At Oxfam, we know when people come together and take action it works!
We’re looking for university students who:
- Want to end poverty
- Feel angry about the injustice they see around them and worldwide
- Have an interest in standing up and speaking out – to push people in power to make positive social change happen
“I think being part of student activism is important because it is an opportunity to make a difference in your community and beyond. It gives us a voice and it is also great fun knowing you’re part of the change.” Susi, Oxfam Bristol Student Activist.
Sophie is the Youth and Community Organiser for Oxfam, and manages the University Student Activist Network. Here she explains the power of campaigning, and how you can join us.
I feel as if campaigning for change is in my DNA. I have dressed up as a giant pencil in Melbourne city centre to defend human rights, mentored youth climate activists, founded my own food waste organisation, and now I manage Oxfam GB’s National Student Activist Network.
Campaigning is a powerful tool we have to challenge decision-makers. It is about planting a seed that then starts to grow. I spoke to my brother recently about how the UK is sending weapons to the Saudi-led coalition bombing Yemen. He felt compelled to make his voice heard and sign our petition to urge foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to do all he can for people in conflict-affected states. You can call on the government to stop fuelling the conflict in Yemen too.
Every action, no matter how small, can go a long way to creating the change we want to see, even if it feels at the time that we aren’t getting anywhere. My job at Oxfam is to help you build the skills, experience and confidence needed to take action on the things that you care about.
“Before I knew about the opportunity to be a campaigner for Oxfam, I knew I wanted to get involved in activism in some capacity. My initial motivation was [stopping] climate change but I was starting to feel overwhelmed by the state of the problem. Then I came across Oxfam’s Youth Activist page and saw how much information and training they provided to facilitate you in such a wide variety of incredible campaigns – I no longer felt so overwhelmed. I felt empowered and confident to take part in such meaningful actions”.
Jemma, Oxfam Aberdeen Student Activist
People power works – and we can prove it.
Our student campaigners have already pressured the UK Government to promote peace in Yemen. In June 2019 all-new arms licences to Saudi Arabia were suspended. A crucial step that gave people hope. But more action is needed now.
Since the government announced it would once again issue new weapons licenses to Saudi Arabia in July, we have sprung into action. Students have shared template letters, written to their MPs, lobbied influencers, reached out to local Yemeni groups and shown their support across social media. Take a look at this amazing blog from Oxfam Cambridge University society.
“I am a campaigner because I feel that as young people living in a democratic society, we have a voice and the opportunity to speak out for those in the world that do not have the freedom to do so. I campaign to raise awareness of humanitarian crises and social injustices that are happening right now. By joining together, we can make change happen and positively influence the lives of others.”
Hannah, Oxfam Durham Student Activist
Whether it’s spreading the message about the UK’s role in the Yemeni conflict, calling for refugee families to be reunited in the UK, campaigning for action on the climate crisis or demanding that supermarkets protect their workers – each and every action has led to change.
We have achieved some amazing things in the last year; we called on supermarkets to improve their commitment to protecting their workers and now Lidl have made three promises to protect human rights. We hosted Museum Without a Home at universities across the country, the award-winning exhibition that has quite literally travelled the world!
Over 3,000 people took action calling on the UK government to reunite refugee families. We held events across the UK demanding urgent action to tackle the climate crisis, and handed in our Climate Emergency letter to Downing Street.
“I am lucky to live in a peaceful and democratic continent. I am fighting to allow people living in war-torn countries or dictatorships to have this opportunity too. I have campaigned to highlight the humanitarian consequences of the war in Yemen. During the lockdown, I raised awareness on social media about the necessity for civilians to have a global ceasefire, in particular in Yemen. On that occasion, I attended the online open discussion organised for Oxfam student activists. Which action(s) do you want to do to highlight the humanitarian consequences of the war in Yemen?”
Quentin, Oxfam MMU Student Activist
“We are living right now this second with the power as UK citizens to make a difference. So why wouldn’t we.” Amy, Oxfam UEA Student Activist