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Dec 5, 2012

Dec Oxfam Unwrapped – gifts that you’ll just love to give this Christmas

5
2012

The tree is up, the letters to Santa sent and the mince pies are in the oven, now it’s just those presents to sort out…

 

This Saturday marks the traditional Christmas shopping day of December 8th and whether you like to join the crowds in town, shop online or by telephone, it’s never been easier to pick up an Oxfam Unwrapped gift this festive season –simply call into one of our 51 shops across the island, visit our online store www.oxfamireland.org or phone 1850 30 40 55 (Republic of Ireland) or 0800 0 30 40 55 (Northern Ireland).

It only takes a moment to buy an Oxfam Unwrapped gift, but it can change a life forever.

We’ve asked some of our furry friends to explain why they should be picked as Oxfam Unwrapped gifts this Christmas (warning: this video may contain cute animals).

All our Oxfam Unwrapped animals are locally sourced in the countries where they’re needed to ensure they don’t travel long distances to get to those who receive them. They are also vaccinated and given to families who get training on how to best care for them. In fact, we source every gift locally wherever possible to help boost the economy in communities affected by poverty.

 
Along with our incredible animals including A Clutch of Chicks (€13/£10)A Donkey (€47/£38) or a Piglet (€35/£28), we have lots of other gifts to suit everyone this Christmas, from DIY fanatics (they can Fix a Well €28/£23 or set up a Solar Panel €32/£26) to teachers (School Books €18/£15 and Educate a Girl €30/£24) and foodies (Feed a Family €29/£23 and Breakfast for a Child €10/£8).
 
Whether you’re looking for a Kris Kindle present for under €10/£10 (Mosquito Net €5/£4 and Drought-resistant Seeds €7/£6) or are raising money together with your school, group, company or club to buy a large-scale gift like Water for a Community (€1,000/£809), the result is the same – lives transformed for the better.
 
You can also help the youngest member of the family when emergency strikes with the Baby Kit (€10/£8), provide Breakfast for a Child (€10/£8) for orphans in South Africa, or support the training of nurses and midwives in Ghana with the Care for Mums (€20/£16) gift to ensure thousands of mums and mums-to-be get the help, expertise and support they deserve.
 
Some of the brand new presents this Christmas include the Girl Power (€14/£11) gift funding projects empowering women to stand up for their rights and tackle domestic violence (also part our Ending Poverty Starts with Women campaign), Literacy Classes (€49/£40) that unlock life-changing opportunities by training adult literacy teachers and A Small Loan (€70/£57) that help start-up businesses get the investment they need to create new job opportunities.
 
 
TOP: Volunteers and customers gather in our Navan shop to celebrate the launch of the Oxfam Unwrapped Christmas gift range https://www.oxfamireland.org/unwrapped. Photo: Ciarán Maguire. ABOVE LEFT: Amber Henderson (8) from Bangor showcases our Donkey https://www.oxfamireland.org/unwrapped/donkey and Clutch of Chicks gifts https://www.oxfamireland.org/unwrapped/chicks at Belfast City Hall. Photo: PressEye Photography. ABOVE RIGHT: Dublin mum Rosemary Lafferty with her children Declan (10) and Ailbhe (12), all Oxfam Unwrapped supporters. Rosemary says: “When a friend or relative opens an Unwrapped gift, you’re guaranteed a smile and often a big hug too.”
 
When you purchase an Oxfam Unwrapped gift, your donation will fund projects that your gift represents in countries like Malawi, Zimbabwe, the Democratic of Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and South Africa, helping communities to build a brighter future. Find out more about Oxfam Unwrapped here.
 
And you’ll also receive a beautiful 2013 Oxfam Ireland calendar with every purchase to remind you every day of how you’re making a difference. 
 
Our 51 shops across the island of Ireland are busy hosting events to spread some festive cheer and showcase our Oxfam Unwrapped gift range, which is available in every store. Drop in, we’d love to see you!
 
For gift card delivery before Christmas, order by Monday December 17th if buying gifts using the form attached to the Oxfam Unwrapped catalogue or by Wednesday December 19th if you’re buying online www.oxfamireland.org/unwrapped or by phone (RoI: 1850 30 40 55 / NI: 0800 0 30 40 55).
 
And if you find yourself stuck at the last minute on Christmas Eve or receive an unexpected present during the festive season, you can buy an Oxfam Unwrapped ecard in a super fast time at our easy-to-use online store www.oxfamireland.org/unwrapped.
 
Since we launched Oxfam Unwrapped nine years ago, people north and south have truly embraced the spirit of Christmas by giving more than 140,000 life-changing gifts and raising over €4 million/£3 million. This has helped to improve the lives of more than 500,000 people affected by poverty and injustice around the world.
 
Change a life this Christmas. Thank you.

 

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Nov 26, 2012

Nov Laugh out loud for Oxfam!

26
2012

LOL for Oxfam! We've organised two comedy gigs in Dublin in December where you can tickle your funny bone while raising vital funds for our work with communities affected by poverty around the world.

Cast members from RTÉ's hit satire The Savage Eye make up the stellar line-up, so come, laugh and help transform lives with the likes of Patrick McDonnell, James Goldsbury and Foil Arms and Hog.

Saturday December 1 at 8.30pm 

Leeson Lounge, 148 Leeson Street Upper, Dublin 4.

Featuring:

  • Foil Arms and Hog
  • James Goldsbury
  • Patrick McDonnell
  • Dermot McMorrow 

Join the Facebook event page here

Thursday December 20 at 8.30pm 

Murray’s, O’Connell Street, Dublin 1.

Featuring:

  • John Colleary
  • James Goldsbury 
  • Patrick McDonnell
  • Willie White

Tickets for each gig cost just €10 and are available in advance from the Oxfam Ireland office by calling (01) 635 0406 or on the door at the venues. Funds raised will be donated to Oxfam Ireland to help people affected by poverty build a brighter future. 

The line-up…

John Colleary 

John is one of the stars of The Savage Eye and is currently involved in the fourth series. He has recently won the PPI Radio award for best satirical comedy.

James Goldsbury

James is a regular on the Irish and English comedy circuits having performed at the Kilkenny Cat Laughs, Kinsale Comedy Festival, Carlsberg Comedy Festival and The Electric Picnic comedy tent. He has also written and starred in Headweckers (part of Channel 4's comedy lab season) as well as The Savage Eye. 

 

Foil Arms and Hog 

This comedy trio presents wickedly twisted characters, unpredictable scenes and high energy performances. They’ve appeared on TV in The Savage Eye and at live festivals including Kilkenny Cat Laughs, The Electric Picnic comedy tent and The Vodafone Comedy Festival.

Dermot McMorrow

Dermot has written for and performed in all four series of The Savage Eye. He is the founder of the ‘Save the Snail Society’ and is currently writing 'Mannequins for Dummies’. 

Patrick McDonnell

Patrick has been standing up and making people laugh since 1996. He co-wrote and performed two series of the O Show for BBC Radio 4 and appeared in a number of short films – Solomon I, Swag, Stephanie Knows Who and Mebollix –and the feature film Separation Anxiety. His television appearances as a stand-up include The Empire Laughs Back for BBC N.I. and RTÉ’s The Lounge.

He played Eoin McLove in Father Ted and over the last decade TV appearances include Stew, Don’t Feed the Gondolas, Val Falvey TD, The Savage Eye and the IFTA award-winner Naked Camera. He has most recently appeared in Moone Boy on Sky One.

Willie White 

Des Bishop gave Willie his big break on his Joy in the Hood TV series. He’s also starred in The Savage Eye and established himself as a regular at comedy clubs and festivals nationwide.

To get your ticket for these brilliant comedy events, call (01) 635 0406 or buy them on door at the venues

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Nov 23, 2012

Nov Violent clashes in the Democratic Republic of Congo

23
2012

140,000 people have fled violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo since mid-November, with over half a million displaced since April.

This week, armed groups captured the strategically important city of Goma, pushing a conflict that has killed 5.4 million people since 2008, into a new and dangerous stage.

Above (top): Oliva Noalla, 6, with her younger  sister on her back, Mugunga camp. Above (left): People have built shelters out of leaves and materials they have managed to find nearby. Above (right): Forced child recruitment is on the increase across the east of the country. Above: Oxfam supplying water in Kanyaruchina.

Violent clashes between armed groups and government forces has already led to a widespread collapse of state control in large areas of the east, where the humanitarian situation is deteriorating rapidly.

Power and water is gone in the main city of Goma, which means people are taking water from the lake instead of the municipal system. There are large fears of a cholera outbreak.

Meanwhile, forced child recruitment is on the increase across the east.  Annie, 22, questions if her children will be next.

“Although they are young, I know that child recruitment is happening and I would not put it past the rebel groups to take my tiny children. I know what they are capable of” she says.

She fled her own home in August with her husband and two children and came to Goma to escape the violence in her own area.

“We have lived in a state of fear for months” she says.

She says she lives each day tormented by thoughts of what might happen to her family.

“My children know something is wrong. They react badly to things which they did not do when we were at home. Is it a surprise? They sleep without a roof over their head and eat one meal a day.”

Oxfam, which has been in the region for many years providing clean water and sanitation to tens of thousands of people, is on the ground assessing the needs of people

However the job is made difficult not just by the current security situation.

In 2002 Mount Mount Nyiragongo erupted and covered the city of Goma and its suburbs with volcanic rock. The hard terrain makes it extremely difficult to dig for water and to dig latrines. This means Oxfam has to truck water to meet the urgent needs of thousands of people.

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Nov 22, 2012

Nov Linking together for 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence

22
2012

“My husband was very abusive towards me and my children.”

There are many facing the same situation as Emilia Chuma. One in three women worldwide has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her life. 
 
In Tanzania, where Emilia lives, violence against women is widespread. One study found that over half of women are beaten regularly by their partners. Why? Because there is a long-standing belief among men and women that such behaviour is acceptable. In 2009, a survey of women in Tanzania found that 56% agreed it was important for a man to “show his wife who was the boss” and 61% believed that a “good wife” obeys her husband regardless of the situation. 
 
But these attitudes are changing. The Oxfam-supported We Can! campaign has seen more 350,000 men and women across Tanzania pledge to become change-makers in their communities, promising to recruit at least 10 others who sign the same pledge to stand up to domestic violence. 
 
 
TOP LEFT: Emiliani Dionis in Mgeta village, Tanzania. He used to beat his wife and five children but is now a change-maker thanks to the Oxfam-supported We Can! campaign. TOP CENTRE: Change-maker Emilia Chuma in Mgeta says the We Can! campaign convinced her husband to end his violence towards her and the children. TOP RIGHT and ABOVE: People in Mgeta watch a dramatic performance that shows the impact of violence against women on the local communities. Events like this one encourage people to change the attitudes that permit domestic violence. All photos by Barry McCall/Oxfam
 
This unique approach asks people to acknowledge that violence is happening within their midst, to commit to not tolerating violence in their personal lives and to take proactive steps to encourage others in their communities to pledge to follow their examples. 
 
“I became a change-maker because I wanted to change my life,” explains Emilia who spoke to us in her village of Mgeta. “The Morogoro Paralegal Centre [an Oxfam partner] showed me the change-maker form and I signed it.
 
“I convinced my husband to change. Now we have a great relationship and our children are much happier.”
 
Emilia was one of the inspirational women met by our ambassador Sharon Corr who travelled to Tanzania earlier this year. See her meeting Emilia and others empowered by the We Can! campaign in our video below.
 

 

We are joining with thousands of individuals and organisations worldwide to mark the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence (November 25th – December 10th).

 
The international 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence campaign calling for the elimination of all forms of violence against women.
 
You can show solidarity with the men and women taking action around the world by showcasing our specially designed paper chains which highlight the devastating extent of violence against women and girls. Displayed in villages, towns and cities throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland, join us to demand that the chain of violence is broken once and for all.
 
Get involved by printing off the one-in-three paper chain and hanging it at home, in work or school, in your car or a prominent place in your community.  Email us a picture at campaigns@oxfamireland.org and we’ll share it with fellow activists in our Facebook group.
 
One-by-one, we can make change happen. Download our paper chain today.

 

Nov 12, 2012

Nov Sharon Corr travels to Tanzania with us

12
2012

As part of our Ending Poverty Starts with Women campaign, our ambassador Sharon Corr and acclaimed photographer Barry McCall travelled to Tanzania to see how we’re helping women to stand up for their rights. Oxfam's own Communications and Marketing Executive Clare Quinlan travelled with Sharon to see how your donations are making a difference.  Here's her account of the trip.

A chorus of singers welcomed us as we arrived. Their voices filled the air, creating a sense of celebration and excitement.

The reason for our visit to Lyenge village – part of a week-long trip to Tanzania – was to meet Ester Jerome Mtegule and other inspirational women who are shaping the future of their communities.

TOP LEFT: Our ambassador Sharon Corr meets Female Food Heroes winner Ester Jerome Mtegule at her home in Lyenge village. TOP RIGHT: Rice farmer Halima Shida shares a moment with Sharon Corr outside her home in Kimamba village. ABOVE: Sharon Corr meets last year’s finalists (from left to right) Mwandiwe Makame, Anna Oloshiro and the winner Ester Jerome Mtegule, along with Oxfam Ireland’s Monica Gorman, at the launch of the 2012 Female Food Heroes competition. All photos by Barry McCall/Oxfam

Ester was the winner of our Female Food Heroes competition in 2011. It reached around 25 million Tanzanians – more than half the country’s population – through television, radio and newspapers. This year’s contest was being launched on her home turf, and Sharon was invited to Lyenge as the guest of honour.

The reason why Female Food Heroes is so important is because it celebrates the role played by women who farm and produce food.

Women are at the heart of Oxfam’s work – they make up 43 per cent of the agricultural workforce in the countries where we work, but often face discrimination when trying to get ownership of the land they farm.

Our Ending Poverty Starts with Women campaign is calling for better support for women food producers so that they can become leaders in their own communities.

Because of widespread media coverage in Tanzania, the Female Food Heroes competition brought important issues to national attention.

Ester and her fellow finalists – whittled down to 10 from 7,000 entrants by a panel of expert judges and a public vote by 10,000 people – participated in a week-long X Factor-style ‘boot camp’ where they received training to enhance their existing skills in farming and food production.


 
TOP: Sharon Corr attends an event in Mgeta village organised as part of our We Can campaign to combat domestic violence. This social movement recruits ‘change-makers’, people who pledge to change their attitudes and behaviours towards violence against women. ABOVE LEFT: Sharon gets ready to play traditional Irish music for locals in Kimamba village. ABOVE RIGHT: Sharon wears a traditional African headscarf presented to her by local women from Iyenge village. All photos by Barry McCall/Oxfam

Following a public vote, Ester was awarded first place. She proudly showed us the tractor that she won and also the grain store that she now manages on behalf of her community.

During the time we spent with Ester she warmly welcomed us into her home, where she wrapped Sharon’s hair into a traditional African headscarf and showed her how to grind maize, one of the staple foods in Tanzania.

The impact of the Female Food Heroes competition on Ester's life has been remarkable and she's now become the farmers’ representative on her local district council.

She's also using her prize of a tractor to help others in her community and so far, 10 other farmers have benefited from use of the machine.

Ester says that farming, “like anything worthwhile in life, takes discipline and hard work. Discipline is everything. We need more discipline in agriculture if we are really determined to end food insecurity.”

She has become a beacon of hope for all in her community.

We also met the two runners-up of the 2011 competition, Anna Oloshuro Kalaita and Mwandiwe Makame, each of whom won solar panels. They told us how their lives have changed as a result. They are using their prizes to benefit other women in their communities in a number of ways, such as charging household lamps.

TOP: Sharon Corr dances with local women and men in Kimamba village. Your donations help us to support many female rice farmers from the village to get title deeds to their land so they can farm their land securely and free from outside threats. ABOVE LEFT: Sharon watches a dramatisation of domestic violence as part of the We Can campaign with Furaha Kimaro, our Gender Programme Officer. ABOVE RIGHT: Sharon meets a young girl as she arrives at the home of Ester Jerome Mtegule, last year’s winner of the Female Food Heroes competition. All photos by Barry McCall/Oxfam

Throughout the visit, Sharon showed great compassion and empathy towards everyone she met. You can see her meeting Ester and other Female Food Heroes in the video below.

In Lyenge, we had arrived to the sounds of women singing in harmony. We left with an insight into how much is achieved when women can be empowered to come together and build a better future for their communities.

To add your voice to our call for increased government support for projects that empower women and combat gender-based violence, sign up today.

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