Cookies on oxfam

We use cookies to ensure that you have the best experience on our website. If you continue browsing, we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all our cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more Accept

Did you know?

Unusual ways that your support is used to change lives ...


Did you know ...

Oxfam wedding dresses

... wedding dresses can beat poverty?

In 2017, 264 brides-to-be bought wedding dresses from our online shop. Together, they raised enough money to help more than 6,000 people avoid diseases by having access to safe hand-washing facilities. So if you’re engaged and want to make sure your big day makes a big difference to people in poverty – or if you know someone else who’s tying the knot – check out our range of vintage, pre-loved and brand new wedding dresses.

... we sometimes give people pants?

After Christmas many of us find ourselves sporting the new socks and smalls we found in our stockings. But did you know we also give out underwear in emergencies? If you’ve fled conflict or disaster in a hurry, packing pants isn’t going to be top of your list. But when you find somewhere to try and recover, little things like this can make a huge difference.

There’s no doubt buying Christmas cards is a life-changer

Ever wondered whether buying Christmas cards from Oxfam really makes a difference? Here’s the answer. Last year, the money raised from cards was enough to fund three years of a project that helps children in Niger recover from malnutrition. That project also involves building new water tanks, taps and toilets, so those cards will keep families healthy for years to come – and we’d definitely call that a big difference.

... Extreme poverty has halved in the last 15 years. ?

It’s true. More than one billion people escaped extreme poverty between 1990 and 2015 – meaning they no longer lived on less than $1.90 a day. That’s incredible. All those people, waking up this morning feeling more positive than they did just a few years ago. You’re at the heart of that change, and now we’re on the brink of history. Together, we can end extreme poverty by 2030.

... puppets are keeping children safe from disease?

In Za’atari camp, Jordan, a new band of puppets are putting on a show that could teach Punch and Judy a thing or two. They’re helping children learn about hygiene. Disease can spread rapidly in camps like this, so the puppet show is a great way to teach children vital facts about hygiene and keep them safe from disease.

... a simple solar light could protect people from violence?

The threat of violence makes a toilet one of the most dangerous places to visit for women and girls in many refugee camps across the world. After fleeing life-threatening situations, people need these camps to be a place of safety. So, among other things, Oxfam and partners are developing solar lighting to help make them safer.

... pig poo is helping families escape poverty?

Imagine having no time to earn a living, or for your kids to study, because you’re all too busy collecting firewood and cooking over a slow-burning stove. In Rwanda, we’re giving families ‘biodigesters’ to turn pig poo into a safe and efficient cooking gas. This frees their time to earn a living and get an education – breaking the cycle of poverty for good.


At Oxfam we always learn from our experience – and our toilets are a prime example. We discovered that having blue-coloured squatting plates in our toilets attracted more flies, while having green plates deterred people from using the toilets in some countries because green is seen as a holy colour. And after extensive research, the best colour was found to be ... a neutral brown.

Image 2


We’re hoping that very soon we’ll be able to employ an innovative new development in purification that turns salt water into drinking water. Researchers at the University of Manchester are currently developing a tough, low cost membrane composed of graphene (ultra-thin, carbon-based material) that can effectively filter salt water to make it safe to drink. It could help us save more lives in emergencies, help crops thrive and give communities the chance to escape poverty.