The Real Meaning of Advent

by Gerry Lynch last modified 04 Nov, 2014 10:04 AM

The only Fairtrade Advent calendar supports baby clinic in Kenya

The Meaningful Chocolate Company, which makes Britain's only charity Fairtrade Advent calendar is hoping to equip a baby clinic in Kenya by donating £10,000 from sales of its 2014 Real Advent Calendar. 

However, it is not just the charitable donation that makes The Real Advent Calendar unique. Behind its first giant window is a 32-page Christmas story-activity booklet, designed to be used every day in Advent. The booklet gives more detail about the Christmas story and has seven Advent challenges. The calendar also comes with 25 Fairtrade Belgian chocolates and a line of the Christmas story behind each of the foiled windows. 

David Marshall, from The Meaningful Chocolate Company, said: “By buying this Advent calendar people can share the Christmas story throughout December. This is really important as we know that detailed knowledge of the Christmas story is very low among children and parents.”

Launching this year's calendar, TV presenter Diane Louise Jordan said, “Not only is the calendar educational and made from Fairtrade chocolate but it’s a great opportunity to raise funds to help equip and support The Funzi and Bodo Trust baby clinic in Kenya. 

“The clinic is doing an amazing job by making sure people who are sick receive treatment and also offering new educational opportunities - which I hope will give children the chance of a better future.” 

The Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury, said, “The Christmas story renews people's hope. The 2014 Real Advent Calendar allows families to go on a journey - discovering the Christmas story, having fun and thinking about those less fortunate. It is a chance for people to read and see, for themselves, what Christmas is all about, a reminder that Christmas Starts with Christ.”

The Real Advent Calendar costs £3.99. Churches, schools and groups can buy direct from The Meaningful Chocolate Company by visiting www.realadvent.co.uk and taking advantage of a free delivery offer. Retailers stocking include larger Tesco stores, Traidcraft, Eden, Shared Earth, CLC and a number of cathedrals. Details can be found at www.realadvent.co.uk

Christmas Starts with Christ

Recent surveys show that knowledge of the Christmas story is fading. Among 5-7 year olds, 36% don’t know whose birthday we celebrate at Christmas and 72% don’t know Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Among adults less than 12% know the full nativity story and 51% say that the birth of Jesus is irrelevant to their Christmas. The Christmas Starts with Christ campaign, which is supported by major denominations, hopes to reverse the trend by telling the Christmas story in new ways. (Survey findings from ComRes 2007, 2010, 2012, Children’s Society 2010).

The Funzi and Bodo Trust

The donation made from sales of The Real Advent Calendar will help improve clinic facilities for hundreds of mums and their babies on Funzi Island in Kenya. There, many people live in poverty and without access to clean water and basic sanitation. The Funzi Clinic provides medical care to the community 24 hours a day, providing ante- and post-natal care, immunisations, baby weighing and growth monitoring. If mums or babies fall sick there are always medical staff on hand to help. See www.funzi.org.uk.

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