Still don’t know what to buy for Christmas for your friends and family? Your loved ones stay overseas and you’re wondering how to avoid the terrifying delivery costs? People in Need, a Czech NGO, offers you the unique opportunity this year to both surprise your friends and to help those who need help the most… Continue reading this article if you want to find out how to buy a Christmas goat and to send it to Africa!
A quarter of a million trees, 522 goats, 2,763 chickens, 86 sheep, 59 cows, 40 donkeys with carts and many other gifts have been distributed by the end of this year by People in Need in the poorest countries.
Thanks to people who have purchased gift certificates in our charity e-shop www.skutecnydarek.cz (www.real-gift.org), this year we can help children in an orphanage in Congo, farmers in Ethiopia, or women in Cambodia. We try to distribute assistance carefully and so we are able to provide our donors with a detailed and transparent report on how we used the money raised in the campaign The Real Gift, said Šimon Pánek, director of the organization.
People in Need is a Czech non-government organization that provides relief aid and development assistance, while working to defend human rights and democratic freedoms. Established in the beginning of the 90s, when dissidents and leaders of the Czechoslovak Velvet Revolution teamed with conflict journalists, it shortly became the biggest NGO of this type in the Central Europe. Over nineteen years, PIN has developed many public awareness campaigns aimed at providing independent and unbiased information for journalists, opinion makers and the general public. At home, PIN runs social integration programs in the Czech Republic and Slovakia and engages in educational and informational activities. Abroad, it implements relief and development as well as human rights projects, tackling humanitarian crises, developing local businesses, supporting civil society and good governance, as well as fighting undemocratic regimes in such countries as Cuba, Burma or Belarus.
The Real Gift (in Czech: Skutečný dárek) was launched 2 years ago in order to support villages and families in the countries where PIN holds their development and relief aid missions, such as Angola, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Congo, Namibia and Sri Lanka. It is inscribed in a four-module programme: WATER, SCHOOLS, LIVELIHOODS and HEALTH. These four projects represent our priorities within the humanitarian and development assistance PIN provides. Many people die of or are infected by illnesses caused by polluted WATER. That is why people on the missions in these countries dig and drill wells, build water reservoirs or educate local children on good hygiene habits. People in Need believe that access to SCHOOLS and education leads the way out of poverty, which is why they build and equip new schools. Provision of the LIVELIHOOD leads to economic independence and enables people to work and survive without any further assistance. Within the project HEALTH PIN helps to build new hospitals and clinics or, for example, to train midwives.
How does The Real Gift work then? Very simple. You go to the website http://www.real-gift.org where you can browse through the gifts of your choice, such as a Happy goat (€36,00), Baby food for Namibia (€20,00), Twenty chickens (€10,00) 100% Cow (€299,00) or even A donkey with a cart (€299,00). In order to avoid unnecessary transport expenses, as well as to support the local markets, goods and livestock are purchased in the countries targeted for their onward distribution. As a result, you donate the money to a very concrete gift. After you choose your gift online, then place it in the basket and complete the payment, you immediately receive an electronic certificate. The electronic certificate enables you to give a Real Gift to a friend or relative in a paper free format by sending it in an email. In the e-shop you can also write your personal message and the recipient’s email address at which he or she will receive a PDF form of your gift certificate. You can also choose to send your gift at a later date.
Thanks to The Real Gift project, in 2010 People in Need was able to buy approximately 634 goats, 167 sheep, 85 cows, 6,422 chickens, 45,363 trees, 240 jerry cans of water, equipment for several schools, material to build wells, and medical and other equipment necessary to save the lives of women during childbirth. And it really works!
On the website of The Real Gift people’s testimonies prove that the project really improves the lives of many, just like it happened to the 93 children living in an orphanage in the village of Katana in Congo. For them the 5 cows and 10 goats donated through The Real Gift mean fresh milk as well as providing an opportunity to attend a school. It’s a huge help that provides children with part of their nutrition. We keep cows exclusively for milk which we use to make cheese and curd, says Mama Sifa, who runs the orphanage.
I’m trying to raise money wherever I can. Just to purchase food for children costs me $1000 a month so it’s great that we have, thanks to the goats, fresh milk and cheese from our own production. Each child gets a bit and I sell the rest in town, which enables me to buy flour, rice, fish, fruit and vegetables which the children also need, says Mama Sifa.
Of course we are going to try to ensure that donated cows have lots of calves so that we can sell them, while the goats we keep exclusively for breeding. We’d like to sell their kids and use the proceeds to pay for the school fees and food for the children. We have a piece of land and, apart from goats and cows, we also keep rabbits, hens and ducks. Children have to help with looking after the farm but only after they come back from their school, adds the director of the orphanage.
Apart from the goats and cows being an irreplaceable source of food and income, the children also learn how to look after the animals – a skill they may need one day when they grow up and leave the gates of the orphanage to start looking for a job.
On the website you can read many more fascinating and moving stories of people who, just like the children from Katana orphanage, already benefited from The Real Gift project. Having recently launched the Slovak version of the Real Gift, People in Need is now addressing particularly the English speakers with the new English version of the e-shop. So if you still haven’t decided what to buy for Christmas for your family and friends, don’t wait and go to http://www.real-gift.org This Christmas, send a goat to Africa!
For more information please contact:
Šimon Pánek, director of People in Need, 777 787 913, email@example.com
Tomáš Vyhnálek, fundraising coordinator, 777 787 940, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tomáš Urban, media coordinator, contacts to other countries, 777 787 943, email@example.com