At the Boston OxFam conference we learned about the mission and values of OxFam as an organization, upcoming changes, and two main campaigns of this year. Additionally, we discussed how to start and sustain OxFam’s presence on campus and participated in team building exercises.
Oxfam is undergoing changes to become a single, global organization of interdependent affiliates instead of continuing as separate national representatives of OxFam. Boston is headquarters of OxFam America, but now because of the changes, it will just be known as OxFam.
Oxfam is an organization with a global movement of people working together to end the injustice of poverty. With 70 years of experience in more than 90 countries, Oxfam takes on the big issues that keep people poor: inequality, discrimination, and unequal access to resources including food, water, and land. Our motto is to help people save lives in disasters, build stronger futures for themselves, and hold the powerful accountable. A key difference between OxFam and other advocacy organizations is that OxFam changes its agenda based on the progress already made, what people are most concerned about, what is not represented in the media. Oxfam also forms local partnerships. OxFam works with local organizations and governments to save lives in emergencies, reduce future disaster risks, and help local partners strengthen their skills as first responders and as advocates for a more secure future.
Our two main movement of the year is focused on the Stride for Self-Reliance Act and Poultry Worker Justice Campaign.
The poultry worker justice campaign focuses on raising awareness of the inhumane working conditions in poultry factories. Workers are composed of a vulnerable population of immigrants, people of low socioeconomic classes or undocumented workers. They work in a climate of fear with high rates of injury and illness and low wages of declining value. Over 8.6 billion pounds of chicken are annually produced each year with average American family consuming 89 pounds a year, it is clear that this issue is relevant.
The poultry worker’s issue is relevant and allows us to learn of the injustices that occur within our country. In order to spread our information, we need to emphasize on the importance of establishing an Oxfam presence on campus. Oxfam’s participation and visibility can be established through hosting successful events and networking. Additionally the Stride Act emphasizes transition of resources and power to local government and services in order to minimize the dependency on outside and foreign aid. We want the locals to be more prepared and increase management efficiency. Fast and speedy response to disasters from nearby communities is much more effective than someone else flying over to show you how things “should be” executed. The conference provided a valuable experience because it opened us to new issues that we may not be aware of and educated us on how we can better spread awareness.
- Submitted by Rachel Chen '19, Rockefeller Mini-Grant Recipient
The Rockefeller Center's Mini-Grants program funds registration fees for students attending conferences, as well as the costs of bringing guest speakers to Dartmouth. The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the Rockefeller Center or constitute an endorsement by the Center.