I first became interested in development issues when I traveled to Havana, Cuba when I was 15 years old. After completing my B.A. in Political Science and International Development Studies at saint Mary’s University I went on to do an Advanced Diploma in Public Relations at the Nova Scotia Community College. I became interested in becoming involved with Oxfam after speaking with a local public relations professional who had been involved with fundraising for Oxfam. After discussing the need of communications specialists in the world of non-profit organizations, I concluded that working for a non-profit group would help me utilize my skills and knowledge in both communications and development. While enrolled in the public relations program I contacted Oxfam’s Maritimes regional office in Halifax and asked if I could be hosted in a six-week internship with them.
A few months before my internship began I attended the Oxfam Maritimes Regional Assembly. Once my internship started I worked on a variety of communications projects, including the design and implementation of visual promotions, worked to brainstorm and create ways to further the regional office’s online presence and develop promotional materials for a couple of Oxfam fundraising projects.
The most rewarding part of volunteering with Oxfam has been getting to know the other people involved. At the Maritimes regional office there were four other volunteer interns like myself, plus the full-time staff and other volunteers who came in from time to time. Everyone had very different educational backgrounds, different skills and experiences yet everyone found ways to utilize their talents to help Oxfam move toward its goals. I found it both refreshing and inspiring that all of these people could use their very different backgrounds to work toward a shared goal. My involvement with Oxfam showed me that there is an vast amount of work being done to assist people worldwide stricken by poverty.