I first started getting involved with Oxfam Canada at the beginning of 2005. I had just hit a point in my life where I felt I needed to do something. I didn’t want to just complain about the state of things in the world I wanted to do something about it. I wanted to try and make it a little bit better, for my part at least.
It is my theory that you can’t complain unless you’re trying to do something to make it better. That being said, I have been involved in various activities with Oxfam over the past two years. I have gone to summer festivals to explain The Big Noise petition and to encourage people to sign on to it. I have also been to a Coldplay concert to explain and encourage people to sign on to the Make Trade Faircampaign. I have been a member of both the Fair Trade Working Group and the Oxfam Reads Book Club. In the months leading up to the International AIDS Conference in Toronto this past summer, I worked as a member of both the Logistics Team and the Media Team organizing three concerts with Music4Change. Helping out with the Oxfam information booth in the Global Village of the International Aids Conference has been another great way to stay involved.
Throughout all of these experiences I have met a lot of really great people and made a lot of new friends. Months of planning went into the three events that we hosted, but in the end they were a huge success. Everyone involved had an awesome time and we were all able to learn a lot along the way. Creating awareness in my local community about Oxfam campaigns has been another accomplishment that has proved both challenging and rewarding for me.
In a short time, I have learned a lot about Oxfam as an organization and the work the development work they do. I’ve learned a lot about international development, world politics, foreign policy, and about the state of affairs in various countries around the world. It always impresses me how knowledgeable Oxfam staff and volunteers are and how willing they are to share their thoughts and information with others. Most importantly, in terms of how I’ve grown with Oxfam, I have learned a lot about myself. I’ve learned what I’m willing or not willing to accept. I’ve learned what type of person I’d like to become. Oxfam Canada has helped to strengthen my convictions in what I believe in and they have inspired me to follow my dreams of working in the international development field.