A guide to giving and sending animals as charity gifts

By staff writers
15 Nov 2007

The main animal gift-giving sites (click to visit):

Christian Aid - Present Aid (Chicks, Turkey, Buffalo, Cow, Goat, Ducks, Worms, Pigs)

Oxfam - Oxfam Unwrapped (Camel, Goat, Donkey, Sheep, Cow)

Practical Presents (Goat, Duck, Chicks, Chickens, Alpaca, Donkey)

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for animal adoption (Panda, Tiger, Monkey, Dolphin, Elephant, Polar Bear, Rhino)

In recent years there has been a trend to send animals such as pigs, llamas, alpaca's, goats, sheep, cows and even worms to the developing world. 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. A card telling your loved one, friend or relative what has been given is then sent with your personal message.


click here
But if you want to send a particular animal as a charity gift it can be hard to track them down. So here is a quick guide (animals are in alphabetical order) with links to the charity websites:

Give Chicks/Chickens 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

Give a Cow 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.

Give a Duck 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.

Give a Fish 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

Give a Goat 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.

Give a Llama 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

Give an Ox 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

Give a Pig 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

Give a Ram 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) 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) 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

Give a Turkey 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.

Give a Water Buffalo. 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

Give some Worms. 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.

If you also want to send a kit to look after animals, then Oxfam also provide a vet care kit and animal care kit you can give.

The main gift-giving sites:

Christian Aid - Present Aid
World Vision - Great Gifts
Oxfam - Oxfam Unwrapped

The main animal gift-giving sites:

Christian Aid - Present Aid
World Vision - Great Gifts
Oxfam - Oxfam Unwrapped
Practical Presents
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for animal adoption

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