I am a fourth year Development Studies and Spanish language medial student at Queen’s University. I grew up in Ottawa and now live in Portland, about an hour outside of the city.
In the summer of 2007 I had the privilege of doing a three month volunteer internship with Oxfam Canada at the National Office in Ottawa. As a development studies student I have always wanted to become involved with Oxfam because I believe that the work they do has a sustainable and positive impact throughout the world. As well, their new overall focus on women’s rights is an important new initiative that I believe will have positive impacts in future development work.
When I began my internship I was fortunate to jump in’ at a really exciting time for Oxfam Canada as the tri annual National Assembly was quickly approaching. For the first half of my time at Oxfam I worked closely with others to prepare for this event. The goal of the National Assembly was to bring members, volunteers, staff, overseas partners and other Oxfam affiliates from around the world together to learn, share and talk about the new focus on engendering change. During this busy time I was involved with many activities such as organizing and running a silent auction and a hunger banquet, helping out with volunteer meetings, logistics and much more. For the second part of my internship I was able to help out a fellow intern with the summer festival outreach programme. Not to mention I was able to sit in on some interesting meetings and learn a lot more about current development issues.
Working with Oxfam Canada was, without a doubt, one of my most valuable and rewarding experiences. I loved working with all of the great people at the National Office and learned so much from all of them. One of my most rewarding experiences was seeing everyone get together at the National Assembly to share and talk about human rights. It was a three day event that I will never forget!
The life experience that I gained at Oxfam is invaluable. Not only was I able to learn more about the ins and outs of a development organization but I was also able to gain valuable skills that I will be able to use in future development work. I have also gained a large appreciation for the members, volunteers and interns that work with organizations like Oxfam. Their work is very important. Although I did not want to leave, I will look forward to helping out with Oxfam in the future!