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Sourced by Oxfam - Ethical & Sustainable Gifts this Christmas

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There are lots of ways to help people and planet this Christmas, and choosing ethical gifts is one of them. Here are some of our favourites.

Ethical gifts are a great way to give at Christmas. Handy then, that sustainable Christmas presents come in all shapes and sizes. There really is something for everyone – even the trickiest and pickiest relatives. Personal and packed full of impact, the right gift can bring joy to your loved one. And help make the festive season as feel-good as possible.

FOR THE HOMEMAKER

Ethical shopping doesn’t have to be limited to your wardrobe. These days, it can influence how you style your entire house. The Sourced By Oxfam range has brand new products for every room.

If you're looking for small decor pieces, this elephant trinket dish can make the perfect stocking filler. We also stock cool statement pieces like these beautiful ceramic hooks. 
If it’s festive you’re after, we have gorgeous Christmas decorations too. Plus you’ll find loads of unique vintage gifts in the Oxfam Online Shop.

 

FOR THE FOODIE

Sweet treats always go down well at Christmas. Sourced By Oxfam has found some delicious stuff – we’re talking chocolatedates, mulled wine, the lot.

For cooking aficionados, how about high-quality ingredients like this Zaytoun olive oil?

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How toilets fight poverty

Abul uses the newly constructed Oxfam latrine near his home in Balukhali Camp, Bangladesh. “We used to go far away around the bushes to the toilet,” he says. “At night I went with my friends, but I was scared. Now we have a clean latrine next to our house and I’m not scared anymore." Photo: Tommy Trenchard/Oxfam

Safe water, good hygiene, and improved sanitation save lives

Whether in an emergency like the pandemic, or for everyday use at home or at school, toilets are essential. Yet, according to the UN, more than 4.6 billion people don’t have a proper toilet.

Living in a world without decent toilets (especially ones connected to a system that safely handles waste) puts people at risk of disease, pollutes the environment, and discourages girls from attending school. Globally, at least 2 billion people use a drinking water source contaminated with feces.

That’s why Oxfam provides toilets, clean water, and encourages good hygiene practices in the wake of natural disasters and other emergencies, and works with communities to build decent latrines and proper sanitation systems for everyday use. Safe water, good hygiene, and improved sanitation can save as many as 842,000 lives per year, according to the UN. Toilets can actually save lives!

See for yourself the difference toilets make, every day and in emergencies. 

Toilets and Clean Water: Overlooked Essentials

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Leading medics and scientists request meeting with Taoiseach on TRIPS waiver in relation to Omicron fears

Over 400 leading doctors and scientists have issued a letter to An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin TD, requesting a meeting regarding vaccine inequity and the Omicron variant. A small representation from the Doctors for Vaccine Equity group, who are part of the People’s Vaccine Alliance in Ireland, and the Irish Society of Immunology presented the letter to the Taoiseach’s office today (09.12.2021).

This group of doctors and scientists is calling on the Government to work towards temporarily suspending patent rules on Covid-19 vaccines, tests and treatments in order to increase their  production and thereby , increase access in low- and middle-income countries. Signatories include Professor Kingston Mills, Professor Sam McConkey, Professor Cliona Ni Cheallaigh and Professor Luke O’Neill.

Speaking at the handover of the letter today, Dr Christine Kelly, founding member of Doctors for Vaccine Equity and an Infectious Diseases SpR and Honorary Clinical Fellow at UCD, said:

“Viral mutations occur when viruses replicate, meaning that the more virus is circulating in a population, the higher the risk of new mutations. Leaving large populations unvaccinated is increasing the risk of new variants, like we are seeing now with Omicron.”

Echoing Dr Kelly, Professor Cliona O’Farrelly, PhD, Professor of Comparative Immunology TCD, said: “It is becoming increasingly urgent to address the issue of vaccine inequity which is making sure these variants are a constant threat. This is why we are seeking a meeting with An Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD as a matter of urgency to ensure Ireland is working to support the TRIPS waiver which would allow greater access to vaccine technologies across the globe.

“Vaccine inequity is having a profound impact not just on people living in low-income countries who have little or no access to vaccines and vaccine technologies but is effecting everyone on the planet. Variants like Omicron will continue to threaten all health systems including our own here in Ireland, as we struggle to deal with increasing case numbers and our hospitals become too overwhelmed by Covid to cope with other sick patients.

“Vaccine inequity is a human rights issue, we have a moral obligation. We have the knowledge and strategies available to protect the lives of millions of people in low-income countries, particularly in the continent of Africa.

“We are urging the Government to adopt a global viewpoint in our handling of the pandemic – only though working to facilitate equitable access to vaccines will we be able to effectively bring the pandemic under control.”

5 Reasons to Volunteer This Winter

With our 46 shops, we need people from all walks of life to volunteer for all kinds of roles that help beat poverty.

You can give as little or as much time as you like. If you’d like to talk to someone about what’s right for you, just pop into your local Oxfam shop and have a chat with the shop manager.

Our shop volunteers are at the heart of our community and they are a part of a powerful movement of people united by one goal – an end to poverty, for everyone.

Without volunteers like YOU we wouldn’t be able to do the work we do.

Join our Oxfamily | Volunteer At Oxfam

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It is because of the commitment and enthusiasm of our amazing volunteers that Oxfam can change lives and work toward building a world without poverty.

"A normal Shift is about four hours, but I always wish it could be longer, because it is amazing to see so many people of all ages take an interest in books and helping charity" Chloe Chu, a volunteer at Oxfam Books in Dublin

Volunteer with Oxfam Ireland

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HERE ARE 5 REASONS TO VOLUNTEER IN AN OXFAM SHOP THIS WINTER…

1. MAKE NEW FRIENDS

Volunteering is linked to better physical, mental and emotional health – and helps us feel more socially connected.

Volunteer in an Oxfam shop and you’ll meet some amazing people at the heart of your community, who are united by a common cause.

2. MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE BY HELPING RAISE FUNDS FOR OXFAM’S WORK

It’s the time of year for giving, and what better present to give than the gift of your time? Every shift you volunteer raises vital funds to transform the lives of people living in poverty – helping people around the world to grow more food, educate their children, and lead healthy, productive lives.

3. USE SKILLS AND LEARN NEW ONES

Volunteering works both ways. There are so many benefits to volunteering, whether you’re looking to share your knowledge, meet new people, or get valuable experience that looks great on your CV or UCAS form, talk to us, we’d love to talk to you.

4. SUPPORT SUSTAINABLE FASHION AND JOIN OUR FIGHT AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE

Oxfam Shops are a great place for buying quality second hand clothes, unique sustainable gifts and cards that help beat poverty – and you’ll be surprised at how much festive fun you can have by helping people find special Christmas presents for their loved ones.

What better way to support sustainable fashion and our fight against climate change than by volunteering during the festive season.

You may even be able to tick off some pressies from your own Christmas shopping list while you’re there too!

5. START THE NEW YEAR ON A POSITIVE NOTE

With a new year just around the corner, you can get ahead of the game and tick off a resolution before 2022 has even started. If you’re in need of some inspiration, volunteering with Oxfam could help provide some fresh perspective. You’ll find people that you can learn from, and who can learn from you.

6. A Safe Place

All of our shops have safety measures in place to ensure the health and safety of our volunteers and customers. All shops have a suite of PPE: sneeze screens in front of the tills, social distancing measures and messaging throughout the store and a sanitation station at the entrance. Staff and volunteers are wearing masks and have an infrared thermometer in each shop to ensure regular check-ups - as well plenty of handwashing - throughout the day. As part of the overall ‘Covid Compliant Reopening Plan’ which focuses on the Health & Safety of our Staff, Volunteers, Customers and Donors all stock donations will be quarantined for 72 hours before going on sale.

Safety Measures in our Oxfam Shops

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From window dressing to managing our social media, whatever you choose to do, join a friendly team at the heart of your community.

Think you’d enjoy a few hours volunteering this winter?

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Vaccines for just one in eight people delivered to Sub-Saharan Africa

Oxfam Ireland, as part of the People’s Vaccine Alliance, today (06.12.2021), marked the one-year anniversary of Northern Ireland grandmother Margaret Keenan becoming the first person in the world to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, by publishing data on the vaccine doses delivered to countries across the world.

The data provides a stark comparison on the access to vaccines for countries across the world, with Sub-Saharan Africa having received only enough doses to vaccinate 1 in 8 people.

On an individual country level, Democratic Republic of the Congo for example has received enough doses to vaccinate just one percent of the country’s population, in contrast to wealthy countries like Ireland where the entire population is almost fully vaccinated and booster campaigns are well underway.

The World Health Organisation recently highlighted that six times more booster shots are being administered daily around the globe than primary doses in low-income countries.

Vaccine Inequity Contributing to Emergence of Covid-19 Variants

On highlighting the new data, the development agency has reiterated its condemnation of the Irish Government and European Commission for their continued efforts to block the TRIPS Waiver on Covid-19 vaccines, tests and treatments at World Trade Organisation talks.

The temporary waiver would suspend patent rules on these products and enable increased production of Covid-19 vaccines, increasing access in low- and middle-income countries.  

Jim Clarken, Oxfam Ireland CEO commented today: “Vaccine inequity has created the perfect breeding ground for new variants such as Omicron. This should be a wake-up call.

"We cannot repeat the mistakes of the past 21 months. With Norway becoming the latest country to support the TRIPS waiver just last week, we now need Ireland and the EU to chart a new path forward. They must step up and insist the pharmaceutical companies start sharing their science and technology with qualified manufacturers around the world, so we can vaccinate people in all countries and finally end this pandemic.

“It’s shameful that, according to the World Health Organisation, six times more booster shots are being administered daily around the globe than primary doses in low-income countries. We should not forget that the new Omicron variant was first discovered by scientists in countries which have been denied the right to produce their own vaccines.”

Oxfam Demands for Irish Government

Oxfam Ireland has also published a list of demands calling on the Irish Government and the European Commission to:

  • Ensure immediate approval of the waiving of intellectual property rules through a TRIPS waiver at the World Trade Organisation, to end the monopoly control of pharmaceutical firms over COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments. The World Trade Organization (WHO) General Council must urgently reconvene now, not next year, to approve this waiver.
  • Endorse and support the World Health Organisation (WHO) COVID Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) to facilitate the sharing of knowledge by pharmaceutical companies to increase vaccine production.
  • Declare all vaccines, including new versions of vaccines designed to combat the Omicron variant ‘global public goods’, and share vaccine recipes openly with producers worldwide via the World Health Organisation.

Oxfam Ireland along with the People’s Vaccine Alliance Ireland has also written to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Employment asking for a review of Ireland and the EU’s opposition to the TRIPS waiver, with input from international experts. The waiver comes under the trade function of this committee.

Mr. Clarken continued: “Business as usual has led to huge profits for pharmaceutical firms, but many people left unvaccinated, meaning that this virus continues to mutate. It is the definition of madness to keep doing the same thing and expect a different outcome. We need to press reset.

 “Fighting to buy up limited supplies of hugely expensive vaccines to protect our own citizens whilst ignoring the rest of the world will only lead to more variants, more mutations, more restrictions and more lives lost.

“With the new threat of the Omicron variant, it is clear that we cannot just booster our way out of the pandemic while leaving much of the developing world behind. Unless all countries are vaccinated as soon as possible, we could see wave after wave of variants.

“What is the point in developing new vaccines in 100 days if they are then only sold in limited amounts to the highest bidder, once again leaving poor nations at the back of the queue?”

The People’s Vaccine Alliance of which Oxfam is a co-founder has created a virtual memorial wall will be revealed at www.peoplesvaccine.org/memorial-wall on Wednesday, 8th December, marking a year since the first vaccine was administered.

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