FARMING IN Britain has seen better times but we are still incredibly affluent compared to people in other countries. Christmas is a time to reflect on this and perhaps spend a little less on those who already have enough and give the difference to those who have next to nothing.

The Send a Cow gift catalogue will help you do this. From it you can choose livestock which will provide a future for some of the poorest people in Africa. From the success of the initial scheme of providing a dairy cow and husbandry training to poor families, the charity has now branched out to goats, chickens and other livestock, all bought in Africa to boost local economies and cut down on transport costs.

What’s more, the scheme works, resulting in better health, income and education for those involved. To find out more telephone (0845 6604670) for a catalogue or see www.sendacow.org.uk and give a present that will be valued for years to come.

Oxfam also has a host of “present” ideas to help people in poor countries, in its Oxfam Unwrapped catalogue. Just £15 will provide a school desk and chair; £15 will provide new blankets for five AIDS orphans; £46 will train a traditional midwife and £64 will train a farmer to become more productive. Just £100 will pay for six months of basic medicines for a village – and possibly save lives or suffering. Your gift will be sent where it is needed most.

Tel (0870 6081200) or see www.oxfamunwrapped.com for a catalogue.