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Ending global poverty begins with women’s rights
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Mary Gatama

Mary Gatama

by Oxfam | May 17, 2010

I have a passion for youth engagement and development programs thatencourage youth active involvement and participation in decision making.I am motivated by Oxfam’s strategy of engaging and involving the public and youth in taking action towards global change.

I have always admired Oxfam’s work in addressing global poverty and injustice. I haveexperience as a community development worker in my home country of Kenya, where Iworkedwith communityhealth projects including water and sanitation projects, raising awareness and distribution of insecticide treated nets and HIV education. I also worked as a consultant for a project focused on providing alternative livelihoods for children and youth engaged in commercial sex work at the Coast Province in Kenya. I was engaged in designing behavior change interventions among youth in and out of school as a strategy to raise awareness and educate the youth on HIV and AIDS.

By volunteering with OxfamI havediversified my experience working with communities here in Canada.I amcurrently studying Masters of Arts in Studies in Life Long Learning. Oxfam gave me a chance to do aninternship in the Maritimes Regional office, which has helped me gain practical skillsin myfield of study. With Oxfam, I have been involved in facilitating community workshops on HIV and AIDS. I also helped in organizing the 2008 Maritime Regional Youth CHANGE Initiative leadership training. Through this I am continuing to improve my skills in participatory training facilitation.

Working with a team (staff and volunteers) of wonderful people who are dedicated and committed to their work has been the most rewarding experience at Oxfam. I have received great mentorship from my supervisors at Oxfam which has affirmed my decision to be engaged in development work. I have learnt to make a change you can not do it alone and small actions such as volunteering even to do the simplest task does make a difference.

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