a VirtualTourist member from Miami
I am traveling to Sapa in March thru a tour company called Handspan. I asked the person helping me arrange the trip if it would be possible to bring some clothing and supplies to donate to a school there. She advised me that it is very complicated for a foreigner to get permission to do this and it would be better to leave the items at the booking office in Sapa and they would be responsible for delivering them.
Can anyone tell me if this is really the case? I just want to make sure that the items go where they are supposed to.
Any advice is appreciated.
While Handspan has a good reputation overall, I think you should just deliver the clothes and school supplies directly yourself to a school in Sapa or outlying village. I would be a bit suspect of Handspan delivering all the materials to the school and some might get skimmed off for personal use. Sapa is not that large of a town so you shouldn't have any problems dropping off the materials yourself. With regards to getting authorized permission, well, what Handspan says might be true that it may not be worth the effort dealing with a bureaucracy so it's best just to bring the materials instead of getting 'official permission'.
Many thanks! Your advice is much appreciated.
I doubt what handspan is saying, we did the same thing in delhi and we were welcome in an orphanage where we brought the clothes, we just asked at the hotel where was the closest orphanage and deliver the things by our own, the woman who was running the place welcome us and explained what kind of work were they doing, she also asked us for a donation but we told her that we only went there to bring clothes for the children, I doubt that there is any place in the world with so many needs not welcoming people bringing help.