It is a global movement of devoted and committed people who try the best they can to fight poverty.
Oxfam is readily available during emergencies for it immediately delivers life-saving assistance to people from other countries who are affected by conflicts, wars, and other natural disasters . The organizations considers itself part of a global movement for change . In order to achieve this , it raises public awareness through intensive campaigns on making people aware of the causes of poverty thus encouraging ordinary people to take part so that they may attain justice and fairness. Its advocacy is to push decision makers, especially of rich countries who are very influential in world matters , to change their policies that further encourages poverty and unfairness.
It works directly with communities and seeks to influence the powerful so that that unfortunate and underprivileged people can improve their lives and livelihoods and be heard in decisions that affect them. It has a tie-up or works with other organizations to end poverty, injustice and prejudice, from campaigning to responding to emergencies.
It also believes that for people to be lifted out of poverty, there should be respect for human rights. Because of this, they have saved lives and developed projects that put poor people in charge of their lives and livelihoods, to campaigning for change that lasts.
Oxfam International was formed in 1995, in order to provide a stronger voice internationally. Through collaboration in overseas programming and playing a truly international role, the federation of 13 countries increases the effectiveness of individual Oxfams.
It is registered in the Netherlands as a charitable foundation. Funding for Oxfam International staff and operations is provided by the affiliated Oxfam.
Oxfams Secretariat is based in Oxford, England. The U.S.-based Advocacy Office in Washington D.C. lobbies the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and United Nations on issues agreed to by all the Oxfam. Policy is decided by an international board, consisting of the Chair of the Board/ Trustees and Executive Director of the individual member Oxfam.
In response to humanitarian needs, the Oxfams provide help regardless of race or creed in more than 120 countries. It is estimated that funds are raised over $350 million annually. These funds go a long way towards providing the needs of those who truly need them.
Other issues and concerns that Oxfam works on are : climate change, trade , conflict and natural disasters, health, education, debt and aid, gender equality, world food crisis, and even the right to be heard.
How does Oxfam fight poverty? Oxfam fights poverty in three ways:
1. Campaigning for change
Because Oxfam addresses poverty, it tries hard to campaign by putting pressures on leaders of nations which are powerful. Impoverished nations lack not only resources, but they are most likely to be victims of bad decisions made by wealthy and powerful nations. So, for a lasting change, Oxfam really works hard in this aspect.
2. Development work
Given the right and proper support, it is believed that Poor people can take control, solve their own problems, and rely on themselves . In trying to fight poverty, Oxfam provides funds for long-term work worldwide.
3. Emergency response
During an emergency, people need immediate and fast help. Oxfam leads in saving lives, swiftly delivering aid, support and protection. And it doesnt end there. Oxfam also helps people prepare for future crises.
On Climate Change
For the past years since its existence, Oxfam has been doing great jobs on issues like climate change. . It is believed that climate change is caused by the greenhouse gases that rich countries produce. But the poorest countries are the ones which are hardest hit or adversely affected. Climate change tends to trigger more frequent and unpredictable droughts, floods, hunger and disease . People living in poverty suffer from all of these as unwilling victims.
One such example is central highlands of Hazarajat, Afghanistan. There has been drought for the past eight years. Winter snows and spring rains are in steady decline. Because of this condition, harvests halved in 2006. And this is where Oxfam came in through its emergency food programme and stopped hunger.
World leaders fail to address the issue on global climate change which is a major threat particularly to millions of people living in poverty. Poor people are more defenseless because theyre often forced to live in temporary houses, on land prone to flooding, storms and landslides. And to think that poor people contribute least to this global dilemma.
Oxfam has initiated helping people to cope with harsh climate events worldwide. In Indonesia, Oxfam has supplied emergency relief during floods in early 2007. It has also coordinated with communities in preparation for the disasters yet to come.
Likewise, in South Africa, for example, farmers are planting faster-maturing crops, making the most of less-reliable rains. In Bangladesh, villagers are creating floating vegetable gardens, to protect their livelihoods against flooding. And in Viet Nam, communities are planting dense mangroves along the coast, to diffuse storm waves.
On World Food Crisis
The World Food Crisis is caused by a number of multifarious and interconnecting causes such as biofuel policies, high fuel prices, growing global demand (particularly from large, emerging economies of China and India), unfair world trade rules, and climate change . These causes all play a significant part in the crisis of food all throughout the wOxfam is already working directly with poor people affected by the World Food Crisis. We are also using our influence with world and national leaders to campaign for changes to policy and practices that will bring about sustainable reductions in world hunger and vulnerabilityorld.
Oxfam believes that every child has the right to a free, good-quality primary education. Through going to school, s children develop their skills so that they can be heard, make positive changes in their lives, and be freed from poverty.
There are many reasons why children dont have access to primary education. The main reason why children miss school is poverty. School fees, uniforms and books are highly expensive that many parents cant afford them. Sometimes, it may also be because there are no school buildings. Because of the enormous challenge of making every child acquire a primary education, Oxfam works in different ways, at different levels, with different allies, in a broad worldwide programme.
One of the schools that Oxfam has helped is the village of Baazing, in Ghana, wherein people were struggling to get a bigger school. Oxfam decided to support a local organisation, PRONET, which had already helped many poor children get an education and backed their work helping villagers to call for government action.
Oxfam works directly with people around the world, helping them to get better health care.
For example, in Zugdidi in rural Georgia, it supported local organizations as they set up basic, affordable care in villages with many former refugees. With the help of Oxfam, they were able to build and renovate low-cost clinics in 27 communities.
More than half a million people in Sudan were likewise helped with providing them clean water and sanitation during emergencies.
Oxfam is working directly with people affected by HIV and AIDS. For example, in Malawi, it trains and supports home-based careers .With the aid of supplies from Oxfam the ill, elderly and orphaned in their communities are supported by the local volunteers .
On Gender Equality
Oxfam involves gender issues in every aspect of its work and is careful to make sure that women and men benefit equally from it.
It supports work around the world that help women overcome discrimination and uphold their basic rights.
For example in Sierra Leone, where women are under-represented in public life, local womens organizations were funded for training. The purpose was so that they could secure help from decision-makers more effectively on issues affecting women, especially on how women could get more involved in society. It resulted into several participants later becoming candidates in local elections, and won seats. It was a great achievement because Sierra Leone is a country where women exerts great effort to enter politics.