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Ending global poverty begins with women’s rights

Dawn Strifler

Dawn Strifler

by Oxfam | May 17, 2010

I’ve been interested in social issues for a long time. I studied environment and cultural anthropology at the University of Toronto. This education gave me a much broader and deeper understanding of world issues and really engaged me in working toward change. During university I was also lucky enough to travel to two different developing countries: Ecuador and Costa Rica. These experiences allowed me to see some of the issues I had studied with my own eyes and they further inspired me to work toward a more equitable future.

Every day I work toward creating a sustainable environment on our planet, but I truly believe that we won’t be able to achieve that goal until we reach social sustainability as well until all people can live a decent life. So, I decided to get involved with the second half of the equation: social issues. As a young professional with little to give organizations that I support, I chose to donate my time and skills.

Once I attended my first Oxfam volunteer orientation session and found out about the For All campaign, I was very excited to join the Oxfam Toronto Community Group and get the word out. Since then, I’ve been involved with event planning and campaigning for Oxfam. The TCG had a great time planning some excellent educational events, including a movie screening, a demonstration, and a Hunger Banquet. I also took up the challenge of campaigning at one of Coldplay’s shows trying to spread the word to as many people as I could and get lots of action cards signed.

My most rewarding experiences are always seeing people’s faces light up with understanding. There is nothing more inspiring than knowing that other people are concerned too. Since I began volunteering with Oxfam, I’ve learned that there are many creative ways to engage people with social issues and that most people, deep down, do care. However, I still look forward to figuring out how to break the barriers between thought and action. Given this challenge, the most important thing I’ve learned at Oxfam is that there are lots of dedicated people out there and when you put them together, you can make amazing things happen.

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