I’ve always felt the need to be actively engaged in some form of humanitarian work. It wasn’t enough to just know about the injustices. I felt obligated to do my part, regardless of how big or small, to help eradicate poverty and uphold human rights.
Since I became a member of Oxfam, I have been active in volunteering on several Oxfam campaigns and fundraisers in central New Brunswick, as well as with educational displays and presentations. I’ve held small awareness events in my region, such as ‘White Band Day’ for the Make Poverty History campaign, handing out white arm bands and asking for signatures for the Make Poverty History petition. I organized a ‘Stamp Out Poverty’ campaign in School District 17 in New Brunswick, resulting in a significant amount of stamps being collected for resale, raising funds for Oxfam programs.
Recently I’ve organized a ‘hungry4change’ Fast, given talks at the Fredericton Chapter of RAWA Women’s Day event and presentations for Grade 12 World Issues classes, and several informative displays in the central New Brunswick area. I am currently working on another hungry4change Fast, displays for the new Oxfam Unwrapped program, including an ‘Oxfam Unwrapped’ float in the Saint John and Fredericton parades. I’m also volunteering as a representative on the Oxfam Maritimes Regional Steering Committee.
Through Oxfam I have been able to express myself creatively, while educating others on the global crisis of inequality and injustice, and share my passion of human rights with others. It is so rewarding when you meet someone who has been positively affected by Oxfam Canada’s work. At the 2008 Oxfam Maritimes Regional Assembly, I had the opportunity to meet dedicated women and men from around the world whose common goal is for equality, peace building, and educating others. While there, I heard first hand how Oxfam Canada is benefiting communities in the south. I was moved by a Bangladesh woman who spoke to the reality of the work Oxfam does in her community. This proved to me the effectiveness of Oxfam’s work, and the relevance and purpose of active global citizenship.
One of my favourite quotes that speaks volumes to me is from the Dalai Lama. He says, "In the present circumstances, no one can afford to assume that someone else will solve their problems. Every individual has a responsibility to help guide our global family in the right direction. Good wishes are not sufficient; we must become actively engaged." Truer words have not been spoken!