Twin sisters Grace and Elizabeth Burrows asked for donations to charity rather than birthday presents from friends and family when they turned 11.
And their loved ones came up trumps, meaning life changing projects were helped thanks to their donations – and now some of their friends are even raising money for charity themselves.
Grace said: “At first, our friends were really surprised that we didn’t want presents but then they thought we were doing the right thing.
“It has even inspired them to do the same and fundraise.”
Elizabeth added: “It makes us happy to know we can improve someone’s life.
“Learning about the gifts and other communities has inspired me to be a teacher when I am older so that I can help others and teach them about the things I have learned.”
The duo held a cinema party and invited their whole class, and aimed to raise enough money to buy 28 meals for homeless residents – one for each member of their class.
At their party, the girls managed to raise the equivalent – £180 – which was donated to charity World Gifts, which supports families in poverty across the globe.
They used the money to buy ‘virtual charity gifts’ including a community toilet and a family water pump meaning that women and children will no longer have to walk for hours to fetch water.
Grace said: “My favourite gift was the mother and baby gift, which helps pay for pre-and postnatal care and vaccinations, as my oldest brother and his wife are expecting a baby next year. I know that she is going to be safe and now, another mother is going to be safe as well.”
Elizabeth added: “I liked ‘the net that protects’ for mosquitos. I know a lot about mosquitos and how dangerous they can be.
“I recently went to an open day where we learned all about the diseases mosquitoes can carry and that’s why I think it is so important.”
Mum Angela Burrows, said she was proud of her daughter’s efforts.
She said: “It was a simple idea really. People spend an awful lot of money on gifts for birthdays and this is a great opportunity to help others who are less fortunate.
“The girls had a lovely party, and were delighted with the response from their friends, meaning they could make a difference to so many people’s lives.”
For more information about the charity, visit cafod.org.uk/worldgifts