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This Week at Oxfam, 29 April-3 May 2013

Posted by Suzanne Rodrigues Editorial Assistant in Oxfam's Digital Communications Team

3rd May 2013

The biggest news from Oxfam House this week is definitely the arrival of our new CEO, Mark Goldring. He's been getting a full induction over the past month, but he officially became the boss on Wednesday. We've also had staff taking on the Live Below the Line challenge, colleagues moving on and our film-maker Fred making videos for his daughter, Alice. 

Meet Mark, our new CEO
Our previous CEO, Dame Barbara Stocking, left Oxfam in February after 12 years at the helm. To be honest, I probably don't often notice when a new CEO takes over at other organisations, but for many of us at Oxfam - though by no means all - Barbara has been the CEO for our entire Oxfam careers. So it feels like a big change. And an exciting one. I posted a short blog from Mark earlier this week and I hope to bring you more in the not-too-distant future. He's got an interesting CV, having been CEO for both Mencap and Volunteering Service Overseas (VSO), as well as working for the UN Development Programme and being Oxfam's country director in Bangladesh in the early 1990s. In the past month he's visited our programmes in Vietnam, Yemen and Syria to start really getting to know Oxfam's work.  Do make sure you have a look at the video he filmed on his recent to Jordan.

We launched a petition for Syria this week. People affected by the crisis there need more humanitarian support - and for that to become a reality, more funding and better access are desperately needed. The petition calls for the UK government to do more to help make that happen. Please add your name. The weekly update from our Internal Communications team told us more about Oxfam's response, and it also pointed us in the direction of our newly published policy paper, Overtaken by Need

A day in the lives of my colleagues
A friend and colleague left Oxfam this week for pastures new. Hearing the speeches made by the people in her team at her leaving do made me realise how little I know about the jobs my friends do at Oxfam.  She was a Programme Resource Officer for Sustainable Livelihoods in our Programme Policy Team. Put very simply, this meant she was the 'human link' between our policy advisers and our programme staff. Anyway, this got me thinking that it would be good to find out more about what my colleagues' roles actually consist of and I'm going to try to do that in the form of a 'Day in the Life' blog.  Watch this space. 

Living below the Line
On last week's blog, I mentioned that many people in Oxfam House were taking on the Live Below the Line challenge. If you've not heard about it, the challenge is spending just £1 a day on food on drink for five days. It's supposed to raise awareness of what living below the poverty line is like. I have to be honest - I was unsure about Live Below the Line at first.  Aside from the fundraising aspect, I wondered whether spending £1 a day on food and drink could really give any sort of insight into living below the poverty line, when, in reality, it means living on £1 a day for food, drink, transport, rent and everything else life throws at you. It possibly doesn't give you that insight, but it makes people think. A lot. It's been so interesting to hear about the questions and dilemmas people have encountered while doing the challenge and hearing them put those into perspective. There's quite a nice post about it on our Oxfam in the North of England blog

Our film-maker Fred and his videos for daughter Alice
I love this. So I thought I'd share it with you. We have a film-maker called Fred. He has to travel a lot. To stay in touch with his daughter, he's started making videos to send back when he's away. It's a really rather lovely thing. Our designers, copywriters and story-gatherers have their very own in-house blog and they posted some of Fred's videos on there today. Go and have a look - as well as Fred's videos, it's got some really good things on there. 

Have a great long weekend everyone!

Blog post written by Suzanne Rodrigues

Editorial Assistant in Oxfam's Digital Communications Team

More by Suzanne Rodrigues