From the goats mouth ... !

This page lists all the articles from the Oxfam Unwrapped blog. Enjoy!

12 weeks of Christmas

Can you believe it’s officially twelve weeks until Christmas? To help get you into the festive spirit we will be featuring one Oxfam Unwrapped gift every week in the countdown to Christmas.

Sooooooo...on the first week of Christmas, Oxfam gave to me… a GOAT from Papua New Guinea! Did you know that more than half the population of Papua New Guinea live on less than $3 a day? By buying the gift of a goat this Christmas you provide a poor family with fresh milk, and fertiliser for their crops for many years to come.

And on the second week of Christmas, Oxfam gave to me… a MAGIC TARP during an emergency!

Last year over 20,000 unwanted Christmas gifts had been listed on Trademe by Boxing Day?! Make sure the gifts you give don’t go to waste this Christmas. The gift of a tarpaulin is invaluable, providing shelter and safe drinking water to people like seven-year old Carol (pictured) and her family in Samoa. They rely on tarpaulin for the collection of fresh water; often their only source of water after the Tsunami of 2009 destroyed their home.

For the third week of Christmas, Oxfam gave to me…a bunch of organically certified bananas hanging in a tree!

Going organic can have a huge impact on farmers in the Pacific. Getting higher prices for their organically certified crops, means families have more income to afford schooling, healthcare and other daily essentials.

By buying the gift of bananas this year, you will help improve the livelihood of farmers in Samoa – giving them access to training, tools and the knowledge they need to become organically certified.

Pass the parcel this Christmas


Finding the best gifts ever

With Oxfam Unwrapped you can choose from over 50 gifts that are sure to keep your friends and family happy and feeling fantastic!

This year we've introduced even more gifts that result in real reward. One of our favourite newbies is a boar - not a bore, a boar! He's being used to help a pig-breeding programme in remote parts of Papua New Guinea. Another new gift we're very excited about is chocolate. Yum! This one won't stay a lifetime on the hips because it's too busy supporting cocoa farmers in West Papua. And we can't forget to mention our new Christmas card: nothing says 'Merry Crimbo' like a piglet!

So how does Oxfam Unwrapped work? We believe you're passing the parcel of a life changing gift. When you buy a gift, the money you pay goes towards Oxfam's life-changing work around the world. You can read more about that here. Best of all, you get to send your loved ones, friends and workmates a snazzy card that explains how their gift is helping others. So where does the money go? Well, we don't ship goats or pigs overseas! But they are all real items that we use to allevaite poverty. When you buy an Oxfam Unwrapped gift, your tax deductable donation wil fund a range of projects your gift represents. So please, put the kettle on, pour a cup of (Fairtrade) tea and enjoy some guilt free online shopping. You'll be making a real difference this Crhistmas.



Pass the camera

Ever been behind the camera at TV shoot? We went armed with a camera to the recording of the new Oxfam Unwrapped animation, our first commissioned TV commercial in years. 

Filmed at the White Studios in Auckland's Eden Terrace, the 30 second advert uses stop start animation, photographic cut outs, a voiceover by BFM's Charlotte Ryan and a soundtrack from Kiwi artist Lisa Crawley. Six actors played the parts of our gift givers and recievers perfectly - and all for free, as they're friends of Oxfam and the advert's creative directors, Curative. It was Curative who put the ad together, editing the photos, graphics and script. We think they've done an awesome job.

Check out the photos to get a glimpse of how it was put together:

Watch the 30 second video in full on Youtube - and keep your eyes peeled on the TV in the run up to Christmas to see it for real!


Pass the parcel!

We've just unwrapped the new Oxfam Unwrapped for 2012 and are mighty pleased!

The spanking new website looks a million dollars and uses inspiration from the quirky TV advert designed by Curative, a fantastically talented bunch of Kiwis.  We hope you like the colours, the images and the feel of the website, catalogues and TV commercial. But most importantly, we hope you like our new gifts!

How about a flat white? Or credit for a human rights defender's phone? Or a magic tarp? These are just some of the newbies that we hope will become firm favourites like a goat or pile of poo. Make sure you check out the full range on

And here's the full version of the TV advert; it will be running up until Christmas on most major channels. We'd love you to share the video on Twitter (#PasstheParcel @oxfamnz) or Facebook so grab the link from the video below.

Enjoy, and happy shopping!



A memorable Mother's Day


So the eternal question: What do you buy for the number one woman in your life?

We asked young Joe Blayney, 14, from Mount Albert Grammar what about his decision to pick his mum an Oxfam Unwrapped gift for Mother's Day this year.

Being at school, Joe doesn’t have time for work, although he’s saved some money from helping out his dad. So the Oxfam Unwrapped range is perfect for him – plenty of presents under $20. He’ll usually splash out on some chocolate (fair trade, of course!), or even give her some of his school art work when he’s strapped for cash. But this year he's opted to give something a little bit different: a bunch of spicy hot chillis from Oxfam Unwrapped.

This is the first time Joe's given anyone an Oxfam Unwrapped gift. He said: "I picked Unwrapped because there's some really cool present ideas, I liked looking through the catalogue. I wanted to help the people the gifts benefit.”

Priced at just $15, Joe is gifting this fiery package in recognition of his mum's year-round sterling support. His mum is going to love it!

Joe's mum actually caught him browsing the Oxfam Unwrapped catalogue recently, but his swift response to why was that he was "looking into giving his brother a pile of poo". He'd love to see his brother's reaction, even though “he’d take it as a joke”.

  • Make sure you check out the latest range of Mother's Day gifts, including our limited edition packs perfect for spoiling mum.



A brighter 2012

Thank you to everyone who purchased Oxfam Unwrapped gifts for Christmas!

We've got some great news for all our supporters - news that is life-changing for people living in the places where we work.

We totted up all the gifts that you've bought and are delighted to reveal that you have given more than:

  - 1000 pairs of chickens

  - 610 piles of poo

and most impressively, provided access to safe water for 33,250 people living in poverty.

This is an incredible achievement and will make a HUGE difference to communities in the Pacific and Southeast Asia. Your gifts have gone to the people who need them most, people who can now look forward to a brighter 2012.

Thank you again!


The Oxfam Unwrapped team.


Gift giving generosity - top Kiwi towns

Upper MoutereOxfam has revealed New Zealand’s most generous towns in its first-ever Oxfam Unwrapped Generosity List.

By looking at the numbers and locations of gifts given through the Oxfam Unwrapped appeal, Oxfam has named the South Island town of Upper Moutere as the country’s most generous.

Upper Moutere ranked highest on the list for having donated the most gifts for its population size – around 152 people.

The top ten

1. Upper Moutere, Tasman

2. Takaka, Tasman

3. Ohaupo, Waikato

4. Russell, Bay of Islands

5. Paekakariki, Kapiti

6. Warkworth, Auckland region

7. Lyttelton, Christchurch

8. Port Chalmers, Dunedin

9. Collingwood, Tasman

10. Cheviot, Hurunui

The town with the highest average annual gift value (of $158.68), and far above the national average value of $18.60 was the Hauraki district town of Ngatea.

Areas with the top total gifting are Auckland, with nearly $750,000 donated over the last five years, Wellington and Christchurch.


VIP loos

Enoch and his family survived the bitter nine year Bougainville civil war by fleeing into the hills. After the conflict, they returned to their village to find it completely destroyed. Enoch knew good sanitation would be as vital for keeping the village children alive as protecting them from soldiers.

So with a little help from Oxfam, toilets became his practical, yet lifesaving, solution.

Sirovai village is on the coast of Central Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, and the soil is very sandy. When residents first tried to dig pits for latrines, the ground just caved in.

With Oxfam's help, they devised a simple and ingenious solution: build a cylinder out of wood, coat it with cement, remove the original wood frame to use again, climb inside the cement cylinder, and dig out the soil.

The concrete liner sinks down into the ground and then a toilet slab and super structure can be built on top, completing the VIP (Ventilated Improved Pit) latrine.

As an extra benefit to the community, Oxfam pays villagers to do the labour. When complete, there will be one toilet for each family in the village. You can support people like Enoch with Oxfam Unwrapped: buy the gift of a toilet today.


No bull

Milk, manure and moo-ving about, cows are a incredibly versatile gift.

The obvious benefit is milk, which supplements poor diets and provides essential vitamin and minerals. Milk is also sold, giving people money to pay for food, clothes, medicines, transport or eductaion. Manure is a brilliant fertiliser for gardens and crops, helping to provide a bountiful garden of plenty, full to bursting with veggies that will feed a family or livestock. And transport: cows can be used to pull ploughs and carts. Plus bulls can be used to fertilse cows, ensuring that future generations capture the benefits of these bovine beauties. So your $260 is going to go a long way helping a family securing their path out of poverty.


Splash out in Vanuatu

Kency Bang (18 years old) and Jean-Paul Bang (16 years old) at their nearest water pump which is 2 km from their home in the Black Sands community, Port Vila.Despite being a tourist destination, Vanuatu is one of the poorest countries in Melanesia and faces many problems. A key issue is the absence of safe water and adequate sanitation, which causes poor health and disease and severely restricts rural communities’ economic and social development.

Less than 50 per cent of the rural population has access to a reliable, safe and fully functioning water supply.

Another 40 per cent only has access to a system that is in need of repair.

Adding to this problem is the destruction caused by cyclones, which frequently hit Vanuatu. These cyclones often destroy crops, roads and homes while polluting drinking water and waterways. Any water and sanitation facilities established in the country need to be cyclone-proof. By supporting Oxfam Unwrapped with our safe water gifts, you will be giving Vanuatuans a safe reliable source of this precious resource.