This Christmas, Chrisitan Aid is 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 Present Aid gifts will support Christian Aid's ‘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 purchases from Present Aid, Christian Aid's ethical gift shop, will have twice the impact.
Christian Aid hopes festive shoppers won't flush their money down the toilet, but will buy a Love A Lav (£8) instead. This gift 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.
Just £10 could provide a sheep for a woman living in rural Ethiopia, so she can sell wool at a market and save money as part of a community savings group, to pay for essential medical care and education for her children.
A gift of sunflower seeds and training (£6) could help farmers in Burundi grow enough food to eat, to help them plant and harvest sunflowers and, with their community, sell crops at market. 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 items on offer from Present Aid are seven new charity gifts for Christmas 2017, which will appeal to adults and children alike, with prices to suit all budgets.
There are two gifts available for £15 or less: £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 who are feeling even more generous could help equip a community kitchen (£40) in a refugee camp, enabling stranded families from Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria to cook, eat and find strength together.
Other gift purchases could provide a hygiene kit (£28) containing soap, sanitary pads, nappies, a toothbrush and toothpaste for members of a family in Haiti living in temporary shelter following hurricanes, or a hand pump (£30) to supply safe drinking water for a community in South Sudan who have been displaced by conflict.
This year, Christian Aid has joined 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).
The Christmas charity gift shop includes firm favourites such as a pair of chickens (£8) for a family in Zambia; a hook, line and dinner (£13) to help farmers in Ethiopia set up fishing cooperatives; and a nanny goat (£22), which could provide nutritious milk to supplement both the diet and income of a vulnerable woman living in Ethiopia's Borena community.
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 www.christianaid.org.uk