Oxfam Canada devotes considerable energies to working within Canada, not just to mobilize resources but to actively engage Canadians in ideas, debate and action to address the inequalities that underlie poverty and injustice around the world and here in Canada.
Our outreach staff support a network of thousands of volunteers who are actively engaged in campaigns by making presentations to schools and university students, circulating petitions, promoting fairly traded products, sending e-letters, organizing workshops, staging media events, setting up information tables at community festivals, meeting with Members of Parliament, canvassing co-workers and neighbours, lobbying local authorities, creating posters and puppets, and so on.
By tapping into the energy, creativity and diversity of our supporters, Oxfam Canada has been able to reach out beyond a committed core to engage a wide spectrum of Canadians from different regions, ages, and ethnic, racial and social backgrounds. Oxfam Canada clubs or groups have been active in anywhere from 50 to 75 university campuses or schools over the past three years, and there are local committees in large and small communities across the country. As well, there are more than 16,000 supporters who have signed on as e-activists, prepared to take action in support of Oxfam campaigns.
As with our overseas program, Oxfam Canada increases the impact of our campaign and advocacy work by collaborating closely with Oxfam International. In the case of the Make Trade Fair campaign, more than 18 million people around the world, most of them from the South, signed a petition demanding the World Trade Organization negotiate terms of trade that promote development. Oxfam Canada's ability to bring a Canadian perspective to the framing of these global campaigns and to adapt the analysis and materials of a global campaign to the Canadian reality represents a significant contribution and benefit. But even more exciting, Oxfam Canada's ability to link concerned Canadians with like-minded citizens of other countries North and South provides a tremendous opportunity to build solidarity and a deeper understanding of common cause.