Blog

Nov 26, 2012

Nov Laugh out loud for Oxfam!

26
2012

LOL for Oxfam! We've organised two comedy gigs in Dublin in December where you can tickle your funny bone while raising vital funds for our work with communities affected by poverty around the world.

Cast members from RTÉ's hit satire The Savage Eye make up the stellar line-up, so come, laugh and help transform lives with the likes of Patrick McDonnell, James Goldsbury and Foil Arms and Hog.

Saturday December 1 at 8.30pm 

Leeson Lounge, 148 Leeson Street Upper, Dublin 4.

Featuring:

  • Foil Arms and Hog
  • James Goldsbury
  • Patrick McDonnell
  • Dermot McMorrow 

Join the Facebook event page here

Thursday December 20 at 8.30pm 

Murray’s, O’Connell Street, Dublin 1.

Featuring:

  • John Colleary
  • James Goldsbury 
  • Patrick McDonnell
  • Willie White

Tickets for each gig cost just €10 and are available in advance from the Oxfam Ireland office by calling (01) 635 0406 or on the door at the venues. Funds raised will be donated to Oxfam Ireland to help people affected by poverty build a brighter future. 

The line-up…

John Colleary 

John is one of the stars of The Savage Eye and is currently involved in the fourth series. He has recently won the PPI Radio award for best satirical comedy.

James Goldsbury

James is a regular on the Irish and English comedy circuits having performed at the Kilkenny Cat Laughs, Kinsale Comedy Festival, Carlsberg Comedy Festival and The Electric Picnic comedy tent. He has also written and starred in Headweckers (part of Channel 4's comedy lab season) as well as The Savage Eye. 

 

Foil Arms and Hog 

This comedy trio presents wickedly twisted characters, unpredictable scenes and high energy performances. They’ve appeared on TV in The Savage Eye and at live festivals including Kilkenny Cat Laughs, The Electric Picnic comedy tent and The Vodafone Comedy Festival.

Dermot McMorrow

Dermot has written for and performed in all four series of The Savage Eye. He is the founder of the ‘Save the Snail Society’ and is currently writing 'Mannequins for Dummies’. 

Patrick McDonnell

Patrick has been standing up and making people laugh since 1996. He co-wrote and performed two series of the O Show for BBC Radio 4 and appeared in a number of short films – Solomon I, Swag, Stephanie Knows Who and Mebollix –and the feature film Separation Anxiety. His television appearances as a stand-up include The Empire Laughs Back for BBC N.I. and RTÉ’s The Lounge.

He played Eoin McLove in Father Ted and over the last decade TV appearances include Stew, Don’t Feed the Gondolas, Val Falvey TD, The Savage Eye and the IFTA award-winner Naked Camera. He has most recently appeared in Moone Boy on Sky One.

Willie White 

Des Bishop gave Willie his big break on his Joy in the Hood TV series. He’s also starred in The Savage Eye and established himself as a regular at comedy clubs and festivals nationwide.

To get your ticket for these brilliant comedy events, call (01) 635 0406 or buy them on door at the venues

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Nov 23, 2012

Nov Violent clashes in the Democratic Republic of Congo

23
2012

140,000 people have fled violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo since mid-November, with over half a million displaced since April.

This week, armed groups captured the strategically important city of Goma, pushing a conflict that has killed 5.4 million people since 2008, into a new and dangerous stage.

Above (top): Oliva Noalla, 6, with her younger  sister on her back, Mugunga camp. Above (left): People have built shelters out of leaves and materials they have managed to find nearby. Above (right): Forced child recruitment is on the increase across the east of the country. Above: Oxfam supplying water in Kanyaruchina.

Violent clashes between armed groups and government forces has already led to a widespread collapse of state control in large areas of the east, where the humanitarian situation is deteriorating rapidly.

Power and water is gone in the main city of Goma, which means people are taking water from the lake instead of the municipal system. There are large fears of a cholera outbreak.

Meanwhile, forced child recruitment is on the increase across the east.  Annie, 22, questions if her children will be next.

“Although they are young, I know that child recruitment is happening and I would not put it past the rebel groups to take my tiny children. I know what they are capable of” she says.

She fled her own home in August with her husband and two children and came to Goma to escape the violence in her own area.

“We have lived in a state of fear for months” she says.

She says she lives each day tormented by thoughts of what might happen to her family.

“My children know something is wrong. They react badly to things which they did not do when we were at home. Is it a surprise? They sleep without a roof over their head and eat one meal a day.”

Oxfam, which has been in the region for many years providing clean water and sanitation to tens of thousands of people, is on the ground assessing the needs of people

However the job is made difficult not just by the current security situation.

In 2002 Mount Mount Nyiragongo erupted and covered the city of Goma and its suburbs with volcanic rock. The hard terrain makes it extremely difficult to dig for water and to dig latrines. This means Oxfam has to truck water to meet the urgent needs of thousands of people.

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Nov 22, 2012

Nov Linking together for 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence

22
2012

“My husband was very abusive towards me and my children.”

There are many facing the same situation as Emilia Chuma. One in three women worldwide has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her life. 
 
In Tanzania, where Emilia lives, violence against women is widespread. One study found that over half of women are beaten regularly by their partners. Why? Because there is a long-standing belief among men and women that such behaviour is acceptable. In 2009, a survey of women in Tanzania found that 56% agreed it was important for a man to “show his wife who was the boss” and 61% believed that a “good wife” obeys her husband regardless of the situation. 
 
But these attitudes are changing. The Oxfam-supported We Can! campaign has seen more 350,000 men and women across Tanzania pledge to become change-makers in their communities, promising to recruit at least 10 others who sign the same pledge to stand up to domestic violence. 
 
 
TOP LEFT: Emiliani Dionis in Mgeta village, Tanzania. He used to beat his wife and five children but is now a change-maker thanks to the Oxfam-supported We Can! campaign. TOP CENTRE: Change-maker Emilia Chuma in Mgeta says the We Can! campaign convinced her husband to end his violence towards her and the children. TOP RIGHT and ABOVE: People in Mgeta watch a dramatic performance that shows the impact of violence against women on the local communities. Events like this one encourage people to change the attitudes that permit domestic violence. All photos by Barry McCall/Oxfam
 
This unique approach asks people to acknowledge that violence is happening within their midst, to commit to not tolerating violence in their personal lives and to take proactive steps to encourage others in their communities to pledge to follow their examples. 
 
“I became a change-maker because I wanted to change my life,” explains Emilia who spoke to us in her village of Mgeta. “The Morogoro Paralegal Centre [an Oxfam partner] showed me the change-maker form and I signed it.
 
“I convinced my husband to change. Now we have a great relationship and our children are much happier.”
 
Emilia was one of the inspirational women met by our ambassador Sharon Corr who travelled to Tanzania earlier this year. See her meeting Emilia and others empowered by the We Can! campaign in our video below.
 

 

We are joining with thousands of individuals and organisations worldwide to mark the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence (November 25th – December 10th).

 
The international 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence campaign calling for the elimination of all forms of violence against women.
 
You can show solidarity with the men and women taking action around the world by showcasing our specially designed paper chains which highlight the devastating extent of violence against women and girls. Displayed in villages, towns and cities throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland, join us to demand that the chain of violence is broken once and for all.
 
Get involved by printing off the one-in-three paper chain and hanging it at home, in work or school, in your car or a prominent place in your community.  Email us a picture at campaigns@oxfamireland.org and we’ll share it with fellow activists in our Facebook group.
 
One-by-one, we can make change happen. Download our paper chain today.

 

Nov 12, 2012

Nov Sharon Corr travels to Tanzania with us

12
2012

As part of our Ending Poverty Starts with Women campaign, our ambassador Sharon Corr and acclaimed photographer Barry McCall travelled to Tanzania to see how we’re helping women to stand up for their rights. Oxfam's own Communications and Marketing Executive Clare Quinlan travelled with Sharon to see how your donations are making a difference.  Here's her account of the trip.

A chorus of singers welcomed us as we arrived. Their voices filled the air, creating a sense of celebration and excitement.

The reason for our visit to Lyenge village – part of a week-long trip to Tanzania – was to meet Ester Jerome Mtegule and other inspirational women who are shaping the future of their communities.

TOP LEFT: Our ambassador Sharon Corr meets Female Food Heroes winner Ester Jerome Mtegule at her home in Lyenge village. TOP RIGHT: Rice farmer Halima Shida shares a moment with Sharon Corr outside her home in Kimamba village. ABOVE: Sharon Corr meets last year’s finalists (from left to right) Mwandiwe Makame, Anna Oloshiro and the winner Ester Jerome Mtegule, along with Oxfam Ireland’s Monica Gorman, at the launch of the 2012 Female Food Heroes competition. All photos by Barry McCall/Oxfam

Ester was the winner of our Female Food Heroes competition in 2011. It reached around 25 million Tanzanians – more than half the country’s population – through television, radio and newspapers. This year’s contest was being launched on her home turf, and Sharon was invited to Lyenge as the guest of honour.

The reason why Female Food Heroes is so important is because it celebrates the role played by women who farm and produce food.

Women are at the heart of Oxfam’s work – they make up 43 per cent of the agricultural workforce in the countries where we work, but often face discrimination when trying to get ownership of the land they farm.

Our Ending Poverty Starts with Women campaign is calling for better support for women food producers so that they can become leaders in their own communities.

Because of widespread media coverage in Tanzania, the Female Food Heroes competition brought important issues to national attention.

Ester and her fellow finalists – whittled down to 10 from 7,000 entrants by a panel of expert judges and a public vote by 10,000 people – participated in a week-long X Factor-style ‘boot camp’ where they received training to enhance their existing skills in farming and food production.


 
TOP: Sharon Corr attends an event in Mgeta village organised as part of our We Can campaign to combat domestic violence. This social movement recruits ‘change-makers’, people who pledge to change their attitudes and behaviours towards violence against women. ABOVE LEFT: Sharon gets ready to play traditional Irish music for locals in Kimamba village. ABOVE RIGHT: Sharon wears a traditional African headscarf presented to her by local women from Iyenge village. All photos by Barry McCall/Oxfam

Following a public vote, Ester was awarded first place. She proudly showed us the tractor that she won and also the grain store that she now manages on behalf of her community.

During the time we spent with Ester she warmly welcomed us into her home, where she wrapped Sharon’s hair into a traditional African headscarf and showed her how to grind maize, one of the staple foods in Tanzania.

The impact of the Female Food Heroes competition on Ester's life has been remarkable and she's now become the farmers’ representative on her local district council.

She's also using her prize of a tractor to help others in her community and so far, 10 other farmers have benefited from use of the machine.

Ester says that farming, “like anything worthwhile in life, takes discipline and hard work. Discipline is everything. We need more discipline in agriculture if we are really determined to end food insecurity.”

She has become a beacon of hope for all in her community.

We also met the two runners-up of the 2011 competition, Anna Oloshuro Kalaita and Mwandiwe Makame, each of whom won solar panels. They told us how their lives have changed as a result. They are using their prizes to benefit other women in their communities in a number of ways, such as charging household lamps.

TOP: Sharon Corr dances with local women and men in Kimamba village. Your donations help us to support many female rice farmers from the village to get title deeds to their land so they can farm their land securely and free from outside threats. ABOVE LEFT: Sharon watches a dramatisation of domestic violence as part of the We Can campaign with Furaha Kimaro, our Gender Programme Officer. ABOVE RIGHT: Sharon meets a young girl as she arrives at the home of Ester Jerome Mtegule, last year’s winner of the Female Food Heroes competition. All photos by Barry McCall/Oxfam

Throughout the visit, Sharon showed great compassion and empathy towards everyone she met. You can see her meeting Ester and other Female Food Heroes in the video below.

In Lyenge, we had arrived to the sounds of women singing in harmony. We left with an insight into how much is achieved when women can be empowered to come together and build a better future for their communities.

To add your voice to our call for increased government support for projects that empower women and combat gender-based violence, sign up today.

Nov 6, 2012

Nov Which Christmas gift will you pick?

6
2012

‘Never work with children or animals’ or so the showbiz saying goes, but we’ve done just that to launch our new-look Oxfam Ireland Unwrapped range of Christmas gifts you’ll just love to give. Some of Santa’s little helpers were on hand as furry friends from Wooly Ward’s farm showcased gifts like chicks (€13/£10), goats (€38/£31) and pigs (€35/£28).
 


 

TOP LEFT: Ruby McGing (3) perches on a sofa from Oxfam Home with a baby chick. TOP RIGHT: Ella O’Kelly (4) eyes up a llama outside our shop on South King Street shop in Dublin. CENTRE LEFT: Aisling Ó Moráin (2), Ella O’Kelly and Ruby McGing say hi to a hen. ABOVE LEFT: Aisling Ó Moráin (2) cuddles up to a piglet. ABOVE RIGHT: Ruby McGing and Laoise Ó Moráin (4) introduce the piglet to our South King Street shop.

And it’s not only our locally-sourced Unwrapped animals that transform the lives of people affected by poverty – our huge range has everything from schoolbooks (€18/£15) to seeds (€7/£6) and solar panels (€32/£26), so you’ll find a special something for every special someone.

We’ve also teamed up with The Body Shop and Divine chocolates to create gorgeous gift sets, such as our Care for mums with Shea body butter gift (£35/€43). It combines our Care for mums gift – helping make sure thousands of mums and mums-to-be get the help, expertise and support they deserve in Ghana – and The Body Shop’s sensual Shea body butter.

It’s never been easier to pick up an Oxfam Unwrapped gift – our new shopping cart is much faster and easier to use, and we’ve also added Paypal as a payment option.

With something for everyone, the range includes seven new options - breakfast for a child (€10/£8), baby kit (€10/£8), care for mums (€20/£16), solar panels (€32/£26), literacy classes (€49/£40), and a small loan (€70/£57), along with the gift of girl power (€14/£11) that supports projects helping women to assert their rights, tying in with our Ending Poverty Starts with Women campaign.

No matter which ones you choose, each gift you buy supports our vital work from emergency responses to advocacy projects. And you’ll also receive a free 2013 calendar to show how your support is making a real difference around the world.

Since our Oxfam Unwrapped gifts launched 10 years ago, people across the island of Ireland have given more than 140,000 life-changing gifts and at the same time helped to improve the lives of over half a million people affected by poverty in countries like Tanzania and Malawi.

Unwrapped gifts can be purchased online, in your local Oxfam shop, by post and by phone (1850 30 40 55 in the Republic of Ireland or 0800 0 30 40 55 in Northern Ireland).

So how does it all work?

When you buy an Oxfam Unwrapped gift, you’re creating a better future for people like Fatimata in Mali.

In her village of Intadeynen, lack of rain is making food and water scarce – and keeping kids out of school. But by working with mums like Fatimata, we are tackling all three of these problems together thanks to your support. Providing a good meal in school (€10/£8) is a great incentive to get kids into class.

So we helped Fatimata’s village school to plant drought-resistant vegetables (€7/£6) such as cabbages, onions, potatoes and beetroot. The vegetables are grown specifically for school meals and the surplus is sold to buy rice and books (€18/£15).
 

ABOVE: Fatimata at work in her garden.
 

Many children miss school in order to fetch water for their family. So we helped build new water pumps (€25/£20) to save travelling time and effort. Plus having water on tap means the school has plenty for irrigating their allotment. Fatimata and the other mums know how important education is. And the success of their garden in providing meals and having clean water has meant more parents can send their children to school.

“We knew that without one decent meal a day, some children would not be able to come to school. We are proud that we have made a success of our vegetable garden.”

Thanks for supporting Unwrapped gifts. You make it happen.

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