When goods sent are culturally inappropriate, it is possible to deepen the pain of those already struggling against hardship. Sensitivity is critical.

We are currently researching documentation that will help us develop appropriate standards for Global Hand users. Examples include resources such as the following.

Feedback? We would be grateful to hear from you if you have:
  • Relevant resources
  • Comments or suggestions or stories
  • Stories of product unwisely/wisely placed.

Please email us at


Global Hand is in the process of gathering resources such as the following.

General Cultural Issues

AERDO mentions, in its Sample GIK Acceptance Criteria, that"GIK will be appropriate to the culture, climate, political conditions, and medical/health conditions of the recipient area". Also, in the AERDO product appropriateness standards, it highlights the need for goods to be sent in a “manner appropriate to the needs and context of a given program.” AERDO then ask that “each non-profit shall have established written policies and procedures for screening GIK prior to …utilization to ensure cultural, social, and programmatic appropriateness.”

Cultural Issues related to Clothing

The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID)
The Australian Council for Overseas Aid suggests that"donors should consider the local climate and culture when choosing what to send."

American Friends Service Committee
This organisation asks donors to"be aware that disaster sites are often overwhelmed by new and used clothing that is inappropriate for the culture and climate. In some countries, used American clothing is not appropriate to the local culture or may upset local textile industries."

Cultural Standards Regarding Literature

Books For Africa
This website has some suggested standards for evaluating the content of donated books, stressing the need for"sensitivity to the values of potential recipients"when deciding whether content is culturally appropriate. Books For Africa says"consider whether the subject of the books you are sending is relevant only to an American or European audience, and therefore not appropriate for an African reader.“Also of note is the fact that”many books reflect a European point of view that could easily perpetuate stereotypes about the developing world."

Outreach Kenya Development Volunteers
This non-governmental organisation says that,“images of developing countries used in North American and European textbooks often perpetuate outdated stereotypes.”They recommend that all books are checked for"negative portrayal and perception of people in developing countries, accuracy in the text and illustrations and oversimplification and distortions".

Web-based Culture Guides

This is a country-by-country guide to the cultures of the Middle East.

The World Travel guide
This site has information on culture of countries worldwide.

SouthAsia Net is a website that informs the viewer on all sorts of cultural topics, from cuisine to politics.

West Africa
This site provides current events and a variety of information specific to West African countries.