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This Christmas, wrap up a donkey

For immediate release: Monday 16 October, 2006

This Christmas, wrap up a donkey, ribbon a long-drop, gift a goat…

Oxfam's alternative gift catalogue, Oxfam Unwrapped, is back – thanks to the overwhelming popularity of its gifts with the New Zealand public last Christmas. Quirky but life-saving gifts will again compete with the latest toys and gadgets on the 'must have' Christmas present charts.

The Christmas 2006 Oxfam Unwrapped range is on sale from today (16th October). Donkeys, toilets, goats, condoms, meals for kids and more, can all be bought online on Oxfam's updated website www.oxfamunwrapped.org.nz or by calling 0800 400 666.

The Unwrapped range now features 32 'funusual' present ideas with gifts starting at just $10 for a pair of chickens; 50 nutritional meals; or a box of condoms. There are also more substantial gifts such as a sewing machine; teaching a class for a year; or helping a group of cocoa farmers gain Fairtrade certification. There are several categories of gifts, so shoppers can make selections according to the particular tastes and interests of the recipient.

The scheme means buyers give twice – once to the recipient and once to a community in one of over 100 countries where Oxfam works. When the purchase has been made, the recipient receives a card and voucher explaining how their gift is used to help people overcome poverty. This can then be personalised and sent as a gift to friends or loved ones. The items in the catalogue have been selected based on their long-term benefits to communities that Oxfam helps and the gift will go to where it is needed most, allowing families in need to work themselves out of poverty.

"We're very excited to offer people a way to give a gift with meaning and with heart," said Scott Young, Oxfam's spokesperson. "Oxfam Unwrapped is the way to give someone you love something truly unexpected, and at the same time, make a real difference for people in need.

"Unwrapped answers the age-old question – what do you give to the person who has it all?" continued Young. "Now the answer's easy: you give a donkey, a bike, or life-saving water. Your friend, loved one or client gets a personalised card explaining the gift, and the gift itself goes to the people who need it most.

"To you, these presents are a fun alternative to more socks for dad or another box of chocolates for mum. But to the families we help they have life-saving value."

The Christmas 2006 Oxfam Unwrapped range goes on sale from October 16. The catalogue is available by calling 0800 400 666, or by visiting www.oxfamunwrapped.org.nz . Orders must be placed by December 15 to allow time for delivery.

--

Examples of the 32 gift items in the Oxfam Unwrapped online catalogue include:

• A donkey - can carry large loads over long distances to market for trade, or to help a family flee violence. A donkey can also be hooked up to pumps to help irrigate crops, or to a plough to till the fields - and there is the added bonus of free fertilizer.

• A goat - These goats just keep on giving. Their manure helps crops grow and they can produce seven litres of fresh milk per week to drink, share, or sell. Best of all, under the village goat loan scheme, the first female kid is given to another family so the magic can start again.

• A toilet - In the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, less than 10 percent of the population have access to adequate sanitation. The installation of a toilet structure will mean the writing is on the wall for cholera and typhoid.

• Nutritional meals for 50 kids - In Timor-Leste, children's growth are being stunted as they are not receiving adequate nourishment. This gift will give kids access to the food they need to survive, and parents access to the education they need to continue providing good food.

• A box of condoms - The HIV/AIDS pandemic is a global emergency claiming approximately 8000 lives every day. This gift will not only be used to prevent the disease, but will also go towards educational programmes and campaigns promoting awareness. Condoms do work, but without education they will not provide the solution.

All gifts through Oxfam Unwrapped are tax deductible. Oxfam works in more than 100 countries around the world with Oxfam New Zealand's focus primarily on the Pacific and East Asia. A gift from this catalogue symbolically represents its work. The purchase of an Oxfam Unwrapped gift is a contribution toward the organisation's many programmes, not a donation to a specific project or goal.


Oxfam is an international relief, development and campaigning organisation working to end poverty and injustice. For more information, visit www.oxfam.org.nz .


ENDS

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