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Ending global poverty begins with women’s rights

Jennifer Brammer

Jennifer Brammer

by Oxfam | May 17, 2010

I started volunteering with Oxfam in Halifax when I was in my first year of University, studying International Development. I did a 4 month volunteer internship with the Policy and Outreach Team, helping organizeactivitiessuch as the first annual hungry4change dinner, which was a creative fundraising event that brought people together for a creative conversation about hunger and inequality. I also became passionate about the campaigns Oxfam was promoting, lobbying for policy changes on issues like food security and fair trade. I continued to volunteer in different areas, including leading a Oxfam volunteer group in my community andgiving presentations about development issues in local schools.

Inspired by how the organization was dedicated to sustainable long term development and using their money for maximum impact, I decided to make a monthly donation to Oxfam through their Share-plan giving program. I figured that giving a few dollars a month (on a student budget) would leave me with a more satisfied feeling than another latte. I’ve been a donor ever since (giving a bitmore in incrementsover the years), and have never missed the extra caffeine!

Over the past 15 years, through volunteering and donating, Ihave becomeincreasingly confident that my membership has made a difference I have seen up close how my actions and dollars have added up to make real change.

A special opportunityof being a member has beenmeeting so many of Oxfam’s partners, from organizations we support and collaborate with in Africa, Asia and Latin America. We work with such creative and courageous people who are doing so much with so very little -powerful women like Sandra Moran from Guatemala, whose organization is working in partnership with Oxfam to change limiting laws and cultural norms that help perpetuate violence against women in her country.

Being a member of Oxfam Canada has helped raise my awareness and conviction as a global citizen and open many doors in my life, personally and professionally. After many years of contributing as a volunteer, I now am employed with Oxfam full time, coordinating our volunteer program. The opportunity to meet so many diverse and committed members, who make our work possible by volunteering or donating, inspires me every day. I am in the position of seeing how so many of our members are growing in this work, by learning more about the world, building friendships and deriving joy from knowing they are part of building lasting solutions to global poverty and injustice, through the Oxfam community.

Oxfam’s focus on women’s rights and gender equality in all areas of our work, whether we are campaigning on climate change, raising awareness about global hunger or funding humanitarian relief projects, is deeply resonant with my core values. I strongly believe that building a more equal playing field is essential for development and addressing issues of power imbalance is the key to ending poverty. The empowerment of women to enjoy their full rights as human beings is a foundation that sustainable development must be built on.

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