12 Days of Giving


When disaster strikes, we’re there. To raise enough funds so those who desperately need help are reached in time, we are highlighting 12 ways you can give the most important gifts of all to families caught up in emergencies, such as the recent catastrophe in the Philippines, and others forced to leave everything behind because of conflict in Syria and the Congo

Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery's message for you:

Abir & Hassan
Abir & Hassan
Photo: Sam Tarling / Oxfam

Day 1:

December 2nd is the first day of giving and we are hoping to raise money to provide shelter because many refugees have only cardboard and plastic sheets for cover. 

Syrian refugees Abir and her brother Hassan are pictured standing in an informal refugee settlement in Anfie, north Lebanon. With the country facing its harshest winter in 100 years, many families are facing Christmas in makeshift temporary shelters that won’t keep the cold out.

A donation of just €30/£25 today could help give families like them a real roof over their heads.

Dolor Moralde (36) receiving a hygiene kit from Oxfam
Dolor Moralde (36) receiving a hygiene kit from Oxfam
Photo: Jane Beesley/Oxfam

Day 2:

December 3rd is our second day of giving and we are hoping to raise money for essential items such as hygiene kits that save lives by preventing the spread of deadly diseases.

We have already distributed hygiene kits to over 800 families in need in Daan Bayatan, Philippines where the risk of disease is high following the devastating typhoon. The hygiene kits include items like bars of soap for personal use as well as soap for washing clothes; towels; a cloth that can be cut into strips for sanitary protection; a plastic kettle for boiling water and two buckets with lids, one for drinking water and one for general use. 

Annie (31) lives with her husband Christopher and their three children - an eight-month-old boy and two girls aged three and two – in Daanbantayan. Annie said the Oxfam hygiene kits were “a very great help” for her and her family after everything in her house was blown away during typhoon Haiyan.

A donation of just €30/£25 could provide 50 emergency hygiene kits to prevent the spread of deadly diseases.

The Mondejar sisters
The Mondejar sisters
Photo: Tata Abella-Bolo/Oxfam

Day 3:

December 4th is the third day of giving and we are hoping to raise money for clean and safe water which is a basic and fundamental human need. 

The Mondejar sisters Nelia (10), Sarah Jane (8) and Rizza Mae (5) and their friend Jennylyn Pepito (6) are from Cebu island, Philippines. Our Oxfam assessment team happened upon them while they were carrying a gallon of water each. Rizza Mae, the youngest, lagged behind. 

When asked how often they fetch water in a day and they all replied, ‘Napu!’ which means ten times in Cebuano. Their mothers told Oxfam that they don’t boil the water for drinking anymore as they only have enough fuel for cooking and none left over to make the water safer. When it was pointed out that the water is part salt, they all replied that they didn’t have a choice given their situation.

A donation of just €35/£30 could provide a water filter for families like these. 

Children wash their hands in an informal refugee camp in Barsa
Children wash their hands in an informal refugee camp in Barsa
Photo: Sam Tarling/Oxfam

Day 4:

December 5th is the fourth day of giving and we are hoping to raise money for health training because knowing how to protect your health in an emergency situation is essential for survival. 

Oxfam organised many activities in schools across Pakistan to mark Global Handwashing Day (October 15). Handwashing with soap is the most effective and inexpensive way to prevent diarrheal and acute respiratory infections, which take the lives of millions of children in developing countries every year. 

Yet, despite its lifesaving potential, handwashing with soap is seldom practiced and difficult to promote. The challenge is to transform handwashing with soap from an abstract good idea into an automatic behaviour, especially before eating and after going to the toilet, which could save more lives than any single vaccine or medical intervention, cutting deaths from diarrhea by almost half and deaths from acute respiratory infections by one-quarter. 

Help us raise vital funds so we can help keep people in Syrian refugee camps healthy.

Yasmin Milhim and her husband receiving blankets in Lebanon
Yasmin Milhim and her husband receiving blankets in Lebanon
Photo: Caroline Gluck/Oxfam

Day 5:

On December 6th, the fifth day of giving, we are hoping to raise money for essential items such as winter clothing because refugees in Lebanon face the coldest winter in 100 years. 

We are currently helping to provide aid to more than 220,000 civilians in need in Jordan and Lebanon, and is aiming to reach 650,000 by March 2014. As winter approaches is in Lebanon, Oxfam and our partners are helping thousands of refugees cope with the cold temperatures by distributing warm clothes, mattresses, blankets, heaters and rugs, as well as plastic sheeting to weatherproof their shelters.

A donation of just €65/£55 could buy a set of warm winter clothes for two families.

Mrs Tamboura tends to her garden
Mrs Tamboura tends to her garden
Photo: Charles Bambara/ Oxfam

Day 6:

On the sixth day of giving, December 7th, we are hoping to raise money for essential items such as tools for agriculture and cultivation because keeping crops and animals alive saves human lives. 

To help farmers who have been left vulnerable by a poor crop or by having to move to a new area, we are providing agricultural tool kits. The kits may include a hoe, a pruning knife, a pick, a pick handle and a machete as well as seeds and chemical/organic fertilizer. The farmers may also receive training which covers sustainable farming methods including terracing, living fences, water collection, mulching and composting. Training is based on soil and water conservation techniques that use permanent farm plots, helping to steer farmers away from environmentally-damaging practices. 

Mrs Tamboura, 47 years old, is busy taking care of her vegetable garden to provide that necessary extra help to her families' diet and provide her with some cash. Last years poor harvest means there is not enough cash in the local community to buy the goods and food needed.

If local farmers can produce more food, they will be able to meet the nutritional needs of their families. Any produce left over can be sold which yields financial benefits for the farmers and helps to inject money into the local area.

A donation of €18/£15 will help us to provide these life-saving items.

Dedreda Moraba tends a fuel efficient stove
Dedreda Moraba tends a fuel efficient stove
Photo: James Ewen/ Oxfam

Day 7:

On December 8th, the seventh day of giving, we are hoping to raise money for essential items such as stoves for cooking and heating because stoves bring warmth and comfort in the darkest of times. 

In an emergency, the simple act of cooking food can be dangerous and unhealthy for families. It is dangerous because women often have to search for firewood in places where they are vulnerable to attack and unhealthy because families frequently cook over an open fire which exposed them to harmful gases. 

This can all be avoided if people are given a stove! And what’s more, Oxfam has stoves that are more efficient and environmentally friendly than traditional ones. They require less wood, meaning fewer trees will be cut down, which will help prevent flooding and erosion. 

Thanks to fuel-efficient stoves provided by Oxfam, families in war-torn DRC use 80% less firewood, which means fewer searches for firewood where woman are at risk of attack.

A donation of €38/£32 could help provide a fuel efficient stove.

Tamer (4 months old) Syrian refugee
Tamer (4 months old) Syrian refugee
Photo: Sam Tarling

Day 8:

On the eighth day of giving, December 9th, we are hoping to raise money for items such as blankets because a blanket can keep every family member warm in the harsh winter. 

Imagine losing everything. Family members, homes, schools, life as you know it. If you’re a Syrian refugee, you must now face another challenge: how to cope in freezing temperatures in the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today.

Tamer, 4 months old, lies in his cot in the informal refugee settlement in which he now lives with his family and some 27 other families in Barsa, Lebanon. Oxfam has provided latrines, showers and sanitation equipment for the families in this settlement, and is also helping them with cash for rent and vouchers for food and hygiene items.

A donation of €30/£25 could buy enough blankets for two families, keeping children warm at night.

Typhoon Haiyan survivor on the road, Northern Cebu
Typhoon Haiyan survivor on the road, Northern Cebu
Photo: Vincent Malasador/Oxfam

Day 9:

On December 10th, the ninth day of giving, we are hoping to raise money for items such as water tanks because providing a community with safe water makes a world of difference. 

We are urgently trying to reach 500,000 people affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Making sure people have clean water, safe sanitation and a roof over their heads is our immediate priority. 

One Oxfam water tank holds and purifies 70,000 litres - enough to provide daily water for 4,666 people. These "bladders" can be flown in and set up in a matter of hours while truckloads of water are being driven to the scene. 

Donate €12/£10. Give water. Give life.

Bahal Al Din outside one of the latrines in Zaatari
Bahal Al Din outside one of the latrines in Zaatari
Photo: Lucy Brinicombe/Oxfam

Day 10:

On the tenth day of giving, December 11th, we are hoping to raise money for essential items such as toilets because a lack of sanitation breeds diseases and takes dignity away. 

When emergencies happen, many poor communities can no longer provide access to toilets. This exposes people in the area to a host of life-threatening diseases such as cholera and typhoid. When Oxfam helps villages build toilets, we also provide training in proper hygiene and encourage communities to nominate Village Health Volunteers, who ensure the village stays clean and healthy. 

In the Zaatari camp in Jordan, whose population has swelled to more than 120,000, we have provided emergency latrines for 20,000 people and have now completed more permanent blocks of sanitation facilities (toilets, laundry areas, and showers) for 8,000. 

Bahal Al Din, who helped build some of the latrines, said, “Our latrines are bigger, more comfortable to use and stronger against the wind. Latrines are really important. We need to make sure people have a place to go to the toilet. If not, people will die and more diseases will spread.”

Help us raise vital funds so that we can provide emergency sanitation facilities and save lives. 

Mother and child during a Syrian air raid in 2012
Mother and child during a Syrian air raid in 2012
Photo: Sam Tarling/Oxfam

Day 11:

On the eleventh day of giving, December 12th, we are hoping to raise money for refugee family support because knowing your rights and where to go for help is crucial.

Many families in the Syrian refugee camps are exhausted and traumatised. They’ve faced bombs and bullets and have had their homes and livelihoods destroyed. Rape is a real feature of the war in Syria, and is cited by many refugees as the reason for fleeing their homes. Our local partners are supplying psycho-social support and counselling to many individuals and families affected by the conflict in Syria.

Help us raise vital funds today so we can support refugee families. 

The Gharab family collect food vouchers
The Gharab family collect food vouchers
Photo: Sam Tarling/Oxfam

Day 12:

On the twelfth day of giving, December 13th, we are hoping to raise money for essential items such as food vouchers because worrying about how to provide for your kids is a parent’s biggest challenge. 

The Gharab family fled to Lebanon after their village near Aleppo in Syria was affected by fighting. Ayad Gharab (31), a father of four, uses food vouchers worth $35 dollars per each member of their family to buy food in Qalamoun, near Tripoli in north Lebanon. Many of Lebanon's some 1.2 million refugees are struggling with the country's high cost of living, particularly as the declining value of the Syrian currency has decimated any savings they may have had. Oxfam is providing vouchers for refugees to purchase both food and hygiene items.

Donate just €40/£35 and help fathers like Ayad to feed their family for a month.