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Ending global poverty begins with women’s rights

Rebekah Smith

Rebekah Smith

by Oxfam | May 17, 2010

I have an undergraduate degree in nutritional sciences and as part of my masters degree in public health I completed an internship with Oxfam Canada. Since my degree has a focus in global health I wanted a placement that would allow me to work on a project in this area. I chose Oxfam because of its reputation in the global health field and because of its human rights-based approach to development work.

During my placement I developed workshops on HIV/AIDS and women’s rights. The first workshop was created for the general public and provided information about HIV/AIDS and its relationship to women’s rights. The second workshop was a training module for volunteers who will be delivering the community workshops. The majority of my placement was spent researching and writing the workshops. However, I was also able to run the train-the-trainer workshop at the end of my internship.

Running the train-the-trainer workshop was one of the most rewarding experiences at Oxfam, as it allowed me to see my major project in action and meet a number of Oxfam volunteers.

My internship with Oxfam Canada provided me with valuable work experience, as I was able to develop my research and communication skills. At the same time, I gained insight into the way a large non-governmental organization runs. I gained a new perspective on the connection between human rights and health, particularly in the area of HIV/AIDS. My placementmade me consider global public health issues from a different angle, which has improved my critical thinking skills and broadened my knowledge base. This internship has helped me to better understand my own field, as well as the important role that advocacy plays in affecting social change two lessons that I believe are invaluable.

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