Blog

The very best charity cards

HOW IT WORKS

When you purchase an Unwrapped gift, your donation supports Oxfam’s lifesaving work around the world. Your Unwrapped gift helps people living in poverty gain greater levels of self-sufficiency and control over their lives. Oxfam works with communities to determine what they need to change their own lives. Whether it’s a chicken, a cooking stove or a safe water source.

HOW PURCHASING A GIFT THROUGH OXFAM UNWRAPPED WORKS:

1. You choose your gift - HERE 

2. You choose the card-type (e-card, pdf, or print card) to be delivered to your recipient and personalise the message in the card (optional).

3. You will get a confirmation email after your purchase, containing your receipt.

4. Your symbolic gift is actually a donation - which goes to those who need it most. Because your gifts are considered charitable donations to Oxfam Ireland, your purchases can be tax efficient. For more information, please click here

WHERE THE MONEY GOES:

The money that you, and thousands of others, spend on Oxfam Unwrapped gifts supports the full range of Oxfam's work around the world, from emergency responses to advocacy projects. When you buy an Unwrapped gift, your donation will be allocated to one of four program funds:

1. Saving Lives Fund

We work with communities trying to adapt to climate change by creating emergency response plans and building infrastructure that can better withstand disaster. When it comes to saving lives during a disaster, fast action is critical. Oxfam staff are world leaders in speed and efficiency when it comes to delivering clean water and sanitation, food and shelter in a crisis situation. Oxfam Ireland uses the funds generated by the sale of gifts such as a Cooking StoveCare for a Baby and Support for a Refugee Family to provide life-saving support to communities experiencing emergencies, whether they are man-made crises, such as the ongoing conflicts in Yemen and Syria, or natural disasters like Cyclone Idai. Climate change is increasing the intensity and frequency of natural disasters – communities have to be prepared for when the worst happens.

Your Unwrapped gift provides a range of practical supports such as clean water, sanitation facilities, cash vouchers to allow households to buy food, mosquito nets to prevent malaria as well as personal hygiene items.  We also work to ensure that the rights of the most vulnerable – small children and the elderly, people living with HIV and those with disabilities – are recognised and supported.

2. Supporting Livelihoods Fund

We work with communities living in extreme poverty to develop their own solutions and work with them to make their vision a reality. Oxfam Ireland uses the funds generated by the sale of gifts such as A GoatA Cow and Honeybees to work with poor communities to improve their livelihoods.

Your Oxfam Unwrapped gift helps communities which rely on livestock to earn a sustainable living. However, while the distribution of cows and goats may be the best solution for one community, agricultural training, grain banks or veterinary care might be more beneficial to another. We ensure that families living in extreme poverty have a say in finding the best solution for them and we work with them to make that solution a reality.  Because when people no longer have to worry about the basics, they can provide for their children and plan for their future.  This breaks the cycle of poverty.

3. Water For All - Safe water saves lives

It helps families to thrive. Oxfam Ireland uses the funds generated through gifts such as Safe Water for a FamilyGet Well Soon and Water for a School to give communities access to clean water and sanitation facilities to help keep them safe from disease. Water and sanitation-related illnesses still cause significant health problems, while poor water supply exacerbates waterborne diseases including cholera and diarrhoea. Our water engineers look for the most effective and efficient ways to bring clean water to communities.

Your Oxfam Unwrapped gift could help set up or maintain a safe water supply with pumps, tanks and taps, purification systems or pipes. It can restore supplies after an emergency and provide health and hygiene training. These skills are critical to community well-being, not just now but well into the future.

4. Investing in the Future Fund

We work with vulnerable communities to ensure that they have access to key essential services such as education and healthcare. Oxfam Ireland uses the funds generated through gifts such as Educate a GirlRoad to an Education or Lifelong Learning to ensure that girls and boys, as well as men and women, have the right to the high-quality education and healthcare that can put them on a path to a sustainable future. Your Oxfam Unwrapped gift will help support girls and women of all ages to learn, grow and reach their potential. Girls are more likely to be kept or taken out of school, denying them life-changing opportunities. We are working to increase access to these vital services by advocating for the availability of resources and empowering poor communities to demand greater accountability from their governments on the allocation of funding for services.

Whatever gift you decide to give, we'll ensure that your money gets to the people who need it most.

If you have more questions about Oxfam Unwrapped, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions or contact us at irl-unwrapped@oxfam.org. To learn more about Oxfam, please visit www.oxfamireland.org

Posted In:

From gadgets galore to recycled birdhouses -online and in-store, Oxfam has all you need for Christmas 2022

Oxfam Ireland have officially relaunched their online tech and gadgets shop in time for Christmas 2022, calling on savvy shoppers to do something different this festive season by giving gifts that support both people and planet.

The online shop boasts brand new donated tech products at unbelievable prices with big discounts across the range. Each gift makes a lasting impact by raising vital funds for Oxfam’s global work to beat poverty. 

And customers won’t just find gifts that do good online. In Oxfam’s shops across the island of Ireland, the Sourced by Oxfam range contains an abundance of festive food, gifts and eco-products that are made with care, protect the planet, and help the women and men who produce them to earn a decent living – providing them with a way to lift themselves out of poverty.

Present ideas in this year’s gift range include gifts for cats, dogs and bird lovers:

  • Recycled Paper Birdhouse Ball €17.00 / £14.00: The iconic birdhouse ball, made by Fair Trade company Prokritee in Bangladesh is a great gift for bird lovers wishing to provide a stylish residence for their feathered friends. Handmade from recycled newspapers and magazines, making each one unique. It features a hanging loop and a varnished exterior to help keep its new residents dry and cosy.
  • Cats & A Dog Puzzle €20.00 / £17.00: A jigsaw with a twist: no two shapes are the same, and each piece is a cat (except for one that's a dog). Hours of maddening fun! Charming illustrations by Léa Maupetit, a French illustrator living and working in Paris.

Michael McIlwaine, Oxfam Ireland’s Head of Retail, said: “This Christmas, we’re asking people to really spread goodwill by shopping more sustainably with us in person at one of our 46 shops across the island of Ireland or on our online shop.

“An Oxfam gift has many recipients – those who directly receive the gift and those whom the gift supports, from small business owners and farmers in Malawi and Uganda to communities in crisis in places like Yemen.”

In Yemen, almost three quarters of the population are in need of humanitarian assistance with over 17 million facing hunger. Families already on the brink of famine now face a deadly winter freeze. By shopping with Oxfam Ireland this Christmas, people are making a real difference for people most in need in Yemen and beyond.

“We have gifts in every price range from tasty little stocking fillers to some amazing value in high tech gadgetry at our online tech shop. For example, a Sony Handycam now €952, when the recommended retail price is €1588,” McIlwaine continued.

Finally, Oxfam also offer their Unwrapped alternative gift card range. With Unwrapped, you are guaranteed to find the perfect card – be it for a winter birthday or wedding, or a quick hello or season’s greetings - in support of a cause you or your recipient care about, such as climate change or access to education. People can add a personal message to their gift card either online (e-card) or by hand (Oxfam post you out your Unwrapped card). 

McIlwaine concluded: “Last year, thanks to the generous support of people across the island of Ireland, we reached 12.2 million people across 12 countries. Why not help continue that life-changing work by shopping with Oxfam this Christmas? Even for one of your gifts this year. Whether that’s your workplace Kris Kringle or family stocking fillers, Oxfam’s shops online and in-store as well as our Unwrapped gift card range have you covered.” 

Shop tech and gadgets at bargain prices at: https://shop.oxfamireland.org/

See Oxfam’s full range of Unwrapped gift cards at: www.oxfamireland.org/unwrapped

Find your local Oxfam Ireland shop here: www.oxfamireland.org/oxfam-shops

ENDS

CONTACT:

Notes to the Editor:

  • A selection of images of Oxfam Ireland’s gifts can be downloaded here.
Posted In:

A Global Perspective on Accommodating Refugees

Photo: JB Russell / Panos / Oxfam

Since February we have been confronted with difficult images of people in Ukraine, victims of devastating violence, and those fleeing the violence. Irish people and the Irish Government have shown commendable solidarity with the people of Ukraine and the other people around the world fleeing war and persecution in the last six months.

The intimacy of seeing people’s everyday lives bundled into suitcases has brought home the importance of the right to refuge, the right to cross a border to seek international protection. When we imagine what would happen if those people holding in one hand a bag and in the other the hand of a family member, having struggled on to a train and arrived at the border of the EU had not been allowed to cross that border to safety, the importance of the 1951 Refugee Convention and it’s 1967 Protocol that together define and lay out the rights of refugees cannot be overstated.

Everyone has the right to look for international protection and a person qualifies for international protection if they can demonstrate that if returned to their country of origin they would be at risk of persecution, torture, or other inhumane treatment. Asylum is given to a person who can prove that they would be persecuted on the basis of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion (or a political opinion someone thinks they have), or the fact that they belong to a “particular social group.”  A person can get protection if they are fleeing conflict but also inhumane treatment on more individual grounds. For example, a person could flee a country considered generally ‘safe’ as there is no active conflict but not safe for them because of their sexuality, religion or political beliefs. Whether fleeing war or individual persecution the right to apply for protection is equal. As the Irish government works to source accommodation for people who have come to Ireland looking for protection, whether applying for Temporary Protection as they flee Ukraine, or applying for international protection it is worth bearing in mind their Equal Right to Refuge.

Photo: Tineke Dhaese/Oxfam

The 1951 Refugee Convention was written in the aftermath of the Second World War, an effort to make sure that people would be able to flee when home was no longer safe. Unfortunately, people continue to need to flee when home is no longer safe. Most people (60%) who are forced to move stay within the country, they are ‘internally displaced people’ (IDP). At the end of 2021, Syria, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Yemen, Ethiopia and Afghanistan continued to host the largest IDP populations in the world.

Of those people forced to flee who do cross into a different country, the overwhelming majority, 74% of the world’s refugees are hosted by low- and middle-income countries. The least developed countries in the world provide protection to 22% of people who have fled. At the end of September, Uganda was hosting over 1.5 million refugees, according to the UNHCR. That means that 1 in 47 people in Uganda is a refugee. Rich countries need to play a fairer role in sharing the responsibility for hosting refugees.  People will need to flee to EU countries, including Ireland, and so we must be prepared to live up to our responsibilities under international law and plan for providing accommodation for people fleeing. The need for accommodation for people who have fled to Ireland must be part of an overarching programme for addressing the housing crisis in Ireland.

Oxfam Ireland recognises the challenges that the Irish government faces in sourcing accommodation during the housing crisis. At the same time, it is important to address the housing crisis for everybody living in Ireland. The fact that as one of the wealthiest countries in the world Ireland is in such a housing crisis, points to the need for change in our economy. Oxfam Ireland has recommended such changes including ways to raise revenue that could be invested in social and affordable housing – wealth tax and windfall tax.

An Irish wealth tax and a broad-based windfall tax

The introduction of an Irish wealth tax as well as a broad-based windfall tax across all industries generating extreme excess profits, not just the energy sector, could generate billions in new revenue.

A wealth tax of 1.5% on wealth over €5 million and 2% above net-wealth of €50 million would generate €5 billion. In addition to a wealth tax, Oxfam Ireland proposes a broad windfall tax on the excess profits of companies in all sectors of the economy, not just the energy sector, that are making record profits from the conditions created by the pandemic and the crises we are in. Corporations and the billionaire dynasties who control so much of our food system are seeing their profits soar. Billionaires involved in the food and agribusiness sector globally have seen their collective wealth increase by $382bn (45%) over the past two years. Moreover, the nine Irish companies on the Forbes 2000 list, which include companies from the agri-food industry and tech sectors, record excess profits of €2 billion Oxfam Ireland propose that the windfall tax would be levied on excess profits at an appropriate rate between 50%-90%.  Some European countries are already leading the way, for example, Greece with a rate of 90 per cent; and Spain, which is planning to capture excess profits made by banks. Remember, the rate for the last major windfall tax introduced in Ireland, on windfall gains from rezoning, was set at 80% in 2010.

A better planned system

At the moment, the Irish government is struggling to find accommodation but in one of the richest countries in the world there is no reason not to have a better planned accommodation system for international protection applicants. Oxfam echo the calls made by The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission for a system "which is not on a permanent emergency footing" and the Irish Refugee Council’s assertion that a "whole of Government approach" is needed. At this moment, it is challenging to find accommodation for everybody and it is a good time to also think about the broader context. Ireland has not only a legal but also an ethical obligation to plan accommodation for everybody, including refugees given the critical importance of the right to refuge and the fact that the least resourced countries in the world are hosting the most refugees.

Posted In:

Reflections on Global Health Inequalities

 

The Irish Global Health Network hosted a global health conference online and in Trinity College Dublin on the 26th and 27th of October. The first conference session opened with stark

 statistics on global health inequity from Oxfam CEO Jim Clarken:

  • In low Income countries there are less than 4.5 healthcare workers per 1000 population, in Ireland there are 16 per 1000. 

  • 81% of people have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose compared to 19% in low-income countries.

Dr. Pieternella Pieterse of DCU followed by providing a striking example of global health inequality: approximately 50% of healthcare workers in Sierra Leone are unsalaried. This is in part because a huge proportion of Sierra Leone’s national income goes on repaying debt to the IMF and other bodies. This highlights the need to heed Oxfam Ireland’s call for debt cancellation for countries like Sierra Leone.

At the conference Irish Times journalist Sally Hayden described the horrific conditions for people on the move in Libya brought about by EU migration policies: ‘‘In one detention centre, one person was dying every two weeks of starvation or tuberculosis”. She discussed this in the context of her new book My Fourth Time, We Drowned which explores the shocking experience of people seeking refugee and how this suffering is in ways facilitated by the EU, the UNHCR, the IOM and numerous NGOs. Overall, she called on us as citizens of the EU to demand more of our leaders in this area.

Robbie Lawlor of Access to Medicines Ireland also led a rallying call for us all to be more radical in order to address the climate crisis. Climate change and health was a common thread through-out the conference. Dr. Julian Eaton highlighted the huge climate anxiety experienced by young people and how we need to address this by taking radical steps to address climate change, not by pathologising the issue. Professor Karyn Morrisey launched the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change. Climate change has increased the frequency of heat waves leading to an additional 98 million people experiencing food insecurity in 2020. We were told about how governments and companies continue to prioritise fossil fuel interests to the detriment of people's health and wellbeing. However, Karyn discussed how there is some hope; decarbonisation is occurring but governments must be held accountable to ensure they meet the Paris commitments, at a minimum.

The other crisis that featured prominently though-out the conference was the COVID-19 pandemic. James Larkin, Oxfam Ireland’s Health and Vaccine Inequity Coordinator presented about our forthcoming report analysing the Irish government’s response to global COVID-19 vaccine inequity. This primarily focussed on the failures of the EU and Ireland in terms of waiving intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines, medicines and diagnostics. Dr. Mike Ryan summed up the issue as follows: “If we don’t waive intellectual property rights during a once in a generation pandemic that’s killing millions of people, then when will we?”

Through-out the conference the efforts of coalitions and advocates to address these issues shone through, these included the People’s Vaccine Alliance, Access to Medicines Ireland, Women in Global Health, Comhlámh, Irish Doctors for the Environment and the Irish Global Health Network.

 

Posted In:

Oxfam Ireland call for the Irish Govt to implement climate accountability legislation immediately as ground-breaking litigation case filed in France against BNP Paribas

Three French NGOs, including Oxfam have today taken the first step towards an unprecedented climate litigation case - the first in the world to target a commercial bank for its high-risk activities in the oil and gas sector.

The bank in question, BNP Paribas, had a larger carbon footprint than that of French territory in 2020. This makes them the number one European financier of fossil fuel expansion.

For more than 10 years, Oxfam France, Friends of the Earth France and Notre Affaire à Tous spoke out about the role of the financial sector in fueling the climate crisis. The NGOs engaged intensively with French banks and the French government to prevent dodgy transactions benefiting the coal, oil and gas industries. They are now taking legal action warning BNP Paribas to immediately stop supporting - both directly and indirectly - new fossil fuel projects and comply with the Paris goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. 

Michael McCarthy Flynn, Head of Policy and Advocacy of Oxfam Ireland said, “We urgently need the legal basis to take the same sorts of action here in Ireland”.

A similar case cannot currently be taken in Ireland as we haven’t passed business and human rights legalisation to match France's due diligence law. However, as a founding member of the Irish Coalition for Business and Human Rights, Oxfam Ireland has led the call for strong Irish legislation on Business and Human Rights, including climate obligations, as soon as possible, to address these kind of cases and to follow a wave of reform across Europe in this area.

“This type of law is what we are advocating for in Ireland so all corporates including financial institutions can be held accountable for their climate action obligations,” said McCarthy Flynn.

 “We were left with little choice given how defenceless we are against climate change. We in Oxfam recently highlighted that one person is dying in the Horn of Africa every 36 seconds because of climate induced drought.

Meanwhile the biggest oil and gas companies turn a blind eye to the devastation caused and continue to plan dozens of new fossil fuel projects globally. This action aims to cut off the source finance. We see this as vital to prevent future floods and famine,” said Oxfam’s Policy lead.

ENDS

Contact: Clare Cronin, External Communication Manager 353+87+1952551

Notes for Editors

  • The Irish Coalition on Business and Human Rights, with Oxfam Ireland’s support, also addressed the Oireachtas committee on Trade, Enterprise and Employment last week to call for Ireland to state its position publicly in support of strong EU legislation currently in process, while the  also attended the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva today to call for a strong and binding UN Treaty on Business and Human Rights.
  • Oxfam International Press Release here.
  • Read more, Towards a Lawsuit Against a Funder of Climate Chaos here.

 

Posted In:

Pages