Making Christmas sweeter

Making Christmas sweeter

Paul Dunphy describes the effects of life-changing gifts to the developing world


Since Oxfam launched the Unwrapped range of Christmas gifts, Irish people have truly embraced the spirit of Christmas and given more than 125,000 life-changing gifts to people in need.

These gifts have helped improve the lives of more than 500,000 people in countries like Tanzania and Malawi and at the same time thousands of Irish mums, dads, grannies and teachers have received unique Unwrapped gifts like goats, seeds and school books that have made them smile.

The 2011 Oxfam Ireland Unwrapped range features four brand new gifts, bees (€26), 2 little ducks (€27), Fix a well (€28) and a donkey (€47). The range also sees the return of the popular, life-saving mosquito net (€7) gift.

Choosing to give an Unwrapped gift at Christmas is just the start of a process of change. Long into the New Year Unwrapped gifts are still giving to people like Musa Tom, originally from Chad and now living in Sudan, who received a donkey thanks to Oxfam Unwrapped shoppers.

”When I received the donkey I was very happy,” Musa said. ”I’ve called her ‘Momiamin’ which means ‘when you’re tired you take a rest’, because I can ride her when I’m feeling tired, when my legs are tired. I use her to go and collect firewood and grass thatching that I’m going to use to construct a tukul (a house). There are five in my household three children, my wife and myself; Momiamin helps us all.”

Award winning Irish radio and television presenter Lucy Kennedy is supporting Oxfam Unwrapped in 2011. As well as helping to promote the launch of the campaign, Lucy is a big fan of the gifts and the way they work. She said, ”Oxfam Unwrapped gifts are fantastic Christmas presents. Every single gift is tailor-made to empower people and improve lives. They really are some of the best gifts you could give this year.”

When you give an Oxfam Unwrapped gift for Christmas it goes to a family like Musa’s, or even a whole community in the countries where Oxfam works.

You receive an exclusive gift card and fridge magnet to give to your friend or family member on the day; or Oxfam can send it directly with a personalised message from you.

Every Unwrapped gift, whenever possible, is sourced locally in countries where Oxfam works such as Uganda and Zimbabwe, to help boost the local economy.

All Oxfam Unwrapped gifts are real items chosen by the people that Oxfam works with to give them the resources and skills to help their family and community overcome poverty. Every single gift is tailor-made to empower people and improve lives in communities in Africa.

New and exclusive at in 2011 are lovely Unwrapped gift sets.

There are five to choose from, such as the bee gift set, where you can give a little extra treat for your friends and family to enjoy – a pot of Fair Trade honey – along with their Unwrapped bees gift. To make their Christmas that little bit sweeter.

Prices in the 2011 range of Unwrapped gifts start from €7 for the mosquito net gift. Other gifts include chicks (€9), turkey (€20), piglets (€33), goat/s (€38/€76), cow (€105), farmyard (€179), cooking stove (€15), school books (€18), sunflowers (€24), drinking water for three families (€25), give girls a headstart (€30), plant trees (€36), feed a family (€45), supergranny (€59), water for a community [1,100 people] (€1,000) and water for a community [3,300 people] (€3,000).

Unwrapped gifts can be purchased online, in your local Oxfam shop, by post and by phone (1850 30 40 55).

Simply check out the website or visit Oxfam Ireland stores to find out more.