Goats and Chickens as Christmas Gifts?!
Published 27 November 2004 | Eunice K. Y. Or
In less than a month's time, Christmas will come. As people go shopping and suffer from headache in choosing a Christmas present for their loved ones, the UK-based charity Oxfam has offered a creative alternative through the launch of Oxfam Unwrapped.
Oxfam Unwrapped is a scheme that aims at making a chance for people and their loved ones to devote themselves to charitable work amid the glorious season's tide. People can simply buy gift vouchers which represent some unusual but practical items or specified services to support the lives of people in developing countries or rural areas. The purchaser's friend, relative or colleague will then receive a card and voucher describing how the item or the service will help to tackle poverty in communities around the world.
The funds collected from the purchase of the vouchers will be used by Oxfam to improve the lives of people in poverty. The scheme truly has a dual purpose - one of giving to the loved ones around yourselves and one of giving to the strangers who are most in need.
Launched on 27th September, the gift vouchers can be bought from Oxfam stores or from a catalogue on the website. The public response has been very good so far, more than 5,800 goats and 10,000 broods of chickens, as well as more than 900 bicycles and 2700 sets of 50 tree seedlings have been purchased.
In fact, most of the items are quite cheap, ranging from £10 to £100. Goats are £24 each and chickens are £10 for a brood of 10. Even though these things are not very useful for us, the tiny offerings will make a great difference to the lives of people in poverty.
Douglas Graham, new products manager at Oxfam said the extraordinary gifts have captured the imagination of many people and they like the idea of helping people in need.
"The principle behind Oxfam Unwrapped is to make giving fun, innovative and informative," added Douglas Graham. "Original Christmas presents are hard to find - we're offering interesting and novel gifts that will help a good cause at the same time. Every gift makes a difference whether you spend £10 or £100."
Oxfam said, "Goats, which are sourced locally by Oxfam, provide nutritious milk, offspring and manure for crops. They can also be sold in times of great need. Chickens, which are easy to care for, provide eggs and chicks."
Around 900,000 catalogues have been printed and Oxfam hopes to raise around £1.5 million by Christmas Day.
Christmas is a season to meditate on the love of God to people on the earth through the incarnation of His precious son Jesus Christ. As we rejoice in the love of God and the love we have received from one another, we remember love is about self-sacrificing and self-giving. When we give, this is when we truly love and truly find joy. Oxfam urges you to take action now, and grasp some unimaginable gifts ranging from water buckets, mosquito nets to animal health training and medicine... from the Oxfam Unwrapped website!