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Attivismo civico & Terzo settore

The good Christmas guide

Giving to those you love and the needy, and lifting only a finger (or two)

di Olivia McConhay

With Christmas just around the corner, everyone’s thoughts turn to that empty space beneath the Christmas tree waiting to be filled with gift wrapped boxes. Here are a few ideas on how to make your Christmas as stress-free, fun and “good” as possible. The best part is, you won’t have to spend hours queuing up in Christmas traffic or weaving your way through the crowds of high street shoppers as all our advice can be followed with the click of a mouse.

Presents for every one

Whether you are looking for a present for an animal lover, gardener or teacher, you are bound to find what you are looking for at Concern Worldwide’s gift store. With 100 euros you can buy a water pump for a whole community, with 40 euros a bag full of seeds and tools to grow vegetables, with 37 euros a goat that will supply milk for a family practically for ever and with only 12 euros you can guarantee a child has all the supplies they need for a whole school year.

Similar offers are made by other big international aid organisations, like Oxfam, Mercy Corps, Christian Aid and UNICEF. In France, visit S.O.S Enfants, in Spain, World Vision.


Animals you don’t have to look after

Several pro animal and environment organisations offer the opportunity to adopt an animal without burdening you with the responsibility of taking care of it. Does your child or partner love exotic animals? At BornFree you can find Tigers, Giraffes, Wolves and Orcas for adoption for 30 pounds.  Or visit to find out about the host of organisations you can help to support this Christmas. If you have more “ordinary” tastes, there are many charities that adopt rescued farm animals, like


Flower power

For those who don’t believe that peace and love died with the 60s, the present offered by the Mines Advisory group will hold immediate appeal. “Time to turn the tables,” reads the Collect and Destroy a Weapon Fund’s slogan, “and let people destroy weapons, not weapons destroy people”. With 20 pounds you can ensure that pistols, rifles and machine guns never fire a shot again. With 75, you can obliterate a cluster bomb or a rocket launcher. To get rid of guns this Christmas click here.


Donate to charity

Other organisations may not have caught on to the Christmas gift marketing vibe yet but that is no reason not to support them by donating money to them in name of the person you are looking to give a present to. To get you started here are a few of the world’s most popular charities: Action Aid, Emergency, Medecins Sans Frontiers, World Cancer Research Fund, AIDS map, Greenpeace, WWF, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch.


Fair trade presents

All countries in Europe have their own Fair Trade organisations, most of which have online shops that you can buy your Christmas presents from. Its not the same as giving to charity but just as good, seeing as through your gifts you are ensuring that men and women get paid fair wages, that the land the food and gifts are produced on isn’t being exploited by monocultures and pesticides and that children are at school, not work. You can find out about the fair trade organisations near you at:

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