Leave the socks, jocks and chocolates on the shelves and spoil family and friends with gifts that won’t get regifted, or worse end up in landfill.

This carefully curated gift guide is chock full of items that will either save the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable children or give them a chance at reaching their full potential. Here is our list of the top five charity Christmas presents this year.
 

1. Winter warmers

 

It may sometimes be difficult to fathom from beneath the scorching Australian sun but the festive season in the northern hemisphere brings with it freezing temperatures, rain and snow. Whilst it’s perfect weather for Santa’s reindeer, it is decidedly less so for families living in precarious conditions in refugee camps and other informal settings and can be deadly for the young.  

UNICEF’s winter warmer bundle is given to new parents and provides two sets of winter woollies, as well as three cosy blankets, to keep little ones warm all winter long. 

 

Mariam, five months old, tries on her new winter hat. She has just received her winter clothing kit from UNICEF. © UNICEF/UN0274582/Herwig

Three-month-old Mariam is wrapped up nice and snug in her new jumpsuit and warm hat. Life for Mariam and her family has not been easy. Without income or necessities, her mother Jawaher does what she can to keep her children warm each winter but is always worried about them and what the cold is doing to their health. 
 
"Every year, we buy plastic sheets and fabric for
the tents but water still gets in and it gets cold." 

- Jawaher

Keep vulnerable children safe and warm throughout winter.

Give the gift of warmth
 

2. Super-nutrient wafers

 

Every child deserves to look towards a future where they are nourished, healthy and happy. But far too many children are malnourished due to poverty, conflict, or drought.  Ready-to-use foods are critical because they provide children with the nutrients and strength to prevent undernutrition, and support the immune system to fight dangerous diseases. 

Solina’s mother was understandably emotional when she spoke to our teams in Cambodia after her daughter's malnutrition screening.  

“I knew she was a bit small and I was worried about why she wasn’t growing more... when they said she had severe acute malnutrition. I was a bit shocked,” says Solina’s mum. 

“But I am glad they told me. That means I know what to do now.” 

Solina plays with her loving mother when our teams visited, shortly after she was diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition © UNICEF Cambodia/2021/Antoine Raab
A health care workers took Solina’s mother through vital nutritional and health information, and provided her with a ready-to-use, therapeutic food to treat malnourished children and developed with support from UNICEF.  

It may seem simple but these super-nutrient wafers allow malnourished children in even the most remote corners of Cambodia to access nutrition needed to lead healthy lives.  

When you purchase a UNICEF Inspired Gift this Christmas, you can help parents to nourish their children and see them thrive. 
Give the gift of nutrition
 

3. Play and learn pack for Indigenous children


The early years of life are when we learn the most. But access to early childhood education is limited across Australia. In remote areas only 79 per cent of Indigenous children are enrolled in early childhood education. 

The Indi Kindi early childhood education initiative is delivered on Country and led by local woman. From the bush, to the river, to the local library, early education is changing the lives of these little ones.  
Deandra is a mother and Indi Kindi educator on Country in Borroloola. © Moriarty Foundation/Lister


Garrawa woman Deandra lives with her children in Borroloola, Northern Territory and works as an Indi Kindi educator.  

“I love coming to work every day, working with my colleagues to make a better community, a better environment for the kids to learn,” she says.  

Each Play and Learn pack help to close the gap. Containing a book, balls, paintbrushes and a magnifying glass, these packs encourage children to learn and play outdoors and on Country, as part of the community-led Indi Kindi program. 

Help Indigenous children thrive, no matter where they are. 

Give the gift of education
 

4. Vaccine pack

 
Few children would be thrilled to unwrap them on Christmas morning, but vaccines are one of the most cost-effective investments in health. They eradicated smallpox worldwide, reduced wild polio to just two endemic countries and hugely reduced the incidence of other deadly and debilitating diseases.  
 
Beyond saving lives, they cut healthcare and treatment costs, reduce the number of hospital visits, and ensure healthier children and communities. Sadly, millions of children around the world remain unvaccinated against preventable diseases.  

UNICEF is working hard to change this and procures more than a billion vaccines each year for vaccination campaigns worldwide 
A child is vaccinated at a health centre in Sana’a, during a UNICEF-supported measles and rubella vaccination campaign. © UNICEF/UN0284441/ Alaidroos

In Yemen, it is estimated that a child dies every 10 minutes from vaccine-preventable diseases. Jumana’s mother is keen to protect her five-month-old daughter from deadly diseases.  

“Vaccines are available at the health centre at no cost, and my daughter receives her routine vaccines on time,” says Jumana’s mother. She calls on all parents to vaccinate their children to keep them safe and healthy. 

Each year, UNICEF vaccinates half of the world’s children. Help us reach more children by purchasing a Vaccine Pack. 
Give the gift of protection
 

5. Dignity pads


Menstruation is a healthy and natural part of the reproductive cycle. Every child should know what a period is and how the cycle works in order to feel normal and secure in their own body. 

However, some girls are often forced to miss school due to stigma and a lack of access to facilities. This can pose health risks and “period shame” can have negative psychological effects, disempowering girls and causing them to feel embarrassed. 
Aliya learns how to make a reusable sanitary pad. © UNICEF/UN0467630/Pouget


Aliya, 23, is participating for the first time in a sanitary pad making workshop.  

“Here in Mauritania, we don't have access to quality pads so often we have to manage as we can,” she says. 

“Many girls are ashamed and prefer to miss school while others use things that are not clean.” 
 
Menstrual hygiene is a real problem in Mauritania because of the lack of sanitation facilities and information. It is one of the primary causes of early school dropout for young girls. UNICEF educate and support young people in menstrual hygiene and in emergencies provides dignity kits to women and girls, which include sanitary pads. 

Reusable pads can offer girls the privacy and dignity to carry on with their lives. 

Give the gift of dignity

 

Christmas charity gifts: here’s how it works

  1. Purchase a UNICEF Inspired Gift. From therapeutic food to clean water, school supplies to vaccinations, we have something for everyone. 
  2. A personalised card will be sent to your loved one telling them about the life-saving impact they're having on children.
  3. Real supplies will be dispatched from a UNICEF warehouse to wherever they're most needed.
If you’re on the hunt for Christmas gifts that support charity, the Inspired Gifts range has you covered. Buy one instantly to make someone's day and forever change the lives of vulnerable children. 
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