Community Scoop

Sow the seeds of love this Valentine’s Day

Press Release – ChildFund

ChildFund is encouraging New Zealanders to reconsider the traditional Valentine’s Day bouquet, and sow the seeds of love instead with a gift of vegetable seeds to a family in the developing world.1 February 2012

Sow the seeds of love this Valentine’s Day

ChildFund is encouraging New Zealanders to reconsider the traditional Valentine’s Day bouquet, and sow the seeds of love instead with a gift of vegetable seeds to a family in the developing world.

ChildFund Chief Executive Paul Brown says a humble packet of seeds gifted to a family in need represents so much more to loved-ones than an expensive bunch of roses.

“While those roses will wilt within the week, seeds are a more enduring sign of your love that will grow into a whole vegetable garden to help nourish children.”

A single packet of seeds for $16 can yield up to 640 plants, depending on the vegetable (options include tomatoes, eggplant, spinach, lettuce, mustard, water spinach, cauliflower or chilli).

“The home garden made possible through the gift of seeds will provide an on-going cycle of support to communities in need, with food to help children suffering from chronic malnutrition, surplus vegetables to sell for much needed income and a continuous supply of seeds for the next planting seasons.”

Purchasers receive a special gift card explaining the gift and how it will benefit the recipient, and also get a ‘gift back’ via a full tax credit.

To order ChildFund Gifts That Grow visit or call 0800 223 111.

About ChildFund New Zealand

ChildFund New Zealand is a member of the ChildFund Alliance, an international child development organisation with more than 70 years of experience helping the world’s neediest children, which works in more than 50 countries, assisting 16 million children and family members regardless of race, beliefs or gender.

ChildFund New Zealand works for the well-being of children by supporting locally led initiatives that strengthen families and communities, helping them overcome poverty and protect the rights of their children.

ChildFund’s comprehensive programmes incorporate health, education, nutrition and livelihood interventions that sustainably protect, nurture and develop children. ChildFund works in any environment where poverty, conflict and disaster threaten the well-being of children.

How Valentines is celebrated round the world

We asked our partner offices from Timor Leste, Vietnam and Zambia how people expressed their love and celebrated Valentine’s Day in their country. Their responses show that people are pretty much the same the world over – but there are differences that make each of our cultures special too.

Timor Leste

Timor Leste only gained its independence in 2002, so most Timorese were not aware of Valentine’s Day. It was only in 2004, when the young Timorese who studied and had exposure from the outside world began to celebrate this occasion.

Timorese don’t give flowers to their loved ones as they believe flowers should be given only to the dead. They don’t even use fresh flowers at home. Because most Timorese are poor, men will take their girlfriends on outings to the local beach or to enjoy the outdoors, eat and drink, and sometimes dance. Timorese girls on the other hand show their love to their boyfriend or husband by making personalised cards.


Valentine’s Day is fairly new to Vietnam. Chocolates and flowers are popular, but a more traditional twist on the day sees people embroidering a handkerchief or knitting a scarf for their loved one. A handkerchief or scarf has a special meaning in Eastern culture, representing the close connection between two people.

A much older and dying tradition for Vietnamese is Bac Ninh Love duets – folk songs which are sung by young people to express their love in an indirect and subtle way during Spring festivals.


Generally in Zambia, whether in the village or in towns, people express their love and appreciation by giving gifts. These may not necessarily be flowers, but could be anything that one feels they are able to give away. The modern Zambian has adopted the western way where flowers, chocolate and teddy bears are presented to their loved ones.

In rural areas the gift could be in the form of a chicken, vegetables and whatever they are able to give away. Sometimes the preparation of a traditional meal, sometimes with a chicken, goat or cow for the special occasion to show their appreciation and love.


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