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Ending global poverty begins with women’s rights

Kayla Gurski

Kayla Gurski

by Oxfam | May 17, 2010

I am a Human Justice major at the University of Regina, with a concentration in Human Rights and Social Justice, and am completing a minor in Sociology. I have been involved in my community as a volunteer since my first year of high school. During my last few years of University I have become more involved with groups that have a social justice focus; now, in my fourth year I have taken on the role of activities coordinator of the Justice Studies Student Society.

I believe we have a social responsibility to work in solidarity with all people towards ensuring everyone will live a dignified life. Two quotes that have influenced the work I have been involved in are Mahatma Gandhi’s: “We must be the change we wish to see” and Margaret Mead’s: `Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. I reflect on both thoughts regularly and especially when I need inspiration!

To earn my degree, I needed to complete two practicums; for my second I wanted to get involved with a human rights organization. A professor of mine suggested Oxfam and I worked with the University of Regina campus group as well as with our partners in Saskatoon doing community outreach and education, as well as event organizing. I had a large role in organizing a Valentines Day chicken sales fundraiser with Oxfam Unwrapped, a membership drive, a march for Women’s Rights for International Women’s Day, a Book Launch, and presentations for high school social studies classes.

The most rewarding experience I have had as an Oxfam member was speaking to a local high school class about climate change and women’s rights. The students were very responsive and we had an opportunity to chat about what it means to be a global citizen and what they can do to effect change in their day to day lives.

I have learned so much through my involvement with Oxfam. I learned of the real change people can make by acting locally and thinking globally. I have made great friends through joining the campus group and have attended several lectures on campus organized by partner groups. I took part in Oxfam webinars to learn more about Oxfam campaigns. The knowledge I have gained ranges from making poverty history, promoting gender equality, climate change and the impact it has on human rights to organizing events, public speaking and networking.

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