by Michelle Gentile
Donor Stewardship Officer
There are so many actions that we, as Canadians, can take in support of Oxfam’s fantastic new campaign – Grow. We can draw attention to the inequities that many women farm workers face on a daily basis to produce food for the global market. We can make practical changes in the choices we make around our own consumption. And we can help to transform food production from the ground up. The last one sounds kind of big – so how do we do that?
Well, if you had access to land and were going to start farming, what would you need? Seeds? Definitely. Tools? You bet. And what if I told you that you that many women and men around the world are struggling to gain access to these necessities, produce food mainly for export and not for their own consumption, and are working under harsh conditions? Not so great, right? But then what if I told you that you can help them? That you, here in Canada, can help to make a difference not only in the life of another person half way around the world, but in the way that food is produced? I hope you’ll agree with me that it sounds pretty awesome.
When women farmers gain equal access to the land, seeds, tools and credit, they are able to grow more food and eat better. You can help them – by buying the seeds and tools that they need at Oxfam Unwrapped! And with every Oxfam Unwrapped item, we’re not just handing something over and walking away. Each item represents real work that we do, and includes training to ensure that the recipients are provided with the education, skills, and resources they need for the long term.
When a community has the right tools - for preparing land for planting, irrigating fields, harvesting crops or constructing sturdier earthquake-resistant homes, they can literally build a better future.
Environmentally appropriate, locally purchased vegetable seeds offer small-scale farmers the opportunity to improve their crop yields. The nutritious veggies the farmers grow help improve their families' diets and provide extra income for other necessities too. A portion of the seeds that are harvested are saved for future crops, ensuring that this gift keeps on giving!
You can check out all of our gifts right here, and you can even set up a gift registry for your wedding, birthday or the holidays. What a great way to share your love of Oxfam with friends and family while helping those in need. And I’m not just suggesting you do this - I’ve even got a registry set up for my wedding!