Aid supplies purchased by New Zealanders in UNICEF NZ’s new Inspired Gifts scheme are helping tens of thousands of children in 26 developing countries.
In November 2008 – the Inspired Gifts schemes’ first month of operation – pencils were the top-selling item. New Zealanders bought 62,000 pencils, all of which have been delivered to developing countries (Nigeria and Burundi in the main) to support children’s education. The pencils sell for $9.24 per box of 400.
Other top-selling aid items in November included bicycles and woollen blankets.
New Zealanders bought 156 bikes at $44.90 each, all of which have gone to Ghana.
UNICEF NZ Commercial Manager Carolyn Shivanandan says that the bicycles will make a big difference for children in Ghana, especially for girls in rural areas who have to balance household chores with walking long distances to school.
“UNICEF’s experience in Ghana has shown that providing children in rural areas with bicycles is an effective way to boost school attendance rates and improve academic performance.”
The 323 woollen blankets Kiwis bought will provide shelter for children in Chad, Niger, Malawi, and the Central African Republic.
Other Inspired Gifts purchased included First Aid Kits (to Afghanistan), immunisation and malaria prevention supplies (largely to Africa), therapeutic foods (to 11 countries), and water kits (to Myanmar).
“Kiwi’s are enthusiastically embracing the Inspired Gifts scheme and showing their generosity by making available much needed aid supplies to vulnerable children around the world,” says Ms Shivanandan.
“UNICEF’s extensive delivery and monitoring system means that we are able to track how many of each Inspired Gift go to which countries. This provides valuable feedback for donors who know that the gifts they bought are making a real difference for children in the developing world.
“Although it’s early days for the scheme in New Zealand, people around the world purchased more than $8.4 million of UNICEF Inspired Gifts last year.”
Inspired Gifts are actual aid items that people buy as gifts. UNICEF ships the items to children in parts of the world most in need. Meanwhile, the virtual recipient of the gift – a friend or family member – receives a card or e-card informing them of their gift. UNICEF NZ provides a range of 23 Inspired Gifts.
More details at www.inspiredgifts.org.nz