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 woolies, as well as two baby 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 even the most basic 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. Milk and cookies
 

Milk and cookies are well known as an ideal snack to leave out for a tired and hungry Santa Claus as he flies around the world on Christmas Eve, but did you know that the UNICEF version can also save lives? Therapeutic milk (which is ready to use and does not require mixing with water) and high calorie therapeutic cookies contain the specific balance of energy, fats, protein and minerals needed by malnourished children during their recovery and are true lifesavers. 

These ready to use foods are especially critical during COVID-19 as they provide children with the nutrients and strength to prevent undernutrition and in turn support the immune system to fight other dangerous diseases. 

Abia with her mother in their one-room home in the slums of Sana'a, Yemen. © UNICEF/UNI366584/Abaidi

Nine-month-old Abia lives with her family of four in one of the most marginalised areas of Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, with no electricity, solar energy, or water.  

“When Abia was born, she was weak and wasted, and her health kept worsening from day to day because of our poor living conditions. We feel the pinch and there are days when we struggle to stave off hunger," says Maryam, Abia’s mother.

Due to the family’s difficult financial situation, Abia did not receive the nutrition she needed and was diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition, which can kill. After being referred to the Maeen Medical Complex in Sana’a, Abia received treatment provided by UNICEF and was quickly on the road to recovery. Little by little she regained her energy and strength she began to move and play more and even took her first steps. 

Support malnourished babies and children to reach their full potential. 
Give the gift of nutrition

3.  Earth friendly learning pack 

The environmentally savvy would no doubt be thrilled with the gift of an earth friendly solar powered head lamp and radio, but these simple appliances have a far more important purpose. For many children in developing countries solar appliances are the only way to keep up with homework and stay learning after dark.

Given the widespread disruptions to schooling caused by COVID-19 worldwide this year, it is even more important that children can access enough electricity to be able to see their school books and complete their homework when the sun goes down.
Meiskina uses a solar lamp to learn her school lessons at night. © UNICEF/UN0327349/Le Du


Nine-year-old Meiskina is pictured using her solar lamp so that she can continue to read and learn at home, even when it gets dark. 

Without access to electricity, the absence of light during the night severely limits a child’s ability to progress in their education, especially when they must balance their daily chores with school. With the solar lamp and solar wind-up radio, children like Meiskina are able to extend their activities beyond the fall of night and use all hours of the day more purposefully and in a very earth friendly way. 

Help children to keep learning after dark. 

Give the gift of light

4. Vaccine pack
 
Not many 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.  
Five day old Karam receives his vaccinations in a UNICEF-supported health clinic in Azraq refugee camp. © UNICEF/UN0303632/Herwig

Five-day old Nabil, was born a refugee in the Al Azraq Camp in Jordan, after his parents fled war in Syria. To keep children safe and healthy in the camp, UNICEF supports the Ministry of Health, a health workers like Dr Almanti, to provide regular childhood immunisations and raise awareness about their importance.  importance.  

Whilst in many ways their future may be uncertain, parents can be reassured that their children are protected from preventable diseases by vaccines. This is particularly important in refugee camps where overcrowding and limited hygiene facilities can cause a single case of disease to spread rapidly. Babies and young children are the most vulnerable. 

Help us to protect children from disease.
Give the gift of protection

5. Welcome to the world bundle

It would be a surprise to see a baby resuscitation kit, a resuscitation timer or treatment for newborn meningitis under your average Christmas Tree but our “Welcome to the World” bundle can save up to 15 tiny lives. For many reasons babies sometimes need a little extra help to take their first terrestrial breaths. This can be because they’re born premature, born well after their due date, or for no obvious reason at all. No matter why they’re not born breathing, they need a skilled birth attendant and the right tools  to bring out that first magical cry. 
A baby is stabilised by a midwife at a hospital in Guinea-Bissau. © UNICEF/UNI284937/Prinsloo


This sweet little boy was stabilised by a midwife at a hospital in Guinea-Bissau. Whilst newborn resuscitation is an emergency procedure that cannot be anticipated it  is absolutely cruicial to preventing lifelong disability and neonatal death.  
 

The Welcome to the World bundle provides health professionals in disadvantaged areas with the vital tools to help children survive at the most vulnerable stage of their lives.  
 
Help bring neonatal care to vulnerable newborns. 

Give the gift of survival

 

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.
There's no better way to show someone how much you appreciate everything they've done to make your life better. Buy one instantly to make someone's day and forever change the lives of vulnerable children.
Browse all gifts

Comments