First Person Blog

Voices, video, and photos from Oxfam's fight against poverty

What Oxfam does…in 60 seconds

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My colleague, Megan, put it best in her Facebook post: “Proud to work here and proud of my colleagues who figured out how to condense Oxfam’s complicated work into a minute-long video.”

That’s exactly how I felt when we completed what we affectionately call Oxfam America’s “What we do” video. Proud to work here. And proud we figured out a way to quickly describe our work.

Four months ago, the idea seemed simple enough. Let’s create a video for OxfamAmerica.org that explains our mission. The goal was to teach people who come to our site for the first time about the three big buckets of our work– providing humanitarian aid, working with local partner organizations in developing countries, and fighting for social justice. Some people know us for one aspect of what we do; most don’t know everything.

And then we started to work on the video. And realized that it is really, really hard to explain Oxfam’s approach to fighting poverty in a cool, hip way that abides by our very strong brand of using imagery of the communities we work with, where they have dignity, strength, and power. An example, an animated illustration that may look really fabulous might also obscure the face of the subject in the photograph, which relegates them to the background and, in turn, diminishes their importance.

In the end, with Superhumanoids‘ “Hey Big Bang” and the cosmopolitan mix of voices of my office mates playing over and over again in our heads, we pulled it off. Normally I’m not one to hand out compliments easily…but fighting poverty is complicated. And my colleagues managed to embrace that reality, and turn it on its head, showing how fighting poverty is really about changing the world, and that we can all do so with a lot of “warmth and positivity.”

But enough about what I think about the video. Tell us what you think about the video.

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  1.  avatarAndrea Perera

    Thanks, Oscar! So glad that “passion and quality” are two ways you think of describing the video. All of us who work at Oxfam are so proud to do so…glad that came across.

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