The main animal gift-giving sites:
In recent years there has been a trend to give animal gifts such as pigs, llamas, alpaca's, goats, sheep, cows and even worms to the developing world. Others have pioneered animal gifts which enable you to adopt or sponsor an animal such as a monkey, bear, dolphin or donkey. You can give the animal gifts quickly and easily online and then send them to Africa or South America on someone else's behalf as a Christmas gift, or follow your animal's progress if you adopt or sponsor one. The following is a guide to the animal gifts that are available: (the animal gifts are in alphabetical order)
Chicks/Chickens animal gifts Turkey may be traditional at Christmas, but you can choose chickens too! You can give them through World Vision's project in Chettikulam, Sri Lanka which aims to give communities a new income source. Providing families with vaccinated chicks will produce eggs and meat to eat or sell. Click here to find out more about giving chickens or chicks
Cow animal gifts A cow can be sent or sponsored as a charity gift through Christian Aid or through World Vision. With Christian Aid a cow can give women like Yulkuncha in Kyrgyzstan a daily source of milk to drink, manure for crops and – a few months down the line – calves to sell or eat. Once her cow has calved, Yulkuncha will return one calf to a Christian Aid partner, who can then loan it to another family. Projects like this give people the tools they need to become self-sufficient. Click here for more about sending a cow with World Vision Click for more about giving a cow with Christian Aid.
Dolphin animal gifts Thousands of whales and dolphins are slaughtered every year for human consumption and for use in fertiliser, and animal food. Adopt a dolphin as a gift and do something about it. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has set up an dolphin adoption scheme, whereby you can adopt a dolphin as a gift for someone.
Donkey animal gifts In Sudan, where water is scarce and working the hard, dusty land is a constant battle, a donkey is invaluable. A hardy donkey can help a family carry water from distant wells – and plough the land to make it ready for growing crops. To the very poorest people, a healthy donkey is an essential family member. You can give a donkey as a gift through Practical Presents here
Duck animal gifts A duck can be sent through Christian Aid. You can sell them, eat their eggs and barter them at market. Since 1998, Christian Aid partner Friends in Village Development Bangladesh has been helping people recover from devastating floods by giving them ducks. In the face of unprecedented climate change, duck farming helps people like Sunita Ranidash become self-sufficient, freeing them up from loans and allowing them to work towards a more secure future. A gift like this could help a family rebuild their lives after a disaster. Click here for more about giving a duck.
Fish animal gifts It’s a reel-y great gift for anglers. You can buy the fish that will help six families living in poverty in Sri Lanka to team up and stock their own inland fish farm through World Vision. You can even give a whole tank of fish. Click here to find out more about giving a fish
Goat animal gifts There are a number of charities through which you can send goats. You can send one through World Vision. Through Christian Aid it benefits people in Bangladesh. A herd of goats can go a long way in a place like Bangladesh. A goat provides milk to drink and sell, while its droppings can be used as fertiliser. This helps people like Johura Begum grow better vegetables to feed their families. And like all livestock, goats produce other goats. A gift like this could go on and on – making it the perfect present for someone who really wants to make a difference. You can also send a goat through Oxfam. Goats are bought locally, also give nomadic communities (who don’t stay in one place for long) a mobile source of income.
Llama animal gifts You can give a farmer a llama through World Vision. It’s your chance to provide families in the Cochabamba region of Bolivia with a better breed of llamas, producing higher quality wool to help improve income. Find out how to send a llama through World Vision
Monkey animal gifts You can make a huge difference as well as give a great gift by adopting a monkey through WWF. Less than 63,000 orang-utans are estimated to survive in the wild today. Orang-utans are now found only on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. Habitat destruction and fragmentation - caused by commercial logging and clearance for oil palm plantations and agriculture - are by far the greatest threats that these amazing creatures face. You can help by adopting a monkey (click here)
Ox animal gifts An Ox can be sent as a charity gift through Christian Aid. Domingas Noguera and her family fled their village to escape the Angolan civil war. They returned years later – with no home, no livelihood and little food. With support from Christian Aid partner ACM, the family was able to rebuild their lives. ACM gave villagers seeds and a pair of oxen with a plough to make sure they could cultivate the land. Now, they enjoy a more plentiful harvest. Find out more about giving an Ox through Christian Aid here
Panda animal gifts Pandas are the rarest bears and their forest habitat is fast disappearing. Forest loss is caused by expansion of agricultural land, intensive harvesting of timber, use of wood for fuel and other forest products, and overgrazing. Each year an area of forest larger than the UK is lost - a rate of 30 hectares every minute. But you can help to safeguard the future of pandas as well as giving a animal gift to someone you love by adopting one of these pandas through WWF
Pig animal gifts The only charity which currently sends or sponsors pigs is Christian Aid, through their Present Aid web site. Juan Rayos Sequira, a bean and maize farmer from La Labranza, Nicaragua, hadn’t had a harvest for six years when he received a sow from Christian Aid partner the Community Movement of Matagalpa. He now breeds pigs, and for every 12 piglets born, he passes two on to another family. Those he keeps provide him with both food and an income. ‘You can sell them,’ he explains. ‘People are always looking for piglets.’ A gift like this could really help produce long-term benefits. Click here for more about giving a pig
Ram animal gifts Ewe’ll love this gift to help more children go to school in Basa, Senegal. Many families here are sheep farmers, so by starting a sheep-breeding programme, schools can earn money to cover costs while teaching children skills valued by their parents. You can give a Ewe through World Vision. Click here to find out more
Sheep (wooless) animal gifts Only available through Christian Aid. Bolivian farmer Malaquia Rosel used to travel into the rainforest for days on end to hunt for meat for his family. Since Christian Aid partner the Centre for Research and Training of Peasant Farmers, gave him some woolless sheep, Malaquia has been able to stay closer to home. The sheep provide Malaquia with nutritious meat, milk and an income – enough to send his children to school last year. A gift like this can give so much more.
Sheep (with wool) animal gifts Ewe’ll love this gift from World Vision to help more children go to school in Basa, Senegal. Many families here are sheep farmers, so by starting a sheep-breeding programme, schools can earn money to cover costs while teaching children skills valued by their parents. Find out more about giving a sheep here
Turkey animal gifts A turkey or turkeys can be sent through Christian Aid. In the Kulyab district of Tajikistan, no one knows more about turkeys than Ghios Samadov. Trained in poultry rearing by Christian Aid partner Najoti Kudakon, Samadov now runs a thriving turkey farm, and has passed on what he learnt to others in his community. That way everyone can earn extra money selling eggs and birds at the market. A gift like this really could really go on giving. Click here to find out how to give a Turkey.
Water Buffalo animal gifts. You can send a Water Buffalo through Christian Aid. Sara Makram and her six daughters have a very unusual kitchen – a water buffalo! She bought it with a loan from Christian Aid’s Egyptian partner COC Bless, and speaks of it with great affection: ‘Before, we had to buy cheese and butter from the shop. Now our buffalo provides us with food at all times.’ They also earn some money selling some of the cheese they make. A gift like this can make a big difference to poor people’s lives. Available through Christian Aid
Worms animal gifts. Yes, believe it or not if you’re a Bolivian farmer and you want to fertilise your fields, you can’t do much better than worms. Organic, cheaper and better for the environment than chemicals, they enrich the soil and help produce more and better crops. They can make such a difference that farmers may even have a surplus to sell, giving them extra cash to pay for education, shelter and medicines. A gift like this really can do an awful lot, and you can give it through Christian Aid.
The main animal gift-giving sites: