Social Activism Efforts

SocialActivism Efforts


Oxfamis an international non-governmental organization that operates inabout 90 countries (Oxfam International, 2014). I decided to reviewOxfam International because it applies the basic principles ofempowering people to get out of poverty, which I believe is the onlyviable solution. This implies that giving financial and materialdonation is not sufficient, but educating people on practicalinnovation for members of the society to develop themselves is theway to go.

Themain goal Oxfam is to identify the structural causes of poverty andtheir related injustices (Oxfam International, 2014). Oxfam addressesthe causes of poverty and injustices by working closely with localorganizations or helping the local communities directly in case thelocal organizations lacks capacity to pursue Oxfam goals. Thepursuance of this goal is based on five main values, including theright to sustainable livelihoods, basic social services, life andsecurity, to be heard, and right to identity.

OxfamInternational, which is a non-governmental organization, was formedin 1995 by a group of about 17 organizations (Oxfam International,2014). The name Oxfam was coined by the Oxford Committee that focusedon famine relief in 1942. The main objective of the Oxford Committeefor Famine Relief was to campaign for supply of food to starvingchildren and women living in the enemy countries during the SecondWorld War. The main objectives of the newly formed organization(Oxfam International) were to help the organizations work together toincreases the overall impact on reduction of poverty and injustices.

OxfamInternational allows the participation of both individuals andorganizations in its activities, such as donation and voluntaryservice. Organizations and individuals make donations to theirnearest Oxfam offices that are mainly established in the developedeconomies, such as America, Australia, Canada, and Belgium amongothers (Oxfam International, 2014). Voluntary service is open to anyperson who finds time and passion to eradicate poverty and injusticeas an alternative to financial donation. People willing to givevoluntary service are required to register with a local Oxfam office.

Theefforts made by Oxfam International to fight poverty and injusticerelate to the course topic of poverty. The course content indicatesthat poverty is a social problem that paves way for other socialchallenges (Eitzen, Zinn &amp Smith, 2014). This implies that mostof the social challenges facing the contemporary society are causedby the prevalence of poverty. Based on these facts, the coursesuggests that poverty is determined by lack of resources and power.Oxfam International believes in the same concept, which resulted inthe development of the notion that poverty can be eliminatedempowering people to help them accumulate resources on their own.Moreover, the course explains that the private sector cannoteliminate poverty because it rarely engages in non-profit activitiesthat can empower the society. Oxfam fills this gap by providingnot-for-profit services that are intended to enlighten the society onpractical innovation that it can adopt to fight poverty.

Theevaluation of Oxfam International and its operations enhances theunderstanding of the fact that poverty is a social problem that ismainly caused by lack of resources and social injustices.Consequently, this social problem can only be eliminated byaddressing the underlying causes of poverty. This can be accomplishedby giving all members of the society an opportunity to use theapplicable innovation in creating resources on their own. Inaddition, the decision made by Oxfam to give an opportunity to bothindividuals and organizations to give either financial contributionor voluntary services indicates that no one is excused from theprocess of poverty reduction.

Medecinssans Frontieres

MedecinsSans Frontieres also known as Doctors without Borders is anon-governmental organization that provides humanitarian aid to wartorn areas and developing countries with serious endemic disease. Iwas motivated to study Doctors without Borders by my interest inworking with a humanitarian aid organization after completing mycollege education. The main objective of studying this organizationis to enhance my understanding of its goals, its brief history, andhow to get involved in its operations.

Themain goals of Doctors without Borders include the provision ofmedical care to people in need of it, adhere to the oath of doctors,and being indiscriminate about providing medical (Doctors withoutBorders, 2014). Its mission statement states that all people have theright to receive medical care and that medicine should be keptneutral from race, politics, and belief of persons.

TheDoctors without Borders was started in 1971 following a suggestion byPhilippe Bernier and Raymond Borel who were journalists working witha medical review were named Tonus (Medecins Sans Frontieres, 2014).The founders of this organization were motivated by the increase inthe need for emergency medical care, especially in the war tornplaces. Prior to its formation, a group of young doctors had testedthe viability of emergency medical services in Biafra Nigeria duringthe civil wars that occurred between 1967 and 1970. The organizationis founded on the belief that all people deserve medical careregardless of their social characteristics and the notion that peoplein need of medical care outweigh the significance of nationalboundaries. The organization has conducted several missions indifferent countries (such as Cambodia and Honduras) since itsformation.

Doctorswithout Borders provide three types of openings through whichindividuals and organizations can participate in its operations.These opportunities include financial contribution, donations inkind, and giving voluntary services (Medecins Sans Frontieres, 2014).The organization provides information on how to make financialdonations from any part of the world on its website. However,volunteers are required to contact regional offices.

Theefforts of Doctors without Borders relate to two course topicsnamely, racial and ethnic inequality and the health care system. Thetwo topic indicate how social characteristics of individuals limitstheir access to health care services For example, the minority groupsfind it difficult to access medical care or receive unequal treatmentin health care facilities because of their racial or ethnicdifferences (Eitzen, Zinn &amp Smith, 2014). The Doctors withoutBorders was established to overcome the challenges associated withunequal access to health care without the consideration of socialcharacteristics of individuals in need of health care orinternational borders. In addition, the topic of health care systemaddress the government interventions (such as Obama plan) intended toensure that all people have access to medical care irrespective oftheir financial status or social characteristics.

Theorganization, Doctors without Borders, enhanced my understanding ofthe issue of lack of access to medical care and how all members ofthe society can take part in resolving the problem. The decision bythe organization to diversify its medical services to cover membersof society suffering from serious endemics in the developingcountries is a confirmation that limited access to health careservices is a major social problem. Moreover, the approach used byDoctors without Borders to engage members of the society in helpingpeople in need of health care indicates that every person has a roleand ability to contribute money, time, or goods in kind. This meansthat those who cannot afford the material support can sacrifice theirtime to reduce people’s suffering.


Doctorswithout Borders (2014). The purpose and mission. Doctorswithout Borders.Retrieved June 17, 2014, from

Eitzen,D., Zinn, M. &amp Smith, K. (2014). Socialproblems.Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education Incorporation.

Medecinssans Frontieres (2014). Medical care where it is needed most,independent, neutral, and impartial. Medecinssans Frontieres.Retrieved June 17, 2014, from

OxfamInternational (2014). We can end poverty and injustice by mobilizingthe power of people against poverty. OxfamInternational.Retrieved June 17, 2014, from