Three Ways Oxfam Goes Beyond Charity to End Inequality, Poverty And Injustice

by Oxfam Canada | December 18, 2023
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1. Making a Difference in Northern Ethiopia

Globally, young girls aged 15 to 19 often face complications during pregnancy and childbirth, making it the second leading cause of death in this age group. Oxfam supports organizations that offer essential sexual and reproductive health services. We also work towards changing policies and social norms to empower women and girls to make decisions about their own bodies.

In Northern Ethiopia, particularly in the town of Sekota, Oxfam collaborates with local partners Pathfinder and WE-Action on the Her Future, Her Choice project. This initiative, the first of its kind in Ethiopia, aims to empower young women and adolescent girls to make decisions about their sexual and reproductive health. We achieve this by ensuring access to crucial health information and services, training public health workers, challenging negative attitudes, and advocating for women's bodily autonomy and rights.

(L to R) Habiba, Meseret, Samrawit and Lemelem volunteer their time with WE-Action to lead weekly women’s discussion groups focusing on trauma caused by the recent conflict in the region. Photo: Caroline Leal/OXFAM

2. Advocating for a Ceasefire in Gaza

Like you, we have been watching a humanitarian catastrophe unfold before our eyes in Gaza. We’ve been deeply dismayed by the lack of political will to call for an immediate ceasefire. But after weeks and weeks of public pressure, we finally saw a small breakthrough with Canada coming out in support of a ceasefire in Gaza, and for the immediate and unconditional release of all remaining hostages.

This wouldn’t have been possible without the thousands of people who donated, signed petitions and mobilized in the spirit of humanity and for the respect of international humanitarian law. People power works!

While providing the full-scale humanitarian response that Gaza so badly needs is still impossible, we have been able to support local teams and partner organizations who are still managing – against all odds – to deliver some life-saving aid.

So far, Oxfam has been able to:

  • Deliver 5-tonne WASH (Water, Sanitation & Hygiene) equipment to Gaza
  • Deliver vegetable baskets for 3,000 families, 4,750 food parcels and fresh produce
  • Distribute care kits for 5,988 adolescent girls
  • Distribute nutrition supplement kits and support to pregnant, lactating women and adolescent girls to reach 1,833 women & girls
  • Stand ready to scale up as conditions permit
Mohammed Al-Attar and his two daughters are filling their containers with drinking water inside a government school in Deir al-Balah, a facility used as a shelter by Palestinians who have fled from the northern Gaza Strip.

3. Supporting Humanitarian Action with Cash

Sometimes, when people are in crisis, the best support we can offer is financial. Emergency cash vouchers have the most impact on community members made vulnerable by environmental disasters, displaced by conflict and war, or experiencing gender-based violence.

These vouchers place power and decision-making into people's own hands. They're also solid assets in disaster preparedness, as seen earlier this year with Oxfam's earthquake response in the Turkiye and Syria. During the first phase of response, we met immediate needs, such as providing clean drinking water and building toilets and showers. We also provided food, initially by distributing cooked meals and food kits, and then cash vouchers once people could access their local shops.

When you support our Emergency Response Fund, you enable Oxfam to quickly and effectively respond to humanitarian crises even before they hit.

As you can see, at Oxfam, we don't just do charity. We root our actions in community, advocacy and justice. Support our life-changing work.

Mother and her two young sons are sitting in their tent. Surrounded by boxes of materials provided by Oxfam and KEDV. They are smiling and seem happy and grateful to have made it to a safe area. The little family is hugging and playing around while unboxing the supplies and goods boxes.

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