Swedish actor Kjell Bergqvist, who owns a second home in Huay Yang, Thailand and also have godchildren there is acting as Santa Claus for a good cause in 2015.
As Plan International godfather he got tired of Christmas hysteria and encourages the Swedes to give away a gift that lasts longer than a bread maker or a scented candle.
In a series of films Kjell Bergqvist reflects over hia own feelings about the holiday shopping season and the “Christmas gift”. Kjell himself thinka that onw should give away a gift from Plan International, this Christmas.
“A sponsorship, for instance, is a gift to be enjoyed for years, especially if one spenda a bit of time writing letters. While it helps, it is useful for us to be reminded of what it looks like for children around the world,” he thinks.
Last year the Christmas shopping we in Sweden for a total of SEK 70 billion.
Michelle Warren, project manager at Plan International Sweden and has co-produced the films with Kjell Bergqvist. She believes that more and more people choose to give away a gift that will last longer.
“Of course when the whole family gathers for the festive season the pressure can be there for panic buying. But at the same time I think many people want to give something meaningful. That is where I hope we at Plan International can bring a new dimension to this through our gift shop. Our programmes empower children and their families lift themselves out of poverty, providing skills that will last a lifetime, she says.
“They say it is scientifically proven that by giving away something the donor gets even happier than receiver. I think that’s interesting,” continues Kjell Bergqvist, who has been a sponsor of Plan International since its operations began in Sweden.
“Right now I have godchildren in Thailand and in Haiti, and my daughters have a godchild in Paraguay. There are many children in distress. My main interest has always been to travel and then I don’t just want to sit under an umbrella with a drink but also to see how people live in slums. And I always have with me my own children so they’ll see how lucky they are.”
In Plan International Sweden’s gift shop one can buy gifts that will last a lifetime. And and one can buy last-minute and print the gift certificates to give away oneself.
Plan International is working to strengthen children’s rights and fight poverty in 51 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. They work at the local level, with 78 million children and their families. Plan International is one of the world’s largest child rights organizations and is politically and religiously independent. All our work is based on the UNCRC, Convention on the Rights of the Child.