Donor Culture?

I just posted two letters, one to the UK and one to New Zealand. The price of postage has gone up from 76 shillings to 95; here is one of the new stamps:
Kenyan Postage Stamp
A nice picture of some stiff looking people watching someone not working with a sewing machine. And what’s this I notice…?

On the side it says “Dontation of sewing machine”. And, if you look very carefully, above that there is the Rotary Club logo and the dates 1905 – 2005. This is, apparently, one of a series of commemorative stamps, but you have to have better eyesight than me to see it.

(After we scanned the stamp at 600dpi for this entry I could read it clearly on the screen. I am quite sure my eyesight has deteriorated since I’ve been here, but that is another matter and, since Im approaching 40, I shouldn’t be supprised)

According to the Kenyan postal service website:

Mr. Ameyo said the special stamp issue was significant not only for depicting some of the programmes supported by Rotary in the country, but also in sending a message across the world for people to identify with the problems and needs of others.

I agree; this stamp sends a message across the world. Here is what I wrote in the first version of this entry, before I read the Posta web site in more detail:

What I do see when I look at this stamp is a message, being sent out on every piece of postage leaving the country, that Kenya likes to receive donations.

What do you think?


  1. Munuve Says:

    Hi Mark,
    I think its says exactly that “that Kenya likes to recieve donations.” Its a reflection of what our country has degenerated to (beggers and a dumping ground) since independence and its contrary to the dreams of the first president – Kenyatta. I can’t blame donors (charity is very welcome) but I think we [Kenyan government] have come to depend on aid/donations so much so that its dis-incentivized industry/smart work. Its just pathetic.

  2. jan Says:

    Yep I agree. but most will not be able to read it all so what you will see is as you said some stiff people not working looking at a sewing machine …nothing new there then !!
    what were theother stamps ? Jan

  3. Lydia Says:

    I got a letter with that stamp on today!! Didn’t see the rotary symbol on it – must go and have a look. I posted a card to you on Saturday, crossed in the post! Hope all is gorgeous with you! Lxx

  4. Mark Says:

    Your letter will, I expect, have had a bird on it. I cant imagine the ones I sent the other day have arrived already, though its possible and it ought to work these days. Spent much of today playing cards with the staff waiting for the electrticity to be reconnected. They have an interesting variation of the card game I used to play with my brother before sunday lunch when we both lived at home, but this one has some interesting rule variations.

    The refferendum is happening this weekend. I’m staying in Tala and trying to avoid going near the market even there. Dont know how much of this has gotten into the media outside Kenya but I think I can sum it up best by saying it’s just MAD. I’ll probably have something more to say on this in a while but its hard to know where to start.