For the first time in history, the World Bank is forecasting the number of people living in extreme poverty around the world will fall to under 10 percent of the global population by the end of the year.
This holiday season, the Christian humanitarian agency World Vision is giving shoppers over 100 ways to join the movement to end extreme poverty by providing life-saving gifts through the 2015 World Vision Gift Catalog. In fiscal year 2015 alone, more than 122,000 donors gave more than 297,000 items from the Gift Catalog helping more than 650,000 people around the world.
When You Have Plenty, Why Not Share?
Shoppers don’t have to spend a fortune to bring about tremendous social change. Gifts in World Vision’s Gift Catalog range from $16 (the price of an average t-shirt) to $39,000 and can be purchased in a loved one’s name. Shoppers can also choose to send a personalized card describing the gift and its impact. For children like the girl pictured on the cover of this year’s catalog (see left), the impact of these gifts is life-changing.
This year’s “cover girl” hardly leads a life of glamour. Six-year-old Chania Niyonyishu is a petite girl from the African country of Burundi, a country where an estimated 58 percent of children under 5 are stunted due to malnutrition. Chania is beating these statistics thanks to a gift from World Vision’s Gift Catalog – goats. Her family’s life is tied to these animals; the goats provide an income and manure for farming. Without this fertilizer, Chania would have no food. The goats have given her family hope and big dreams for the future.
“There are many things I have as dreams for my children,” says Zena Mukeshimana, Chania’s mother. “To see Chania succeeding in school…that would be a big gift.”
The Future of Extreme Poverty
“World Vision works in 32 fragile states around the world, including Burundi where Chania lives. These countries are ground zero for extreme poverty,” explains Cheryl DeBruler, World Vision’s Gift Catalog Manager. “That’s why a gift through World Vision’s Gift Catalog is such a great opportunity this holiday season – shoppers have the chance to help other children like Chania move away from a life of poverty into hope.”
World Vision’s Gift Catalog gives shoppers a tangible way to improve the lives of children and families in a variety of different areas such as: clean water, food, education, sexual exploitation and job training, among others. Here are some examples of alternative gifts featured in this year’s catalog:
Gift a Goat: Shoppers can give a kid to a kid with the most popular item in the Gift Catalog. One baby goat (also known as a “kid”) ($75) is a fun and unique gift for friends and family and a big hit with children. Parents can also teach children about the importance of giving when they explain how their goats supported another family with healthy milk, cheese and yogurt.
Make a Difference with Sesame Street: Teach children in Africa about the importance of good hygiene with a Sesame Street™ WASH UP! Kit. For $100 shoppers can donate a kit with colorful printed materials, engaging videos, and fun activities featuring Sesame Street’s lovable new Muppet™ Raya and her friend Elmo. The duo bring friendly and furry learning experiences about life-saving water, sanitation, and hygiene behaviors to schoolchildren in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Spend once, give twice: Make a donation to help where it makes the most impact and choose from a variety of handcrafted gifts such as jewelry, Christmas ornaments, coasters, and coffee. This year’s catalog features a wide range of new items including serving bowls ($125) which are upcycled from reclaimed industrial waste. The bowls are made in India by a fair-trade artisan group comprised mostly of working mothers who use funds to help support their children’s education.
To order from World Vision’s Gift Catalog, visit www.worldvisiongifts.org or call 855-WV-GIFTS.