I am a fourth year student in psychology at McMaster, in Hamilton. When I am not in school, I try to volunteer with campus groups and local organizations such as the Peer Helper Program and the Sexual Assault Centre (Hamilton & Area). I enjoy attending conferences and professional talks as it gives me an opportunity to come together with similar minded individuals and exchange ideas.
Oxfam Canada’s reputation of valuing youth members and their experiences pulled me to volunteer with the incredible Oxfam team, starting with participating in the 2005 CHANGE Initiative youth leadership training. This great experience enabled me to start volunteering with Oxfam and also provided me the opportunity to meet other youth members from across Canada. I was able to share the successes of my community with others and learnt so much from other youth members and the events they hold in their university campuses. I had such an incredible experience during the CHANGE Initiative that this year I retuned to the CHANGE Initiative training in 2006 as a facilitator, leading workshops and sharing my experience of being a CHANGE Leader.
I have been involved in many initiatives on campus and in the community to raise awareness and support for many global justice issues that Oxfam stands up for. Along with several other campus partners, we have been organizing Hungry 4 Change hunger banquets every year for 3 years now. With the support of the Oxfam Toronto staff and several McMaster campus partners, we have able to hold events such as the AIDS vigil night, International Women’s Day celebrations, a weekend long AIDS conference, and more. We are currently working on organizing events for the Public Services For All campaign. I am also volunteering with Oxfam’s Ontario Regional Steering Committee as the Regional Youth Liaison for Ontario.
Throughout my involvement with Oxfam, I’ve gained an incredible amount of knowledge about social justice issues. I learned about gender equality, food security, HIV/AIDS, sweatshop labour, and fair trade (just to name a few!). Volunteering with Oxfam also enabled me to advocate effectively for social change, tune my fundraising skills, develop better leadership skills, create and deliver an effective campaign and much more.
Oxfam Canada has provided me with many opportunities to build my skills and knowledge to become a more active global citizen. The support that Oxfam Canada provides its youth members and the many opportunities available to get involved within Oxfam enabled me to continue volunteering with this great organization.