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Ending global poverty begins with women’s rights

Amy Schwartz

Amy Schwartz

by Oxfam | May 17, 2010

I have an honours BA in International Relations form the University of Toronto. I am currently the Executive Director of the Nova Scotia Sea School where my non-profit management, community development and outdoor adventure skills are put to good use! I volunteer as the Vice President of the Surfriders Association of Nova Scotia and I am an avid capoeirista and adventurer. I have worked and volunteered in many inspiring places including a HIV/AIDs Youth Education network in South Africa, for a rural land-rights movement in India, for BRAC in Bangladesh; I have instructed youth-leadership training programmes for schools such as Outward Bound Costa Rica; I was a Young Woman and Leadership Intern for AWID (Association for Women’s Right in Development) and I co-authored a chapter in `Defending Our Dreams, Global Feminist Voices for a New Generation.

Tackling issues of global poverty and injustice requires a strong response from all of us. To me, the Oxfam approach rightly combines strategic advocacy, research and education with essential practical support. Oxfam is both creative and realistic in its efforts to build long-term solutions. It is the big-picture vision with grassroots action of Oxfam that has inspired me to join in its work.

I am a member at Large for the Regional Steering Committee; I originally became involved with Oxfam to help train workshop facilitators to deliver workshops on women’s rights in the Atlantic Region.

I have only just begun as a volunteer with Oxfam. I would have to say that my most rewarding experience so far has been facilitating a workshop on workshop facilitation at the Regional Assembly. I was thrown right in head first! There were participants from all over the world at it who were participating in a program at the Coady Institute. I wasn’t sure my presentation would be at all useful, especially as I learned about all of the incredible work and facilitation that most of the participants did in their respective organisations in various regions of the world. At the end of the workshop, I was overwhelmed by their gratitude for sharing skills that `we can definitely use. I have since kept up a dialogue with several of the participants in Africa and the Caribbean about the important work they do with each of their organisations and how to build facilitation skills.

I have learned to just jump in and go! Oxfam is a collaboration of lots of inspired and motivated people who welcome everyone’s contribution. I have gained a new appreciation of all the important actions we can do here `at home to kick poverty and injustice to the curb.

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