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Ending global poverty begins with women’s rights

Gagan Sandhu

Gagan Sandhu

by Oxfam | May 17, 2010

I am currently completing my last year of medical school at the University of Alberta. I’ve been volunteering with Oxfam for almost two years, and it’s been a very educational and rewarding experience.

I started volunteering with Oxfam in 2007 to help out with an event to raise awareness about Canada’s unfulfilled pledge to contribute 0.7% of its GDP to foreign aid. During that time, I learned a lot about Oxfam’s themes, campaigns, and commitment to social justice, and I wanted to do my part to raise awareness about these issues.

I’ve been involved in organizing events, such as our annual International Women’s Day celebration to educate the public about Oxfam’s themes and campaigns. I also help table at numerous events throughout the year to familiarize people with Oxfam and to recruit volunteers.

I think that one of the most rewarding experiences for me as a member (but also for us as a group!) was garnering support for instituting a Sustainable and Ethical Environmental Purchasing Policy (SEEPP) in Edmonton and getting a draft of our proposed SEEPP before City Council. We are still awaiting the final verdict…

Through my experiences with Oxfam, I have learned an enormous amount but I think that most of all, I have gained an appreciation for the importance of women’s rights and why they are central to finding solutions to ending global poverty. I have also gained a significant amount of leadership experience, which I will continue to build on, and which will surely benefit me in the future.

Most of all, I have been fortunate to have met so many like-minded individuals who are committed to helping make this world a more fair place.

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