Andrea Perera, a former newspaper reporter, is associate director of communications at Oxfam America. She has written about Oxfam’s work in East Asia, as well as our campaigning efforts around climate change; oil, gas, and mining; and food security.
On OxfamBuzzListwe mostly review books, blogs, and movies that we want to recommend to our supporters. But every once in a while, we’ll sound the alarm when we think someone’s got it wrong.
A good example: The trailer for “The Impossible,” starring Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts, sure looks like it may have missed the point of one of the worst humanitarian disasters in history.
The clip shows the fear and chaos that come when a family of white tourists in Thailand are split up by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. The special effects look amazing and terrifying; the movie captures visually what photos from those days attempted to convey. As a mom, my stomach turns when I watch McGregor and Watts’ try to locate their lost children in the chaos, in the midst of their own pain and suffering.
We’re excited about the global premiere of “One Day on Earth” at the United Nations this Sunday. The movie records the human experience over a 24-hour period using material crowd-sourced from all over the world.
Oxfam contributed footage to “One Day on Earth” film. We asked our affiliates and partners working in 99 countries across the world to reflect on the specific issues of health and education — and why these are fundamental rights — and then to seek out images and interviews on the subject.
Watch the trailer for the film (it gave me goose bumps…the good kind) and then share with your friends.
Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin getting a taste of the local food and drink in Ethiopia. Photo credit: Audra Melton / Oxfam.
NFL wide receivers Anquan Boldin of the Baltimore Ravens and Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals are currently in Ethiopia with Oxfam staff to raise awareness about the food crisis in East Africa and see first-hand the effects of the drought. During the trip the players are meeting with local people, Oxfam partner organizations, and Ethiopian athletes. They are also visiting Oxfam development projects.
The players participated in a live call with fans and Oxfam supporters and from the field today. Fitzgerald said on the call: “I’m blessed to be able to come over here. And I feel like the work that we’re trying to do, the attention that we’re trying to raise, and the awareness is not going to fall on deaf ears.”
An excerpt: “This week, Suzanne Collins’s “The Hunger Games” hits the big screen. As the latest wildly popular young adult (Y.A.) novel becomes a film franchise, it’s not just box office dollars that will be captured, but potentially nascent citizens. At least that’s the goal of the social campaign called “Hunger Is Not a Game” which aims to connect fans to the global food justice movement.
“”The Hunger Games” devotees have long congregated on sites like Mockingjay.net, Down with the Capitol, and the “Hunger Games” Fireside Chat podcast. Now Oxfam, with its long history focused on famine relief, has joined forces with a small, fan-focused group” to encourage young people to join Oxfam’s GROW campaign to ensure everyone has enough to eat now and in the future.
Boy, that’s a lot of campaigns you say? Yes, but sometimes social change movements coming together can be a beautiful thing. Later this week, hundreds of young volunteers will set-up shop at movie theaters across the country to bring fans of the “The Hunger Games” movie on-board to GROW.
“Our members know that change isn’t easy and it requires helping others to understand what’s at the root of the problem,” said Andrew Slack, Executive Director of the Harry Potter Alliance, the sponsor organization behind “Hunger is not a Game.”
“The GROW campaign gives our members a chance to really make a difference in their communities by putting emphasis on an issue that can effect anyone from their neighbor down the street to a child tens of thousands of miles away.”
Trains in Tokyo paused. Sirens sounded. And children across the country quietly lit their paper lanterns.
These are just some of the ways Japan marked the anniversary of the 9.0 earthquake that set off a massive tsunami and nuclear disaster a year ago this Sunday.
Sunday marked the one-year anniversary of the Japan earthquake and tsunami. Photo: Reuters/YOMIURI, courtesy Trust.org - AlertNet.
When reading about the anniversary this weekend, I stumbled upon a poignant photo gallery from The Guardian. One picture—a 7-year-old girl walking through the rubble where her house used to stand—really stuck with me.
I wondered what my own daughter would think in that moment. What would she ask me? What would I say?
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.
This is what my pediatrician said to me Friday morning during my daughter’s annual physical. He was trying to allay my concerns about Olive’s finicky eating habits. Most American children have access to and can afford plenty of good food, he was saying. If they don’t eat, it’s because they choose not to.
While I get where he was going with that logic, my pediatrician might be surprised by just how many Americans do go hungry every day. According to the results of a new GlobeScan Incorporated opinion poll funded by Oxfam, 8 percent of Americans surveyed said that they sometimes, rarely, or never had enough to eat on a daily basis. This is compared to one in five people surveyed in developing countries such as Pakistan, Mexico, and India, who said that they sometimes, rarely, or never had enough to eat on a daily basis. In very poor countries the situation was bleaker still: up to 21 percent of people in Tanzania and Kenya said they rarely or never had enough to eat.
For those of us who mindlessly fill our grocery carts every week–and only go hungry when we’re too lazy to cook, not in the mood or too busy to eat–that data can be hard to swallow. But here’s the truth: Huge numbers of people, especially in the world’s poorest countries, are cutting back on the quantity or quality of the food they eat because of rising food prices. 54 percent of people questioned globally and 56 percent in the US said they are not eating the same food as they did two years ago. Globally 39 percent of people said their diet had changed because food is simply becoming too expensive. Read the rest of this entry »
As you may have read in my colleague Bob Ferguson’s latest blog, Oxfam has a lot of really cool friends. Musicians and actors, they use their power as celebrities to bring attention to the poverty and injustice Oxfam works to overcome. Today, many of the amazing women we work with are marking International Women’s Day with blog posts of their own, calling attention to the idea that women are disproportionately affected by hunger, but at the same time, are in the best position to combat it.
“…women are also key agents of change in their communities, and they are fighting back against hunger. I will never forget the women of Chitehwe, a small village in Mozambique in Southeast Africa I visited with Oxfam. Many of the women I met are illiterate, HIV-positive and desperately poor. But they aren’t giving up hope and are taking things in their own hands, fighting back however they can.”
Kristin Davis in Mozambique. Photo : Oxfam America.
Also on the Huffington Post, singer Annie Lennox discusses reclaiming feminism:
“Whether you’re a woman or a man, this affects you. And you are part of the solution. The impact of inequality is felt by every woman worldwide — your friends, your family, your colleagues, your neighbors, the people you emailed today, the woman in the car next to you, the faces you saw on television and the voices you heard on the radio. How many have been abused or faced discrimination today?” Read the rest of this entry »
Governments made significant progress at the international climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico last week when they agreed to establish a global climate fund. While falling short of the emissions cuts needed, the negotiators took critical steps toward achieving real emissions reductions.
The deal also moves the world closer to a global agreement that will help direct resources towards the millions of poor people who already struggle to survive the effects of climate change. Read the rest of this entry »
Lili Polastri and Megan Ferreira, two volunteer members of the Oxfam Action Corps of San Francisco Bay Area, are in Cancun Mexico this week at the COP16, the UN’s global climate talks. Traveling under the auspices of LinkTV (Lili’s employer), they are equipped with media accreditation and a video camera to document the proceedings.
In Cancun, indigenous delegates gather in the “International Forum of Indigenous Peoples on Climate Change (Indigenous Caucus). Credit: Ainhoa Goma/Oxfam.
They are interested in showing a ‘”ground-level” view of the role of civil society organizations, such as Oxfam, and particularly the efforts by indigenous communities to make their voices heard at the event.
Oxfam America is a member of Oxfam, an international confederation of 17 organizations networked together in 94 countries, as part of a global movement for change, to build a future free from the injustice of poverty.
Oxfam America is a 501(c)(3) organization. Gifts are tax-deductible to the full extent allowable under the law.