How can I know my paper gifts (stickers, paper dolls) are culturally appropriate (for Rwanda)?

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I'm not very aware of what would be culturally appropriate for my girl in Rwanda, and I'm trying to foresee any problems.
If I send stickers, what are recommended topics? In the U.S. African safari animals are seen as cute, but for my child, would they be scary predators? What kinds of images would my child recognize and enjoy?
As for paper dolls, what kind of doll would be appropriate? If I look for an African doll, would cultural tensions from the Rwandan Genocide make a certain kind of figurine problematic? Is the Compassion explorer one for Rwanda good to send? https://explorer.compassion.com/paper-dolls/
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Aliya Daniella Kuykendall

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Posted 2 weeks ago

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Sarah, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Social Media

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Hi Aliya! Thank you so much for your heart for your sweet little girl and your desire to be culturally appropriate when sending her letters and extra items! Most of the stickers you find in stores are absolutely ok to send to her with your letters. I would suggest staying away from purchasing stickers that have weapons as for some of our precious children, weapons can be related to gangs or militant groups. You can absolutely send some stickers with African animals on them. Many children, even in Africa, may have never seen some of the animals found on their continent and find those stickers just as enjoyable as we do here :). I usually make a stop at a store like Hobby Lobby after sponsoring a new child to find some stickers that represent my home very well. Since that's Colorado, I try to find ones that include things like mountains, hiking, animals that live here, etc. It's a great way to help your kiddo visualize what your region is like! The Rwanda paper doll that is on our Compassion Explorer Magazine website is a great one to send to her! The beautiful kitenge fabric those outfits are made to look like is worn throughout quite a few African countries and should not cause any tension.  I think you are off to a great start and will do a fantastic job! As you get to know your child, you should soon learn her likes and dislikes and be able to base some of your items and your letters off of that information. I have faith in you!
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Aliya Daniella Kuykendall

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Thank you! Your advice was very helpful. I did go to Hobby Lobby and got some stickers and a Bible story coloring book.
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Laura

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What is the compassion explorer magazine? Tank you for sharing about how yo send extra stuff to our kids!
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Christina, Employee

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Hi Laura! The Explorer Magazine is the kid friendly Compassion magazine :). However, you do not have to be a child to enjoy this magazine! In fact, there are many awesome recipes and fun projects to do, and there are some cute paper doll templates that you can print out. I encourage you to check out explorer.compassion.com. You can also sign up to receive the paper magazine in the mail by changing your communication preferences on your My Account. Enjoy!