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TWITTER ACTION! For a #PeoplesVaccine

We need your help with the campaign this week!

Can you take 10 seconds to encourage your TDs to urge the Irish government to meet with Members of the People’s Vaccine Alliance to discuss the TRIPS waiver and CTAP?

Negotiations for a real solution are ongoing. So now is the time for the Irish government to show support and work to address the global Covid-19 vaccine inequity crisis.

So far our government has towed the line of the pharmaceutical industry and the EU, even though 73 percent of the world haven’t received any vaccine doses yet - leaving them vulnerable and at risk. We need a #Peoplesvaccine to address this global injustice.

Help us amplify our call for a People’s Vaccine and for the Irish government to meet with Alliance Members in three easy steps:

  1. Visit our website
  2. Select your province and constituency
  3. Click to tweet.

We need public pressure to ensure the Irish government does the right thing!

"Half the world thinks this pandemic is over...." - Dr. Mike Ryan

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Solidarity, in an inter-dependent world, must mean . . . standing shoulder to shoulder with those in other countries, especially poorer nations with fewer financial resources, so that, for example, vaccines are made available, accessible and affordable for all.

 

~ President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins

Global access to vaccines will only be possible if many more vaccine manufacturers are permitted to produce vaccines and if pharmaceutical companies agree to share their recipes and know-how.

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Time on your hands? Why not volunteer with your local Oxfam shop!

23 June 2021

There are two things that keep our network of shops going strong – your amazing donations and your precious time.

And right now, we would love if you could donate some of your time and volunteer at your local Oxfam shop. Volunteers play a vital role in Oxfam’s work around the world, while also providing a solution to throwaway fashion by saving items from ending up in landfills here at home.

By giving us a little bit of their time and creativity, each one of our incredible volunteers makes a huge difference in support of some of the most at-risk communities in the world, while helping our planet a little along the way.

We're currently looking for:

  • Sunday volunteers in our shops in Dublin's George’s Street, Francis Street, Parliament Street and Malahide, and Oxfam Sligo
  • Bridal volunteers in George’s Street, Dublin
  • General volunteers for all locations
  • Social media volunteers for all shops

Trevor Anderson, Director of Trading with Oxfam Ireland, said: “I would encourage anyone interested in lending some time to pop into their local Oxfam shop and let the manager know - people can give as little or as much time as they like. Oxfam shops are a hive of activity with lots of opportunities to meet new people, learn new skills, and of course, have plenty of fun along the way.

“Our volunteers are the backbone of our network of shops and by giving a little of their time and creativity, each person makes a huge difference in support of some of the most at-risk communities in the world.

“It is because of the commitment and enthusiasm of our amazing volunteers that Oxfam can change lives and work toward building a fairer and more sustainable world for everyone.”

So, why not lend some time to your local Oxfam shop, and see what you can do for people and planet!

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World Refugee Day: We can do more for young people seeking refuge on our shores

Photo: Pablo Tosco / Oxfam

New research puts forward recommendations for treatment of unaccompanied minors in Europe

The theme for this years World Refugee day is ‘together we heal, learn and shine’. And we can, but as our new research report reveals – we can definitely improve how we do things to ensure that we strive to achieve these goals for refugee youth in our care.

While for many teenagers around the world, turning 18 is a milestone – a moment of joy and celebration – our new research finds that for young people seeking refuge in Europe, this is a moment of massive anxiety. As turning 18 symbolises losing support due to the sharp nosedive in our protective legal frameworks.

The report has sounded the alarm about the risks young face – and our governments must now heed them.

The research shines a spotlight how unaccompanied minors (young people seeking asylum who under the age of 18 and have either lost or have been separated from their family or legal guardian) across Europe are falling through the gaps and into situations of extreme vulnerability.

The most worrying aspect of the report is the changes in supports once a young person in the asylum process in Ireland reaches their 18th birthday. 

One of the key tenants of EU law is protecting young people regardless of their legal status. This protection helps shield them from the high risk of abuse, homelessness, and exploitation. Turning 18 does not mean these risks disappear overnight, yet the protection they receive dramatically changes.

No longer considered children in the eyes of the law, young unaccompanied minors can find themselves displaced for a second time.

“It’s hard, because you are just learning how to live with your foster family, and then you have to leave.”

*Reuben, who arrived in Ireland as an unaccompanied minor and since been granted status

Photo: Pablo Tosco / Oxfam

European law rightly ensures that unaccompanied minors arriving in Europe are accommodated in child-friendly accommodation and are appointed a social worker to support them with administrative and legal matters. But in Ireland, unaccompanied minors in the asylum process are in many cases removed from foster or residential care once they turn 18 and are sent to Direct Provision - where they find themselves living in the same room as adult strangers and quite often in a different region to where they were first accommodated.  

“You’re not fully an adult at 18, most Irish kids are still living with their parents at 18.” 

Lee*, who arrived in Ireland as an unaccompanied minor and since been granted status

When they were asked what they would like to change about their experience, the young interviewees noted that they would like to see an end to the removal from foster or residential care to Direct Provision.

One young person said that this change would be good for their mental health and would encourage young people to move forward, as it was very stressful to leave their foster family and was a “a very dark time in their life” (Mo*).

Photo: Giorgos Moutafis/ Oxfam

A second worrying issue that came up in focus groups with professionals and guardians was the issue of family reunification law in Ireland, which is restrictive and has time restraints which give little consideration to the complexity of family tracing (locating a family member they may have been separated from when escaping persecution.) This whole process places a massive responsibility on the young person and can cause considerable anxiety.

"We want to shed light on the traumatic and sudden process of turning 18 as an unaccompanied minor in Ireland. You go to sleep a child in the eyes of the law, and the next morning you wake up an adult and find you are stripped of many of the supports and protections you experienced when you first arrived. The security you  were afforded is suddenly toppled."

Jim Clarken, Chief Executive of Oxfam Ireland

We have written to the Minister for Children, the Ombudsman for Children and the Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Children seeking meetings to discuss the findings of the report and to explore how the issues raised can be addressed.

European countries need to step up. They must simplify asylum processes, set up guardianship schemes, create professional training programmes for people engaging with refugee youth, and invest in transitionary social housing with wraparound supports to help young people navigate the extremely complex systems that they find themselves in. 

Surely we can find a better way for refugee youth who have lost, or been separated from, their families. One that better reflects the theme of this year’s World Refugee Day –to heal, learn and shine together.

The research was conducted through interviews with refugees, frontline staff and researchers in Ireland, France, Greece, the Netherlands, and Italy.

* Names have been changed to protect the identity of the young people who contributed to the research report.

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Broadcasters Lorraine Keane and Maïa Dunphy partner up for Oxfam Bridal

  • Something pre-loved, something new, something for all brides-to-be at Oxfam's Bridal Rooms
  • Oxfam call on Brides to donate their wedding dresses – for people and planet 

16 June 2021

Today, Broadcasters Lorraine Keane and Maïa Dunphy donned their wedding dresses one more time to encourage brides-to-be to book an appointment at Oxfam's Bridal Rooms in Dublin and Belfast.

If you want to find a beautiful dress that doesn’t cost the earth (literally), you can shop with piece of mind at Oxfam Bridal where you will find wedding dresses for all tastes – vintage, designer or pre-loved! Many of the dresses you'll find are donated by bridal boutiques or designers, saving them from landfills, and have never even had their special day. So, if shopping on a budget, you could find your dream dress at a fraction of what it would normally cost.

In the mix, you will also find some beautiful pre-loved dresses, like Maia Dunphy’s stunning Jenny Packham dress – which she generously donated to Oxfam last year. Or Lorraine Keane's beautiful lace detailed dress by Spanish designer Jesus Peiro, which she bought in San Sebastián.

Lorraine Keane, Broadcaster and founder of Fashion Relief with Oxfam Ireland, said: “Your wedding day is a time to celebrate love, happiness and a future together. For many couples, incorporating some sustainable elements or charitable giving into their special day is becoming more popular. It's a great way to have a positive impact on the future of others while you celebrate your love and commitment to that special someone in your life.

“You also don’t have to spend a fortune to look a million dollars. By booking an appointment with Oxfam Bridal today you can browse and try on a selection of beautiful brand new and pre-loved wedding dresses - including my own, which I just donated to Oxfam! From vintage to the occasional designer gown, Oxfam’s dedicated Bridal Rooms in Dublin and Belfast stock all styles and sizes - a selection of which are currently on display at the Frascati Centre in Blackrock - as well a range of bridal accessories and bridesmaids' dresses. And, the extra bonus is, by supporting Oxfam, your big day creates a brighter future for people living with the injustice of poverty.”

Broadcaster and writer Maia Dunphy, who recently donated her wedding dress said: "After wearing my dress during lockdown, to raise a smile and funds for a charity close to my heart, I realised there's no point in keeping my gorgeous Jenny Packham wedding dress locked away in a bag forever. I'm never going to wear it again and feared one day I'll take it down for a peek to find a moth hole in it!

"After seeing a call out from Lorraine for donations I decided to donate it, hoping that someone else will get as much joy as I did out of wearing something so special. I would encourage other people out there to consider the same. You can give your wedding dress a second life – and contribute to another Bride’s special day - while also helping vulnerable communities the world over by donating your wedding dress to Oxfam's Bridal Rooms. ”

By choosing Oxfam, know that the wedding dress you buy will make a difference to the environment and help save lives by raising funds for Oxfam’s work across the world - whether it's reaching the most vulnerable when disaster strikes or supporting people to lift themselves out of poverty by building sustainable livelihoods.

So pay less for the dress and shop sustainably at Oxfam Bridal this year - located on George’s Street in Dublin City Centre and in Castle Court Shooping Centre, Belfast. Over the coming weeks people can see a selection of Oxfam's wedding dresses at the Frascati Shopping centre in Blackrock - where they can also pick up amazing outfits for amazing prices at Lorraine's Fashion Relief Pop-up shop.

Book your appointment with for Oxfam's Bridal Rooms today!

Oxfam Bridal Room in Dublin

Oxfam George’s Street - book your appointment online now, or contact the shop today: +353 1 478 0777 | georgesstreet@oxfam.org


Oxfam Bridal Room in Belfast

Oxfam in Castel Court Shopping Centre - contact the shop to book your appointment today: +44 28 90 231157 | castlecourt@oxfam.org

END

Contact

Caroline Reid | Communications Manager | caroline.reid@oxfam.org | 087 912 3165

Notes

Images are available for use. Contact Caroline for access.

Dress descriptions:

Lorraine is wearing her own wedding dress by Spanish designer Jesus Peiro. The colour is antique ivory. The top of the dress is Spanish lace with a French sleeve length, a scallop edge and covered buttons. The skirt is silk with a Spanish lace underskirt finished with a scallop edge. It has an Audrey Hepburn neckline and covered buttons down the back.

Maia is wearing her own wedding dress by fashion designer Jenny Packham. It is an oyster a-line 'Carmen' dress made from the most beautiful silk . The bodice features amazing beadwork, on both the striking v-cut neckline at the front of the dress with embellishment in crystal, bugle bead and sequins, and at the back on the cross over straps giving it an elegant, Art Deco feel. The dress falls beautifully to the floor with a slight train at the back. 

  • Oxfam can only accept wedding dress donations at their Bridal Rooms:
  • 90% of Oxfam's bridal dresses are brand new and have been gifted to Oxfam by designers and bridal boutiques
  • Oxfam is a global movement of people who won’t live with the injustice of poverty. Together they save lives and rebuild communities when disaster strikes. They help people build better lives for themselves. They speak out on the big issues that keep people poor, like inequality and discrimination against women. And they won’t stop until every person on the planet can live without poverty. Oxfam Ireland is one of 21 Oxfams working in over 90 countries worldwide.  
  • Broadcaster Lorraine Keane founded Fashion Relief in 2018 with Oxfam Ireland. Fashion Relief is a fundraiser extraordinaire that offers people the unique opportunity to bag a bargain from the wardrobe of their style icon or beloved brand, boutique or designer, more recently pivoting to an online interactive shopping channel where people can view and shop from the comfort of their home. Their latest show aired on Friday so there are some amazing items available to buy on – www.fashionrelief.ie. In addition, Fashion Relief has a pop-up shop at the Frascati Shopping Centre in Blackrock where people can also view a selection of wedding dresses from Oxfam's Bridal Rooms.
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As monsoon season looms, Oxfam staff in Cox’s Bazar must prepare for the worst

Monsoon season in Kutupalong-Balukhali refugee camp, Cox’s Bazar. Rohingya women make their way home in the monsoon rains. Photo: Maruf Hasan/Oxfam

Last year’s monsoon season in Bangladesh resulted in catastrophic floods which left one quarter of the country underwater. Almost 1.3 million homes were damaged, hundreds of thousands of people were displaced and hundreds more died.

In the Rohingya camps of Cox’s Bazar, which are home to nearly one million people, more than 100,000 people were affected by the floods. Dozens were injured and 14 people died.

Damage following heavy rains at Rohingya refugee camp in Cox's Bazar. Photo: Mutasim Billah/Oxfam

Heavy monsoon rains can cause landslides and floods, resulting in latrines overflowing with filthy water. As this dirty water flows through the camps, it contaminates everything in its path – including sources of clean water. The result? The spread of deadly diseases such as cholera and typhoid.

The threat of this year’s monsoon season combined with Covid-19 means that Oxfam staff have to be more prepared than ever. But given the crisis upon crisis that has befallen families living in Cox’s Bazar over the past year alone, they will have to plan for the unexpected.

Destruction in the Rohingya refugee camps following a devastating fire in March, which left thousands displaced and hundreds injured. It also destroyed homes and critical infrastructure. Photo: Mutasim Billah/Oxfam

Crisis upon crisis

After all, less than three months ago, a huge fire engulfed four of the refugee camps, separating children from their parents. The fire ripped through the camps at an unimaginable rate, turning 48,300 people’s homes to molten ash and soot.

Food, toilets and water stations were destroyed in the blaze – the same water stations that could help families protect themselves from Covid-19.

“At my age I hardly can go down to collect water. This is Allah’s blessing that Oxfam is giving us water. Now we have drinking water. Life is tough in the camp and now this virus is causing fear among all of us”. Photo: Fabeha Monir/Oxfam

Oxfam's response on the ground

As this summer’s monsoon season looms, our staff will be ready to provide hygiene kits to keep disease at bay. Each kit contains soap, a bucket with a secure lid to keep water clean, detergent, jugs for washing when there are no taps, and sanitary products for girls and women. These simple items are a matter of life and death for families in Cox’s Bazar.  

Our staff will also be preparing to build new water stations and toilets to keep countless children and their families safe from infection.

Families living in Cox’s Bazar have already survived three monsoons. With your support, we can and we will protect them from the elements once more.

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