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Ending global poverty begins with women’s rights

Siera Vercillo

Siera Vercillo

by Oxfam | May 17, 2010

I am currently a political science student at the University of Toronto. My research focuses mainly on African developmental politics with a keen interest in foreign aid analysis, ethnic & human rights issues and sustainable poverty reduction measures.

Ever since the first day of my university politics class I knew that I wanted to be involved with combating human rights violations and extreme poverty. Acknowledging the positive differences development agencies, such as Oxfam Canada, can create inspired me to become involved with the organization.

This summer I had the opportunity to intern at the Toronto regional office with the Public Engagement, Advocacy and Campaigns Team. My responsibilities during my internship were to coordinate, participate in and train volunteers for summer outreach events, to gain support for our Women’s Rights and Climate Change campaign.

Coordinating and participating inthese communityoutreach events really demonstrated to me the importance volunteers make within an organization. The most rewarding experience as an Oxfam member has been my time spent collaborating with some very enthusiastic volunteers. I was always surprised to see my fellow volunteers continue to work their hardest with a smile on their face, even when speaking to the public became difficult, or when the weather was unpredictable. Lastly, working with some of the most dedicated Oxfam staff members, who truly care and devote much of their day to ensuring that Oxfam’s work is as effective as possible, was very inspiring and motivated me to be more responsible.

Through my internship at Oxfam Canada I have learned about how a successful not for profit organization operates. I have learned how to reduce costs, while also being environmentally friendly; I have gained new perspectives, tools and responsibilities when analyzing social justice and poverty issues, which is useful in my academic research and everyday life.

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