From a combination of exposure to political issues in my father’s birthplace of Zimbabwe, having the opportunity to travel, and making myself aware of the realities of developing countries I have become interested in issues of poverty and injustice. My passion has inspired me to pursue a double-major in Peace and Conflict Studies and Political Science at the University of Toronto. As well, I have become involved in non-governmental organizations to better understand issues of poverty, injustice, and development.
When I attended a volunteer information session at the Oxfam Canada Toronto office, to learn about the `Stop Harming, Start Help Women’s Rights and Climate Change campaign, I met passionate Oxfam staff and volunteers and I knew I wanted to become involved with Oxfam. I believe that Oxfam creates positive change, maintains integrity through partner organizations in developing countries, and is highly transparent and accountable.
Through my involvement with Oxfam, I have attendedToronto Community Group meetings, where I have made new and interesting friends. I have tabled at a variety of summer festivals and events (Bikes for Africa, Toronto PRIDE, Afrofest, Beaches International Jazzfest, and Coldplay) that have helped deepened my understanding of the issues that Oxfam deals with. The highlight of my work has been meeting new people that share my passion for development and poverty. It is very rewarding when you feel you are getting these issues onto the political agenda by talking to the public, whether it’s through collecting hundreds of petition signatures, or by engaging with just one person and having them walk away thinking about what you’ve said.
Oxfam has allowed me to recognize what issues are important to me, to listen to differing perspectives, and to really appreciate all the hard work that goes into making change. I have learned a great deal in the time that I’ve spent with Oxfam, and look forward to volunteering in the future.