Give & Take

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 03 September, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 03 September, 2005, 12:00am

IF YOU BELIEVE in helping people fight poverty by using sustainable solutions and would like to get more involved in your local community, an opportunity awaits.

The local office of a well-known non-governmental organisation is on the lookout for volunteers to help implement a wide range of activities and, in so doing, to contribute to alleviating poverty.

Oxfam Hong Kong works with the poor, regardless of their race, sex, religion or politics, to find lasting solutions to the problems of poverty and suffering, many of which it believes are caused by exploitation and injustice.

Activities include fund-raising, advocacy and community education work, such as road-shows and exhibitions.

Volunteers can also find themselves involved in office administration and support work, such as data entry, filing, scanning documents or helping at reception, according to Winnie Tsien, assistant officer for the volunteer development and intern programme at Oxfam Hong Kong.

In addition, helpers are welcome to set up events, participate in crowd control or get involved in fund-raising at events such as the Oxfam Musical Marathon, which takes place every April, the Oxfam Rice-Selling event in May, or November's Oxfam Trailwalker. Those who do not like working outdoors can provide translation, editing and web support work from the comfort of their homes.

While opportunities depend on the nature and scale of the projects, those providing office support are required to commit to helping out at the charity's North Point offices from 10am to 6pm once or twice a week, on a regular basis.

Fund-raising events, on the other hand, are tailor-made for those who can only provide one-off support and are happy to be one in what can sometimes be a cast of thousands.

'[Volunteers] should understand and agree with Oxfam Hong Kong's mission, which works to reduce and find lasting solutions to poverty, a condition caused largely by exploitation and injustice,'

said Ms Shek, a volunteer.

'Depending on the nature of work, they may [also] need to be outgoing, active or have some skills such as computers or languages.'

The perks of helping Oxfam include learning how to communicate with others and work in a team, and deepening one's understanding of poverty, globalisation and fair trade around the world.

NAME: Oxfam Hong Kong

MISSION: Fighting poverty and injustice around the world

WHERE: North Point

TIME REQUIRED: One day to a weekly commitment

HOW MANY PLACES? Three to 3,000