Bay of Plenty locals are being asked to put chickens on their Christmas shopping lists again this year – not to feature on their Christmas day menus, but to help more families in need in the developing world.
“We are so grateful to the generous people of the Bay of Plenty who have given 274 chickens to families in Kenya, Zambia and Timor-Leste through ChildFund's Gifts that Grow over the last four years,” says ChildFund New Zealand CEO Paul Brown.
“However, with so many more families who can benefit from this gift, ChildFund is putting chickens at the top of our Christmas wish list this year.”
For just $28, a pair of chickens from ChildFund's Gifts that Grow catalogue will provide a family with much needed food and nutrition through high-protein eggs and meat, as well as an ongoing source of income as their flock thrives.
“Giving chickens is like giving these families a never-ending meal ticket and a small business,” says Paul.
The organisation hopes to double last year's nationwide figure of 446 chickens being gifted by Christmas day.
“We were able to give more than 800 chickens to those in need in Kenya and Zambia in 2015, so we know what can be achieved with the support of people from around New Zealand.
“We also know chickens are an incredibly worthwhile gift – every chicken, with a life span of seven to 10 years and the ability to lay around 1000 eggs in that time, can be life-changing for those living in poverty in the developing world.
One recent recipient success story comes from the Daniel family of Kenya. A year on from receiving three chickens via ChildFund New Zealand, and with the help of animal husbandry training which accompanied the gift, the family has now maintained a flock of 22 birds.
“The Daniel family have effectively been given the gift of self-sustainability and a brighter future. They no longer need to worry where their next meal is coming from and can sell eggs or a chicken if extra money is needed for expenses like school fees.
“When you hear stories like this, you can't help but feel excited and proud of what Kiwis are enabling through their Gifts that Grow purchases. Chickens really do give you those Christmas ‘warm fuzzies'.”
Over the past decade New Zealanders have given 55,000 Gifts that Grow through ChildFund New Zealand including chickens, goats, bikes, books and much more.
Since 2013, Bay of Plenty residents have given more than 700 gifts, with gifts of chickens proving a popular choice at around 12 per cent of purchases.
Chickens and other gifts can be purchased at www.childfund.org.nz or by calling 0800 223 111.