Australians are chicken about Christmas gifts
Chickens used to give women a way out of the sex industry in Mozambique have become the most popular feel-good gift to give this year.
The chickens have ousted the quick-breeding goats that feed families in developing countries as the top choice in a range of unusual presents available from charities. Australian shoppers have purchased 4000 pairs of chickens, 2500 ducks and 1500 goats from the Oxfam website this year.
“The chickens are used to give women in Mozambique a way out of the sex industry,” Oxfam spokeswoman Amanda Schofield said. “They can sell the eggs at the market and breed the chickens so eventually they will have enough to sell or to eat.” “These gifts make Christmas fun and a bit cheeky. It’s a feel good present. Receiving and giving makes it feel like your bringing back the spirit of Christmas, sharing and hope, reflecting on family and those less fortunate.”
Retailing at $10 a pair, the chickens are $29 cheaper than the goats that topped the Christmas humanitarian gift chart last year. Other options include an Oxfam toilet for $94.
“In emergency situations like Sudan or after a tsunami we will build toilet blocks for people to maintain their dignity and for sanitary reasons, to sensure the feaces doesn’t contaminate the water supply,” Ms Schofield said.
World Vision, Tear Australia and Unicef all have similar gift catalogues. For those keen to branch out from animal giving, you can purchase an eye examination for $5 from Tear, a vegetable pack for $50 from World Vision or a $30 school pack for students from Unicef.
A range Australian companies also offer gifts that will have benefits closer to home. Rainforest Rescue will sell you the gift of 10 square metres of Daintree Rainforest for $20, while The Smith Family will use your donation in your loved one’s name to provide funding for disadvantaged Australian children’s education.
Green Fleet offers a way to keep Christmas lunch guests carbon-neutral travelling to your house with a $45 tree-planting package. The cost covers the planting of 17 trees and a bumper sticker. The cheapest hippy present comes from the Australian Red Cross, who are asking Australians to donate blood in someone’s name.
“We ask people to give blood and use it as a present. We give them a card that says ‘I have voluntarily given blood as a special gift in your name’,” Red Cross spokesperson Bonita Mersaides said. “It’s something that is unselfish and it demonstrates the true meaning of Christmas by doing something for the community.”