Our supporters

Lockdown Three: Your local Oxfam shop needs you

The saying goes, third time’s a charm…but lets face it, there is little charming about the third wave of Covid-19 currently hitting the island of Ireland or the lockdown measures we all must respect to in order to save lives and support our already stretched health workers.

Last year, for the first time in over 60 years, we closed our shops across the island of Ireland to do our part in stopping the spread of Covid-19. As we entered the New Year we also entered our third lockdown, and like so many other local traders, we closed our doors.

Our shops play an invaluable role in raising much-needed funds for Oxfam’s work worldwide – they help ensure we can continue to protect and support some of the most vulnerable people in the world.

However, they’re not just vital to Oxfam’s mission to end the injustice of poverty, each one is community hub that has served and been supported by you for decades.

With our shops closed, we need your support now more than ever.

At this time of continued unprecedented challenges for all of us, our mission remains the same – to let you, our supporters, know how you can help communities facing extreme poverty and disaster. Life-saving work that is only possible because of your support.

We believe that sharing the stories and experiences of the communities Oxfam work with is even more important now as our teams monitor and respond to the threat of Covid-19 in the countries in which Oxfam works. Beyond the immediate threat of the disease itself, countless people are struggling to survive the economic fallout from the pandemic.

 

 “This virus will starve us before it makes us sick.”

~ Micah Olywangu, a taxi driver in Nairobi

We’re urgently appealing for your help and want to share some ways that you can continue to support your local Oxfam shop, even if its doors are closed.

We still want the things you don’t!

  1. Drop your donations off today at one of our textile or book banks.
  2. Save your donations and drop them in when we’re back up and running – for all of us, hopefully this will be sooner rather than later.
  3. Any Christmas gifts lying about that you know you won’t use - keep them for us too! One person’s junk is another’s treasure.

You can still help us continue to raise vital funds:

  1. Donate - make a one-off donation or setup a monthly one if you can.
  2. Set up a Facebook fundraiser in solidarity with your local Oxfam shop – and help continue its crucial fundraising work! Couch to 5k? Squat challenge? Anyone?

Make meaningful (and kinda invaluable) resolutions this year:

  1. Pop an email to your nearest Oxfam shop now to express your interest in volunteering with us when we reopen. Donating a little of your time and expertise to our team will have a bigger impact than you might think.
  2. Make a pledge to buy more secondhand clothes and accessories this year by shopping at your local Oxfam. Good for your pocket (and wardrobe!), good for people, and good for our planet <3
  3. Sending a card? Why not choose one from our Unwrapped alternative gift range and send hope along with your greeting.

Yemen Appeal

Our shops also play a central role in publicising our emergency appeals. Right now, we are raising funds to support the people of Yemen. As we battle Covid-19, many Yemeni families are on the brink of famine. Two thirds of the population rely on food aid to survive and the country is also grappling with the largest cholera outbreak on record. Our gravest concern is the widespread destruction of health and sanitation facilities which are vital to halt the spread of deadly diseases such as Covid-19.

 

"I appeal to the world to have mercy on the children of Yemen and stop this war. We are very tired of living in war for years, we lost everything beautiful in our lives, even the simple hope of peace.’’

~ Ibtisam Sageer Al Razehi, 35-year-old teacher and mother of three

Thank you

Our shops have been a part of local communities as far back as 1956. That is 64 years of providing you with affordable and sustainable clothing, books, furniture and more.

Thank you for all of the ways you’ve supported us over those 64 years from donating and shopping to volunteering your time and talent.

From North to South, East to West and everyone in-between, we hope you will stand with us now and understand why we are asking for your continued support.

We hope to see you in-store once again soon. Until then, stay safe.

Oxfam Shop Teams

As 2020 draws to a close...

Members of the Oxfam-supported Culamuk Coffee Micro-station in Nebbi District, Uganda. Photo: Kieron Crawley/Oxfam

... a great big THANK YOU to all of our supporters!

The past 12 months has been a year of unprecedented challenges. From the pandemic to climate change, and from ongoing conflicts to the erosion of democracy, 2020 has been – at times – truly overwhelming.

Worldwide, hundreds of thousands of people have died from the virus; millions have lost jobs and livelihoods. The situation among the world’s most vulnerable people has been made even more precarious by the pandemic: Covid-19 particularly threatens the lives of those living in cramped refugee camps, with nothing but some tarpaulin separating them from their neighbours.

But throughout it all, your generosity and support meant that we could keep working and doing what we do. Over the past 12 months, Oxfam reached more than 19 million people around the world with clean, safe drinking water, food, shelter and life-saving hygiene products and information.

Oxfam Ireland alone reached almost eight million people across 10 countries – providing them with humanitarian assistance, training to start their own businesses and advice on how to advocate for themselves.

Despite the many challenges, we continued to support the world’s poorest people to lift themselves out of poverty.

For that, we thank you!

The very best wishes to you and yours for Christmas and the New Year from all of us here at Oxfam Ireland.

Posted In:

COVID-19: Only if the most vulnerable are safe, are we all safe

The collective efforts to tackle the virus that we are seeing across Ireland and the UK have been impressive. However, it’s critical that we act now to prevent it spreading unchecked among the poorest and most vulnerable countries.

As former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said recently, coronavirus anywhere is a threat to people everywhere. Only if and until the most vulnerable are safe, are we all safe. We cannot afford to leave anyone behind.

In the face of a pandemic, it doesn’t matter where you come from or what language you speak. Nobody is immune to this virus – not royalty, not prime ministers.

The situation for the most vulnerable

While the wealthy can be tested and treated quickly with the help of functioning healthcare systems, millions of others face uncertainty in the midst of a global threat.

The world’s poorest communities are particularly vulnerable, as they already face multiple threats to their health and livelihoods. Nearly three billion people across the developing world have no access to clean water, while millions more don’t have adequate healthcare and live in crowded slums or refugee camps where social isolation is impossible.

We are concerned that COVID-19 will overwhelm poorer countries with weak public health systems. In Mali, for example, there are just three ventilators for one million people, while in Zambia, there is only one doctor for 10,000 people. Even more worrying is the prospect of the virus hitting refugee camps or anywhere else where people are already struggling to access healthcare or food.

View of a hospital in an internally-displaced people camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo: John Wessels/Oxfam

Women on the frontline

Women are on the frontline of infection risk – they make up 70 percent of health workers and carry out most unpaid care work, so it will most likely hit them the hardest.

Women also shoulder the vast burden of unpaid care which is bound to increase dramatically, whether caring for sick relatives or looking after children at home because schools are closed.

After working long days as a day care teacher in the Philippines, Rowena used to come home and do all the care work. Now, her husband helps cook, clean and mind their child. Photo: Jed Regala/Oxfam

What we need to tackle this crisis

Governments in rich countries have mobilised billions of dollars in no time to fight COVID-19 and its effects. They should now support poorer countries in making the strongest-possible preparations to fight the coronavirus health emergency.

We are urging the leaders of the G20 to urgently provide the necessary resources to reduce the loss of life and support those most vulnerable.

We need to double health spending in poor countries to prevent some 40 million deaths. That’s the estimate of how many people could die worldwide from coronavirus, according to Imperial College London, unless there is an urgent and coordinated global response.

Oxfam calculates that doubling the public health spending would cost nearly $160 billion (€145/£130bn). This is less than 10 percent of the US fiscal stimulus to fight coronavirus. The required investment is minute compared to the social and economic costs of inaction.

Immediate debt cancellation and aid funding for the 85 poorest countries, home to nearly half the world’s population, would enable them to take action to prevent the spread of the disease and improve health systems to care for those affected.

Our response to the virus

We are working with local partners, governments and key UN agencies to support our programme teams across more than 65 countries on how best to respond operationally to COVID-19.

This includes preventive measures especially for people in higher-risk environments such as refugee camps or crowded urban areas.

In Cox’s Bazar, for instance, Rohingya refugees face the double threat of COVID-19 and the imminent monsoon rains which will turn the camps in Bangladesh into infected rivers of mud. We’re distributing soap and building showers, toilets and handwashing stations to prevent the spread of diseases including coronavirus. In addition, we’ve recruited more than 600 Rohingya volunteers to help us reach other refugees with hygiene information.

We’re doing all we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the world’s most vulnerable communities. You can help us save lives.

Posted In:

COVID-19: Your local Oxfam shop needs you

Last week, for the first time in over 60 years, our shops across the island of Ireland closed. We made this difficult decision to protect our staff and volunteers, and to do our part in stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Our shops play an invaluable role in raising much-needed funds for our work worldwide – they help ensure we can continue to protect and support some of the most vulnerable people in the world.

However, they’re not just vital to our organisation, each one is community hub that has served and been supported by you for decades.

With our shops closed, we need your support now more than ever.

At this time of unprecedented change for all of us, our mission remains the same – to let you, our supporters, know how you can help communities facing extreme poverty and disaster. Life-saving work that is only possible because of you.

We believe that sharing the stories and experiences of the communities we work with is even more important now as we monitor and prepare for the potential rapid spread of COVID-19 in the countries in which we work. For people living in flimsy shelters in refugee camps and in communities without adequate hygiene and health infrastructure, the impact of an outbreak doesn’t bear thinking about.

We’re urgently appealing for your help and want to share some ways that you can continue to support your local Oxfam shop, even if its doors are closed.

We still want the things you don’t! As we all use this time to declutter, please continue to support your local Oxfam:

·       Save your donations and drop them in when we’re back up and running – for all of us, hopefully this will be sooner rather than later

You can also help us continue to raise vital funds:

·       Make a one-off donation or setup a monthly one if you can

·       Set up a Facebook fundraiser in solidarity with your local Oxfam shop – and help continue its crucial fundraising work!

Our shops play a central role in supporting our emergency appeals. Right now, we are trying to raise funds for Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar – the largest refugee camp in the world. As we battle COVID-19, they are preparing to enter into monsoon season, which brings with it a serious threat to life and infrastructure in the camp. Our gravest concern is the destruction of sanitation facilities which are vital to halt the spread of deadly diseases such as COVID-19.

Our shops have been a part of local communities as far back as 1956. That is 64 years of providing people with affordable and sustainable clothing, books, furniture and more.

Thank you for all of the ways you’ve supported us over those 64 years from donating and shopping to volunteering your time and talent.

I hope you will stand with us now and understand why we are asking for your continued support through this global storm that we are all weathering together.

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