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14/06 Friday 01:12PM

the alternative x'mas gift list

text . Pauline Chan .

If you have become disenchanted with the commercialism of Christmas, why not try doing the alternative Christmas Gift Route. The idea is you pick a gift that is given to someone, a family or a community somewhere in the world. Some charitable organisations have catalogs on how you can spend your money to benefit the less fortunate during the season of giving.

With World Vision, for example, you can buy chickens for a family, or fruit trees that will grow and provide for a family year after year. Water Aid, as the name suggests, concentrates on clear safe water and sanitation for Third World countries. You can buy anything from a tap to a complete water pump, a shovel or a toilet seat. World Vision even has a wish list, one you can fill in and let your friends choose a gift for you. A card will be sent to you or your friend wishing them a happy Christmas and giving details of the gift given.

1. Help the Penan tribe
The Helping Hands Penan help the Penan tribal community with education supplies through sales of handicrafts made by the Penan women. They sell Penan crafts, like blowpipes, baskets, backpacks, floor and table mats, bangles and necklaces, all hand-made from raw materials from the jungle, non-Penan craft like framed ethnic earrings, and greeting cards with photos donated by friends and professional photographers.

2. Help poverty-stricken communities
World Vision is a humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. They are in nearly 100 countries around the world, World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. They provide facilities for the public to donate to sponsor children, emergency relief aid, fund micro loans, volunteer work and many more.

3. Provide safe water 
WaterAid is an international non governmental organisation. Their mission is to transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in the world's poorest communities. WaterAid's vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation. WaterAid transforms lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in the world's poorest communities. They work with partners and influence decision-makers to maximise their impact.

4. Save children and their families
Save the Children is the leading independent organization creating lasting change in the lives of children in need in the United States and around the world. Recognized for their commitment to accountability, innovation and collaboration, their work takes them into the heart of communities, where they help children and families to help themselves. They work with other organizations, governments, non-profits and a variety of local partners while maintaining their own independence without political agenda or religious orientation.

5. Save an acre of rainforest
The World Land Trust (WLT) is an international conservation charity, which protects the world’s most biologically important and threatened habitats acre by acre. Since its foundation in 1989 (as the World Wide Land Conservation Trust), the WLT has funded partner organisations around the world to create reserves, and has given permanent protection to habitat and their wildlife.

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