Oxfam Pramble 2011

Last weekend I was down at the Millennium Bridge in London to welcome the Oxfam Pramble team. So what is it all about?

Let some of the volunteers tell you themselves:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WT2ljpWDL-4]

Have a look at  their route, all the way from London to Manchester showing their interactive journey!

[googlemaps http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=206783798818312886673.00049811380386eebf0da&source=embed&ll=52.526926,-1.941093&spn=1.902806,1.901128&output=embed&w=425&h=350]

Another cool part of the finish line was a huge pregnant giant, made by the Chester Giants, listen to what they had to say :

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8PhBPzxLiI]

Highlighting the importance of maternal health is important for us all, as a good start in life impacts ones future prospects. Have a look at more photos on the Oxfam Pramble here. Well done everyone!

Nothing to do this summer? ……………Why not volunteer.

As summer approaches there are many students looking for something to do with their time. With many of us struggling to find a job an alternative is to volunteer or be an intern. I have been volunteering for a while with many different types of organisations.

It began with Orange RockCrops in 2008 where the concept is that you volunteer for four hours and in return Orange will give you a concert ticket at the great Royal Albert Hall. Since then the idea has grown and so has the support with the likes of Lady Gaga, Snoop Dog and Tiny Tempah all showing their support. Click here for Orange RockCorps, Give and Get given.

Next in my volunteer journey was Platform 2. This was an experience that allowed me to go away for 10 weeks to volunteer in Kasapin, Ghana. I had an amazing time and learnt so much about another aspect of volunteering. It was a fully funded volunteer scheme, funded by the Department of International Development and run by Christian Aid and BUNAC. Since coming back I have been given the platform to express my experience in a range of ways from writing in my university newspaper to giving talks at a range of events. Platform 2 is still going on so click here to find out how you can also take part.


Next was Oxfam and the East London Campaigns Group. I thought it would be good to do something a bit more local. So I join the East London Campaigns Group. I love the flexibility of helping out where I can which let volunteering fit around me. Yaarah Schools is another way I involve myself in volunteering as it is a charitable cause that is helping improve the learning of children in villages around the world.

Overall, I am an exception to the rule as I have my fingers in many different aspects of volunteering. Yet this has allowed me to learn so much and also boost so many different skills. In this economic climate volunteering is one way of put yourself out there, showing a different aspect that you have to give. Employers would rather have an active person who is well rounded and volunteering helps do this. So enjoy and get involved this summer :).

DFID, OXFAM & AID

Yesterday, I attended the speech of Andrew Mitchell at Oxfam’s 21st Century Aid report launch event, at the Royal Society in London. Here is a link to some of his main points. He also answered some of the questions posed to him by OXFAM supporters. One of which was my own focused on awareness raising. My concern was about who is expected to fill the gap and continue in increasing the knowledge of the British public regarding understanding development issues in a holistic way? Is it not the governments role to help improve knowledge through effective awareness raising to increase the understanding of where tax payers money is going and being spent? £55,000 has been cut from music stalls at festivals, this is an avenue for many young people to get a better understanding of development issues, which is equally as important for a holistic approach to aid and development. Here is his response:
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuaZD6bgw0A&feature=player_embedded]

Development awareness is important. It was a DFID scheme Platform 2 which helps increase awareness that allowed me to get a better understanding of development issues first hand. It is important that something fills the gap for awareness raising as how is the tax payer meant to understand where their money is going without the information and knowledge to do so properly.