My interest in International development stemmed from my love of travel and learning about other cultures. After graduating from Wilfrid Laurier with a BA in Anthropology and Global Studies, I travelled throughout Australia, Asia, and India and spent a year working in Ireland and travelling around Europe. My experience overseas broadened my understanding of the social justice issues that many people face and specifically the issues that women face. When I returned to Canada, I completed the International Project Management Program at Humber College. This course gave me the practical skills to back up my interest and passion for development. Since graduating, I worked in Malawi for a year on gender equality issues with the Credit Union movement and currently, I am working at Oxfam as the Gender Justice Program Assistant.
I have always respected Oxfam as an organization that does good work from a rights-based approach to development. Their focus on Women’s Rights and Gender Justice is especially appealing to me because of my own area of interest. I wanted to be a part of an organization that does work that I feel passionately about, and has a great reputation both internationally and at home.
During my internship I was lucky enough to be able to work in two areas of Oxfam with the Policy and Outreach team, and also with the Gender Specialist, which allowed me to see different angles of the organization. My work with the Gender Specialist involved working on a Gender Toolkit and creating a staff e-forum to discuss issues of Women’s Rights and Gender. This has been great experience because I hope to focus my future career in International Development in Gender. I also learned a lot about Policy and Outreach from my work with the summer festival outreach and the Women’s Rights’ Action Leaders Network.
The most rewarding thing about my internship at Oxfam is being able to be a part of this organization. It has been great meeting everyone in the office and I have really enjoyed representing Oxfam at summer festivals. I find it really rewarding to engage people in discussions on women’s rights and climate change, and I am continually impressed and motivated by the people out there who are knowledgeable about the issues and want to do their part.
My experience at Oxfam has given me a great appreciation for the work that Oxfam is doing in the field of women’s rights and gender equality. I was already very interested in this field before I came to Oxfam, and indeed it was the reason why I wanted to work for Oxfam in the first place. Women’s Rights and Gender Equality are so integral to the alleviation of poverty, and the only way to making change sustainable. Through my internship at Oxfam I have gained a better understanding of how large NGOs work, and gained valuable experience I can take with me to my new position as a Gender Advisor in Ghana. I have met a lot of great people, and am inspired by the passion and motivation of the staff, interns and volunteers.