Today is Bloggers Unite for Human Rights Day. I've chosen to participate by writing about Oxfam Australia, an independent, non-profit community based organisation and one of Australia's leading aid and development agencies. Oxfam Australia is part of the Oxfam International family, which consists of thirteen Oxfams all working together to fight poverty and injustice in over 100 countries. Oxfam Australia began in 1953 in Melbourne and was then known as the Food for Peace Campaign before changing its name to Community Aid Abroad in 1962. Community Aid Abroad became affiliated with Oxfam International in 1995 and it was in 2005 that Community Aid Abroad became known as Oxfam Australia. Oxfam Australia currently works in over 30 countries across East Asia, South Asia, Southern Africa, the Pacific, and in Australia within Indigenous communities.
Image from the Close the Gap national touring photographic exhibit. Photograph © Wayne Quillam/OxfamAUS
Oxfam's Close the Gap campaign is calling on Australian governments to take action and commit to closing the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Indigenous Australians live nearly 20 years less than other Australians. Close the Gap is Australia's largest campaign to improve Indigenous health and seeks to achieve health equality for Indigenous Australians.
Oxfam Australia's Vision: is of a fair world in which people control their own lives, their basic rights are achieved and the environment is sustained. We aim to increase the number of people who have a sustainable livelihood, access to social services, an effective voice in decisions, safety from conflict and disaster, and equal rights and status. Our work is a partnership through which Australians enable poor and marginalised people control their own development, achieve equitable treatment, exercise their basic rights, and ensure the environment is healthy and sustainable - Extract from the Oxfam Australia website.
Make Poverty History supporters spell out their message in Sydney. Photograph © Michael Myers/OxfamAUS
Oxfam Australia is one of the major aid organisations included in the Make Poverty History coalition in Australia. Make Poverty History is the largest anti-poverty movement in history.
Ethiopian coffee farmer showing off his ripe red coffee beans. Photograph © Martin Ward/OxfamAUS
Buying Fairtrade coffee products ensures small-scale farmers in Ethiopia and other parts of the developing world earn a decent and fair return for their work and enables them to afford the basics of life for their families. Oxfam Australia's Fairtrade Campaign assists in raising awareness of Fair Trade issues and actively supports the producers through the sale of Fairtrade products in the 22 Oxfam shops across Australia. Oxfam shops carry a large range of Fairtrade coffee, tea & chocolate, as well as beautiful gift & home decor items crafted by talented artisans from developing countries worldwide. Purchases made at Oxfam shops contribute to providing sustainable development for disadvantaged communities and makes a real difference to people's lives.
One of my Oxfam purchases, a handmade set of cuties from Bolivia
I greatly admire the work of Oxfam and all of the volunteers who contribute their time and energy to assist the organisation. An organisation that actively works towards improving human rights through its strong commitment to long-term developmental outcomes. Oxfam continues to work tirelessly, passionately & creatively in forming partnerships within developing countries. Their ongoing focus being supporting people to help themselves to bring about lasting change within their communities, promoting & working towards sustainable development and social justice. Oxfam is an admirable and enterprising advocate of human rights and a most worthy organisation to support. Onya Oxfam!