Oxfam is today launching the latest phase of its groundbreaking fundraising campaign 'See For Yourself', starring mum-of-five, Abbie Viveash (48) from South Wales. The campaign aims to show the real and lasting difference that regular donations make to the lives of people living in poverty through the eyes of an impartial member of the public.
After launching a UK-wide search earlier this year, self confessed cynic Abbie was chosen to embark on this once in a lifetime opportunity. Abbie, a former psychiatric nurse now studying for a Psychology degree, left her children for the first time and travelled to Malawi to see Oxfam's work for herself.
As one of the poorest countries in the world, many people in rural Malawi live in extreme poverty. Abbie visited an Oxfam project aimed at ensuring the community has enough food all year round, by supporting them to grow more drought resistant crops and improving irrigation. Abbie met the local people, asked questions and reported back with her 'no holds barred' experience of Oxfam's work helping communities out of poverty.
Abbie's trip showing her very personal and unscripted view of Oxfam's work in action was filmed and forms the basis of the campaign, which launches today, with television, radio, print and online advertising. The campaign aims to encourage more people to donate to the charity on a regular basis.
Abbie said: "I've always thought that charities were worthy causes but I was one of the cynical masses that worried about where the money actually goes. You really need proof that the money that you're giving is going to the place that it was intended to go to.
"The trip to Malawi was a real eye-opener. It showed me just how much Oxfam's help is making a difference to the families I met. Their crops are flourishing, their agricultural knowledge is increasing and they readily share this with other people in the village. The sceptical, cynical people that say that £3 a month is not going to make any difference - it does make a difference. It's inspiring and it's giving them hope - they're empowered."
Oxfam's Paul Vanags, Head of Public Fundraising said: "Regular donations make Oxfam's life-changing, life-saving projects possible but we urgently need to do more. We believe that the most powerful way to encourage more people to give is to show them our work through the eyes of someone impartial who's never seen it before, such as Abbie. We hope when people see the work that Oxfam does they will be as confident as we are about the impact regular giving can have on fighting global poverty."
For more information go to www.oxfam.org.uk/seeforyourself
To download photos of Abbie on her trip to Malawi go to: http://wordsandpictures.oxfam.org.uk/?c=12195&k=a780d21f43
For media enquiries please contact Sophie Bowell in the Oxfam Press Office on 01865 472254 / firstname.lastname@example.org