This Christmas, Christian Aid is encouraging the British public to be wise about waste during the festive season, by buying ethical gifts for people who need them the most.
From sheep and sunflower seeds, to kitchens and hygiene kits, the offerings available from Christian Aid’s ethical gift shop, Present Aid, are designed to help festive shoppers spend their money on items that last.
Christian Aid's Chair Dr Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, said: “This Christmas, we’re encouraging the British public to avoid giving unwanted presents that go unused and buy an ethical gift instead. All proceeds raised from the sale of our Present Aid gifts will support our ‘Enough for Everyone’ Christmas appeal, which this year is also being matched pound for pound by the UK Government.”
The UK Government will match donations made between 6 November 2017 and 5 February 2018 (up to £2.7m). This means Present Aid purchases will have twice the impact.
Just £10 could provide a sheep for a woman living in rural Ethiopia, so she can sell wool at a market and save money through a community savings group, to pay for essential medical care and education for her children.
Christian Aid is encouraging people not to flush their money down the toilet, but buy a ‘Love A Lav’ (£8) instead. This could help provide toilet facilities in villages in South Sudan, where millions of people have fled violence and are seeking refuge wherever they can, often without access to clean water and adequate sanitation facilities.
A gift of sunflower seeds and training (£6) could help farmers in Burundi grow enough food to eat, plant and harvest sunflowers, and sell crops at market with their community. As part of a cooperative, they can set a much better price for their produce, which could transform their lives.
Joining an array of popular offerings from Present Aid are seven new charity gifts for Christmas 2017 that will appeal to adults and children alike, with prices to suit all budgets.
There are two gifts available for £15 or less. Just £10 could pay to teach mothers how to make nutritious gruel porridge for babies under six months old in Burkina Faso, where almost half of all infant deaths are associated with malnutrition. For a flood-affected family in Bangladesh, a fruit tree (£14) could help provide mangos, lemon and papayas so they can earn a living.
Those on a bigger budget could help to equip a community kitchen (£40) in a refugee camp, giving stranded families from Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria the means to cook, eat and find strength together.
A gift could provide a hygiene kit (£28) containing soap, sanitary pads, nappies and other toiletries for a family in Haiti living in a temporary shelter following hurricanes. It could also provide a hand pump (£30) to supply safe drinking water for a community displaced by conflict in South Sudan.
The Present Aid gift shop also features firm favourites. These include a pair of chickens (£8) for a family in Zambia and a nanny goat (£22), which could provide nutritious milk to supplement both the diet and income of a vulnerable woman living in rural Ethiopia.
This year, Christian Aid has joined forces with Divine Chocolate to give away a free Advent calendar to the first 50 orders received. Children aged 5-15 years of age can also enter Christian Aid’s Christmas Goat Competition: they are invited to draw a Christmas Goat and the winning design will feature on a downloadable Christmas card on the Present Aid website. (See Christian Aid's Facebook page for further details).
Present Aid gift cards come in a number of beautiful designs and can be sent by post, as an e-card, or can be printed at home. To receive a Present Aid gift card by post in time for Christmas, orders must be placed by 15 December.
Present Aid, which launched in 2005, has raised in excess of £17 million for Christian Aid’s work with poor communities across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.
For more information visit the Present Aid website.
Notes to Editors:
1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.
2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task.
3. Christian Aid is a member of ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development.
4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter.
5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid, visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk