VWB/VSF-Canada is excited to announce the launch their first-ever holiday gift giving campaign – One World Gifts!  To support its various international projects, the organization is now offering a series of four gift cards that can be emailed and/or printed.  Designed by Camosun College graphic design student, Emily Stevens, these unique gift cards will go directly towards helping improve the health and wellbeing of people and animals living in the world’s least advantaged communities.  One World Gifts make the perfect presents for people who have everything! Visit www.vwb-vsf.ca for details.


One of the VWB/VSF-Canada projects highlighted in this year’s One World Gifts campaign is a program to help subsistence farmers in Western Kenya raise healthier pigs.  While pig rearing is a relatively new industry in the Busia and Kakemega Districts, these animals have quickly become a vital source of food and income.  Yet inadequate farming practices have resulted in both livestock losses and the spread of a parasite that cycles between pigs and people.  For families living in extreme poverty and who are already nutritionally compromised, the loss of a single pig can be devastating and exposure to disease-causing parasites can be life threatening.


For the past year, VWB/VSF-Canada has supported an animal health team, led by Canadian veterinarian, Dr. Cate Dewey, to travel to Kenya to deliver a series of training workshops on pig management.  Working with local veterinary and public health officers, Dr. Dewey and her team have travelled throughout the region to meet first-hand with farmers to discuss ways to improve pig productivity and prevent human health problems. 


“The workshops have been incredibly successful,” said VWB/VSF-Canada president, Dr. David Waltner-Toews. “We’d like to expand these workshops to include other stakeholders as well, like the pig butchers. We’re also planning to develop workshops that will specifically address pig disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment.” Waltner-Toews is encouraging people to purchase the “Healthy Pigs. Healthy Kenyan Families” gift card to help support this important project.  


Back in Canada, and in the spirit of community involvement, Jasco Development (www.jascodev.com) in Victoria, B.C. donated their time and expertise to help get the technical side of this holiday campaign up and running.  They developed the e-commerce capabilities for the organization’s website.  “The Jasco team has been absolutely wonderful,” said Dr. Erin Fraser, Program Director, VWB/VSF-Canada. “Without their help we would have been hard pressed to get this campaign launched in time for the holiday season.  They are so professional and have treated us with the same kind of respect and enthusiasm and as they would their paying clients.” 


Also donating her skills to this important cause is Camosun College graphic design student Emily Stevens. Only half way through her first-year in graphic design, Stevens created four gift cards, each representing one of the profiled VWB/VSF-Canada projects.  Her work was selected from all of the designs submitted by first-year Camosun students to represent this year’s campaign.