The Future is Equal

Archives for September 18, 2019

Aroha and gratitude for our volunteers


Oxfam is lucky enough to be supported by countless inspiring volunteers, who make so much possible around the globe.

Volunteers get involved with many, varied aspects of Oxfam’s work; from office administration, to data analysis, marketing, fundraising, campaigning, or helping to make Oxfam Trailwalker an annual success. They generously give their time and skills out of the kindness of their hearts, greatly adding to what we can achieve.

As Sasha Fesenko, one of Oxfam’s Auckland volunteers says:

“Oxfam. Have fun while helping make a difference! I have been volunteering at Oxfam Aotearoa for almost a year, but they still always find ways to surprise me. Maybe it is because I’m not from New Zealand, but it seems to me that it is because of the people who work there.

“A year ago, having recently moved to New Zealand, I was studying English and looking for an opportunity to practise the language whilst also learning more about the world-famous New Zealand work-life balance. The solution was found in volunteering, which in addition to meeting my goals, made it possible to do something useful for people in need. I applied for a data maintenance role in Oxfam and was very worried before my first ‘interview’ in New Zealand. When I arrived, I was met by a smiling and shining Volunteer Coordinator, who immediately made me feel at home and I felt like the happiest person.

“I was impressed with how many volunteers are involved in the activities of Oxfam and how the charity is working at in several directions at once. In my personal opinion, one of the strongest values of Oxfam is connectedness because in some way everyone is involved in each other’s activities and projects, always sharing their ideas with colleagues – whilst also having fun.

“What can volunteering bring to you? A lot! You can improve your skills or acquire new ones, meet interesting and extraordinary people and make new friends from all over the world, gain work experience or learn more about charity work, and of course feel good by helping people. Moreover, as a foreigner you can get language practice, local work experience, references and even a job offer.  

“It’s wonderful to know that as a volunteer, I am making a difference in someone’s life who lives far away. I want to say that I’m grateful to Oxfam for allowing me to be a part of the team.”

Find out more about volunteering with Oxfam here.

Volunteer for Oxfam here

The butterfly effect – In memory and in gratitude

It is said that the flutter of a butterfly’s wings can cause a cyclone on the other side of the world.

In the same way, your individual donations to Oxfam are like the fluttering of thousands of wings that are having an incredible impact all around the world.

We would like to take a moment to reflect on the powerful legacies left to Oxfam Aotearoa, and to celebrate those who have left them. Many of our wonderful supporters have not only given generously during their lifetimes, but have also chosen to continue their impact, by leaving behind a precious gift.

With the permission of her loved ones, we wanted to celebrate the life of one of these supporters. Last year, we received a life changing bequest from Eileen, who had joined Oxfam after the Nepal earthquake in 2015. Eileen was born and grew up in Oxfordshire, and immigrated to Aotearoa when she was 21 years old.

Her dearest friend told us that Eileen was a very independent lady and that she loved exploring the world. As well as travelling to England to visit her family and friends, she also visited some exotic and far flung countries, the most recent being Antarctica. Amongst the delights of travelling, she also witnessed the deprivation that exists around the world. These experiences sparked her passion to make positive changes for our planet and those living on it. Oxfam happened to be one of the three charities fortunate enough to receive that generosity, and we are told that our objectives of working against poverty and injustice were especially important to her.

Eileen’s generosity and commitment to social justice is both incredibly humbling and inspiring. The passion of Eileen and many others; to create a fairer, safer and more just world for all, will live on through their legacy for a very long time. Bequest donations start a butterfly effect that lasts generations, they allow us to us to fund unique and innovative projects and research that we often would not otherwise be able to implement. For this special support we are deeply grateful and extremely proud to pass that legacy forward.

Click here to find out more about leaving a gift in your will and read more stories from our bequest pledgers Pauline, Mary and Diana.

Alternatively, get in touch with Bryony via email at or call 09 355 7415.