Oxfam Canada holds fundraising event at to raise money for drought-impacted African countries

Oxfam Canada raised about $700 Sept. 27 at a fundraiser for humanitarian relief in Western Africa. Funds raised at the event will be matched dollar for dollar by the Canadian government.

Club Night for a Cause provided the opportunity for party-goers to dance the night away, all while supporting Oxfam Canada’s GROW campaign to provide life-saving humanitarian aid to the Sahel region in Africa.

 “A lot of members of Oxfam are students, so we thought it would be a good way to have fun and raise money at the same time,” said Sarah Winstanley, an Oxfam volunteer. “People will be going out on a Thursday night anyway, so they may feel like they might as well contribute to a good cause.”

Oxfam Canada is an international non-governmental organization (NGO) that is presently working to fight the causes of inequality and poverty in third-world countries. By partnering with organizations within these communities, they aim to transform the way that food is produced, and give women more equality in places where they seem to have no voice.

Amy Sweetman, a volunteer and former co-president of the Oxfam club at Oxfam Canada volunteers (left to right) Sarah Winstanley, Jeff Virani, Aamna Hussain and Amy Sweetman hand out information on the GROW campaign to patrons in Commonwealth.

Photo by Ashley Materithe University of Toronto, said: “The GROW campaign is focused on the intersection of food security and women’s rights. Women produce the majority of food in developing countries, but they often don’t have land titles they don’t have a place at the decision-making table, they essentially don’t have equal rights even though they’re the ones working the land to feed the families.”

Until the end of September, the Canadian government has set up a fund to match all contributions made by organizations connected to the Humanitarian Coalition. The government will match any amount dollar for dollar donated through organizations like Oxfam, Care and Save the Children. This doubles the impact donations have, providing even more relief for a region that is experiencing a food crisis due to drought, rising food prices and failed harvests.

Hosting the event for the GROW campaign at Commonwealth was a perfect fit, said the bar’s marketing manager Colin Canning. “We like to be active in the community and support positive initiatives, so when (Oxfam Canada) approached us, it seemed like a natural step. It’s like ‘Oh, you guys are doing good stuff? So are we.’ It was just a perfect match.”

All money raised at the event will go directly to Oxfam Canada’s work in the Sahel region. To support this cause, visit Oxfam’s website and click on the donate button.

amateri@cjournal.ca