Interactive photobook offers way to support contributions by women
Guest post by Stacy Coleman
Oxfam America ran a photo contest for the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day in March. They created an interactive photo wall that enables supporters to upload photos and messages in support of women’s contributions.
We caught up with Victoria Marzilli, new media specialist of Oxfam America, to get an update about the work of Oxfam, its interactive photobook, and the nonprofit’s social media efforts on Facebook and Twitter.
What is distinctive about your organization?
Marzilli: Oxfam is unique because we are such a multifaceted organization. We work on the ground to implement long-lasting solutions to poverty, hunger and social injustice, but we also campaign for policies that help poor communities around the world. We not only provide emergency humanitarian response, but we create sustainable long-term development programs.
How and when was Oxfam inspired and created?
Marzilli: A group of volunteers founded Oxfam America in 1970 in response to the humanitarian crisis created by the fight for independence in Bangladesh. The next few years were pivotal as several key supporters made prophetic and significant decisions that defined Oxfam’s mission and principles:
1. Oxfam America decided not to accept U.S. government grants and to instead try to build broad-based, grassroots support that would remain independent of government foreign policy.
2. Appeals for support would also avoid promoting a condescending attitude toward poor people; communications would be thought-provoking rather than emotional. Grants would focus on small projects that could serve as models for others.
Last year Oxfam America celebrated its 40th anniversary. While the organization today is a very different place — one that has grown and changed to address both the times and the changing needs of developing countries — several things have remained steadfast: the commitment to addressing issues of injustice and poverty, and the set of core values that has informed our work — legacies passed down through four decades of staff and board members.
What is the overall goal of Oxfam? How do you hope to impact change?
Our overall mission is to create lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and social injustice. We hope to do this by a combination of on-the-ground programs and advocating for global policies.
Tell us about your photo campaign for International Women’s Day.
In the lead-up to the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, we created a movement that will support and better the lives of women throughout the world. Check out the entries in our first-ever ACT FAST interactive photobook.
To participate (it’s not too late!):
- Write out a sign that says, “Ending hunger starts with…” Or, download one from our Photobook.
- Snap a pic, and send it our way! (You can also send it directly to firstname.lastname@example.org).
The more photos, thoughts, and videos we have, the stronger our efforts will be. We already have some amazing photos, messages and videos from celebrities, activists, and leaders.
Join us, and show your support for these amazing, strong women – they are the key to ending hunger.
What external resources do you use in your fundraising and outreach efforts (websites, mentors, social networks, etc.)?
In what other ways can we get involved and help?
Even though hunger and poverty can seem like foreign issues, there are so many ways to get involved and make a difference from home. First you can go to our website for activists and take action online by sending a letter to a member of Congress on an issue you care about, or adding your post to our interactive photobook to join the movement to empower women and end hunger. You can also volunteer, or if you are a college student, apply for our CHANGE program (http://www.oxfamamerica.org/whatyoucando/take-action/student-action/change) or table at concerts around the country!
This article originally appeared on Vivanista.