WASHINGTON -- April 14 -- Christian Aid is launching MailOrderChickens.org with the help of top UK comedians to highlight the scandal of foul trade rules. The international development charity is introducing the website during the Global Week of Action (10-16 April) in the run up to Christian Aid Week (16-21 May).
Cheap frozen chickens from Europe are flooding the Ghanaian meat market. Local farmers are unable to compete and are being forced out of business. As a result, many Ghanaian chickens have been made redundant. Christian Aid has developed an alternative adoption scheme over the web that connects sympathetic humans with their perfect chicken match.
The online adoption process takes you through six chicken-proof steps:
1. Get an overview from Helen Baxendale of Friends and Cold Feet, who introduces the adoption scheme.
2. Select a chicken from an interactive catalogue of animated poultry, which includes a short biography and in-depth psychometric data. Each chicken is given a celebrity endorsement on video from UK comedians including Andrew Clover, Al McKenzie, Nick Rowe, Susan Vidler, Alex Horne, Lucy Montgomery and Emma Pearson.
3. Sign-up for the adoption scheme, get a live video feed of your chicken and hear their personal message.
4. Witness the brutal killing of your newly adopted chicken and weep until you find out that it was a spoof.
5. Read the real-life story of Mrs Yumbia, a Ghanaian chicken farmer, to find out what the cluck this trade justice is all about. Mrs Yumbia was forced out of business because she couldnt compete with cheap imported chicken from the EU and the US, and her government wasnt allowed to help its farmers with subsidies or protect their own chicken market with higher tariffs on imports.
6. Add your vote to trade justice online to press Prime Minister Tony Blair to change trade rules that put poor countries at a disadvantage.
Vik Sharma, Christian Aids senior web producer, said: MailOrderChickens is what happens to a website when you blend harsh political realities, frankly weird farmyard critters and the mischief of Britains finest young comedy talent. Its an experience that has to be seen to be believed. In fact, I HAVE seen it and I still dont believe it.
With the Global Week of Action set to mobilise an estimated ten million people around the world to speak out against the unjust trade agreements forced on poor countries, Christian Aid wants to encourage visitors to the site to add their vote for trade justice.
So far, more than 140,000 votes have been cast for the Trade Justice Movement, 40 per cent of which were collected through Christian Aid. The Trade Justice Movement is a coalition of more than 60 charities that aims to get one million votes for fairer trade rules by the end of the year.