So kind

Published: Wednesday 15 June 2005

-- Oxfam UK

Goats, camels and village farmyards might not seem like traditional wedding presents, but all this could change under a novel gift-giving plan unveiled by the British charity Oxfam. Couples getting married can ask guests to forgo the traditional gift of household goods from a list held at a department store in favour of a charitable donation to be made to communities in 70 countries.

Oxfam's "unwrapped" wedding list service allows guests to spent us $174 on a camel for a village, cows and goats at a cheaper option at us $128 and us$ 44 respectively. One hundred children's school lunches can be purchased for a mere us $11, while at the other end of the scale, a complete village farmyard can be financed for us $ 2,200.

Finally, the couple who have everything can be bought a four-wheel drive truck for us $36,000 -- one they will never see or use, and which will end up in a far-off community. The idea is based on a successful scheme Oxfam ran last Christmas, allowing those sick of the traditional consumer frenzy to buy chicken, buckets and other items for deprived communities on behalf of relatives and friends. But does such charity really help?

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