Charity hits out at ethical gifts

Shoppers should avoid 'give-a-goat'-type gifts sold by non-governmental organisations because they are degrading for developing countries, an education charity has claimed.

This month, Worldwrite will release two films that claim many NGO campaigns are simply about making people feel good and not about helping people.

“Everyone is getting in on the ethical shopping spree idea and the list of items has hit an all-time low,” said Ceri Dingle, director of Worldwrite. “We should ditch the ethical items in our shopping trolleys. If we want to help our peers, we need to think big and hand over the money.”

Dingle said that gifts such as Oxfam’s ‘Build a bog’ option were “totally degrading”.

“Such gifts assume our peers want to continue to scrape by on the land and cannot be trusted,” she said.

But an Oxfam spokeswoman said the charity chose its gifts after having discussions with communities about their needs. “All Oxfam gifts are chosen with integrity in the belief they will help communities for the better,” she said.

The films – called Keeping Africa Small and I’m a Subsistence Farmer… Get Me Out of Here! – were produced to examine NGO practices in Ghana, as well as “rural subsistence life” for people in the country.

They will be premiered on 16 December at the Rich Mix Cinema, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1.

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