I emigrated to Canada 11 years ago from a small Portuguese colony called Macau. I recently finished my undergraduate studies at the University of British Columbia in the faculty of Human Kinetics. I have been involved with Oxfam for 2 years now.I remember as if it was yesterday when I approached the green Oxfam booth during clubs fair to ask what the name ‘Oxfam’ meant.
Philosopher Will Durant had once said, "Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance." I remember how quiet I was during the first UBC Oxfam club meeting while the club members discussed current issues as well as projects that they had been working on in order to promote Oxfam on campus.I was amazed by how professional and dedicated each member was in a meeting where I felt a strong gathering of passionate individuals who were enjoying the time and input from one another. Though I had only a faint idea of what Oxfam did, I was convinced that this club was a place where I could really learn and develop my passion.
I have been involved with many activitiesorganizedby our club. We had a soccer game on a hill to display the uneven playing field that less developed countries have to climb in order to perform and succeed like the corporations at the top of the field. I took part in many workshops, where I facilitated on issues about HIV/AIDS, Fair Trade, No Sweat, and last but not least the For All campaign. We hosted movie screenings with influential pieces including, "The Inconvenient Truth", documentaries such as "Black Gold", "Dead in the Water", and several others.
We also set up Oxfam displays to promote and raise funds for the Oxfam Unwrapped campaign. We had fashion shows twice throughout the year in order to expose the truths about sweatshops and the use of child labour in the hopes of raising awareness towards fair labour rights, and an increased sense and responsibility as consumers. We also joined up with many other clubs like the UBC Improv who kindly donated their show for the club’s contribution to UBC World AIDS Day.
Aside from the club, I have made contributions to the Oxfam Youth Team, and recently joined the Oxfam Regional Steering Committee.The most rewarding experience of being a member of Oxfam is the people I’ve worked with and met. They gave me memories that I would cherish for a lifetime. Aside from this, Oxfam made me aware of the world that I do not immediately see around me. But because of this awareness, I consider myself as a global citizen.
I have shed away a little more ignorance and the luxuries in life that are not always necessary for my welfare. I have learned to better cherish my life and those around me. I possess the pursuit and sharing of knowledge that may influence another person’s life. I consider that the most powerful gift Oxfam could have ever given me.