Australians can make a real difference to the lives of people in poor communities around the world simply through the Christmas gifts they purchase this year, according to Oxfam Australia.
The international aid agency today called on Australians to consider gifts that give back, such as fair trade items and donation cards that support producers and programs in developing countries.
“In this tough economic climate, we know Australians are trying to make their dollar go further and make their purchases count. What better way to do this than by choosing a special gift that also helps others?” said Oxfam’s Director of Trading, Nadine Silverberg.
Giving gifts currently available in Oxfam’s shops include:
•Hand-painted ceramic mugs which support women in Northern Vietnam through fair wages and working conditions;
•Hand-carved mango wood bowls which help employ more than 500 artisans and fund a rural development plan in Thailand;
•Our Oxfam Unwrapped gift card range which offers more than 40 life changing gifts to communities living in poverty. Buy a $10 chicken for a family in Laos who can use the eggs to eat or earn an income at the market. Or for $29 buy toys for children in South Africa.
Fair trade gifts, such as those in Oxfam’s shops, ‘give twice’ by helping the farmers and artisans who produce them through improved market access and stable and regular income, while also making beautiful, stylish gifts in their own right.
“We search the world to find unique, quality products that also help alleviate poverty and injustice through the benefits of fair trade,” Ms Silverberg said.
For fun and quick purchases, Oxfam Unwrapped allows people to purchase unexpected items like goats, seeds, sewing lessons and even cattle manure to help the aid agency provide similar items to poor communities, explained in a card which shows recipients how they are helping.
“With only a few weeks to go until Christmas, Oxfam Unwrapped is now at its busiest time because the festive season is when people often think about giving to others,” said Oxfam Australia Fundraising Manager Leigh Stewart.
“We find people like supporting our work through Oxfam Unwrapped goats, pigs and chickens as it allows them to make a donation to people less fortunate, while giving a quirky Christmas gift to a friend or relative at the same time,” Ms Stewart said.
More information about Oxfam’s shops and fair trade gifts is available at www.oxfamshop.org.au
The full range of Oxfam Unwrapped cards can be purchased at www.oxfamunwrapped.com.au, by calling 1800 034 034 and from Oxfam Shops around the country.