing so.