Meaningful Gift Ideas

Now that the season of giving is near, impress your loved ones with these meaningful presents while supporting worthy causes.

Daughters of Tomorrow

Meaningful Gift Ideas
Daughters empowered: Under-privileged women are trained in crafts such as sewing so that they can create marketable products for sale.
Items range from baby dresses ($49.90) and wool-felt coin pouches ($18.90) handmade by women struggling with poverty and gender discrimination in India, to organic soaps (from $4.90) made by Indonesian rose farmers. Profits go towards providing livelihood training for women, which can in turn help create better education and opportunities for their children.
Meaningful Gift Ideas

Artisans from developing countries make these quirky accessories from recycled rubbish. Think dangly earrings made from bottle caps ($12-18); and earrings ($16) and pins ($12) made from copper, bottle caps and steel wire. Greenie Genie works to improve the livelihoods of the artisans and spread the word about environmental consciousness.

Lotus Culture

Meaningful Gift Ideas
Blooming business: Unique “One Edition” products are sold mainly through pop-up sales events. Photo from Lotus Culture

This non-profit organisation was established in 2010 to help survivors of human trafficking and sex slavery in Cambodia rise above their plight. Besides receiving education and psychological support, the beneficiaries are also employed as seamstresses, creating items such as wine bags, coasters and tote bags for sale. From $15 to $85.


Meaningful Gift Ideas
Heart of gold: Every Saught product – such as the Bricks of Hope Statement Necklace (above) and the Integrity ring (left) – carries the message of peace and hope. Photos from Saught

Saught’s stylish gold-plated jewellery pieces are fashioned out of scrap metal from deactivated landmines in Cambodia by local artisans, based on designs by Temasek Polytechnic’s design students. Sale proceeds support sustainable development efforts in postconflict countires, such as helping to fund mine-clearing work in Cambodia. Prices range from $79.90 for a pair of earrings to $149.90 for a necklace.

Mother and Child Project

Meaningful Gift Ideas
Uniquely Singaporean: These signature products are the brainchild of fashion designer Anna Tsang, who founded the social enterprise in 2005. Photos by Mother and Child Project

Handmade by disadvantaged Singaporean women, many of whom are single mothers and ladies recovering from psychiatric illnesses, these signature cloth products feature local icons of the past, such as the Samsui woman. Choose from keychains ($8), half-moon pouches ($18) and doorstops ($35). The beneficiaries are taught how to sew, so they can gain economic independence and hope for the future.


Meaningful Gift Ideas
Team effort: Being blind is no obstacle to creating art for VIP Ben Wong, who expresses his creativity with the help of volunteers. Photos from See-No-Clay
Meaningful Gift Ideas
Started in 2011, See-No-Clay helps Visually Impaired Potters (VIPs) to develop their pottery skills and achieve financial independence through sales of their artwork.Volunteers guide the VIPs to create tableware sets, decorative vases, sculptures and more. Prices range from $25 for a footprint-shaped bowl to over $100 for customised artwork.
    Nov 28, 2013
    Tay Qiao Wei
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