First Person Blog

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

A Good Oxfam Day

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An improved irrigation system in Ethiopia shows how a modest project can make significant improvements in a community. (photo by Petterik Wiggers/Oxfam America
An improved irrigation system in Shasha Korke is a significant improvement for a modest investment. (Photo by Petterik Wiggers/Oxfam America)

When I visited Shasha Korke in Ethiopia a few months ago, I had what I call a good Oxfam Day. A good Oxfam day is when I get to meet people and organizations that take a little help from Oxfam and achieve something positive. It doesn’t mean that everything is perfect now, but there is a significant improvement and people feel good about what they have done. And they can show that when they work together, they can accomplish something important.

Shasha Korke was a particularly good Oxfam Day because the irrigation project the village had recently finished was really helping people in some very obvious ways, and the people there were articulate in describing their experience. The community had really pulled together and carried out their own vision of how the irrigation system should work best for them.

We just finished an audio slide show with pictures by Dutch photographer Petterik Wiggers, and I invite you to check it out—I hope it shares some of what a good Oxfam Day can be.

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