Sunday, October 07, 2007

Oxfam: fighting poverty and injustice around the world

This post is part of ProBlogger's Birthday Bash; as part of the festivities, FreeMoneyFinance is generously sponsoring a $1,000 donation to the favorite charity of a randomly selected winner who has written about the organization on their blog (and submitted the link by 9am EST Sunday.)

It's hard to choose my favorite non-profit organization-- there are so many that I love supporting-- but Oxfam is right up there and it's one that I think everyone should know more about.

There are two reasons that Oxfam really stands out to me. One is that it addresses an incredibly broad range of issues and needs in international development. And the other is its commitment to addressing problems by empowering ordinary people to improve both the symptoms and the causes of poverty.

It never ceases to amaze me how much Oxfam is doing. They do important day-to-day development work, like providing microfinance (and helping communities grow their own banks to save and lend); helping small farmers diversify their crops, improve production, organize into cooperatives, and access higher-paying fair trade and organic markets; supporting women in increasing their education, empowerment, and rights; and helping indigenous people and other minorities.

They also respond to emergencies, like hurricanes, earthquakes, droughts, and violent conflicts, by addressing immediate needs quickly and effectively and then supporting communities in rebuilding. (They have a special Global Emergencies Fund that does this.)

But Oxfam also really works on getting to the roots of poverty. They work hard on issues like fair trade, trade agreements, foreign aid and debt forgiveness, access to affordable medicines, helping local communities share in profits from and decisions about their land and resources, and much more. Two of their big umbrella campaigns are Make Trade Fair and Health and Education for All. They're a co-founder of the ONE Campaign against poverty.

In short, Oxfam does pretty much everything I could want from a non-profit organization, and I trust them to take a large percentage of my yearly giving budget and put it in the right places around the world to make a difference.

I donate through Oxfam America. But Oxfam is actually a network of 13 affiliates headquartered in different countries (find yours here). I strongly encourage you to read more about Oxfam and consider giving-- if you do, please let me know, and I'm willing to match your donation! (They also have the great Oxfam Unwrapped program if you want your donation to be a gift to someone.)

2 comments:

FMF said...

I've heard great things about this charity too. Sorry you didn't win, but stay tuned as I may be doing something similar on my site soon.

Kathleen said...

Thank you for supporting Oxfam America! I work with Oxfam America Unwrapped and thought that you and your readers would be interested to know about their Unwrapped Holiday Catalog. Please visit www.OxfamAmericaUnwrapped.com

Unwrapped allows people to give symbolic gifts such as such plant 50 trees, give a pair of school uniforms or a cooking stove and dozens of other representative gifts. These donations go to fund Oxfam America programs worldwide.
When someone purchases one of these representative gifts on behalf of a friend or loved one, the recipient will receive a card that states what has been purchased in their honor and how it goes to help people around the world.

Oxfam America Unwrapped is truly a fantastic way to give back this holiday season. Give the unexpected gift that does good!

Thank you for your support,
Kathleen