In 2006, nearly 500 million people across the globe watched the televised ceremony and the organisers expect that figure to be even bigger this year. Oxfam’s partnership events during the festival will include a business forum, a charity celebrity cricket match and film showings. These events will take place across five major cities in Yorkshire – Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield, York and Hull.
More than 200 Oxfam shops will be joining the IIFA celebrations with window displays on an Indian cinema theme, while temporary Oxfam shops selling Fairtrade products will be set up at event sites. Youth activities including movie parties, fashion shows and eBay competitions will also be organised for the IIFA weekend.
Oxfam Director Barbara Stocking said,
“Oxfam seized the opportunity to be part of the IIFA celebrations. We will be bringing Oxfam’s messages of change and celebration of life to the awards and show how we work with people from different ethnic backgrounds, including from South Asia, in different ways. People get involved with Oxfam through shopping, donating, volunteering or joining our global campaigns, all to fight injustice and bring an end to extreme poverty.
Oxfam welcomes people from across the world and from all different walks of life to join Oxfam in its vision for a just world and, because so many people share these values, events such as the IIFA awards open up excellent opportunities for collaboration and action.”
As well as being supported by a host of British and American stars including Dame Helen Mirren, Colin Firth, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Martin and Monica Ali, Oxfam’s campaigns have been championed by Indian stars Nandita Das, Rahul Bose and singer Rabbi Shergill.
Through the partnership with IIFA, Oxfam will showcase its work with communities, allies and partner organisations in UK and in the South Asian region where Oxfam works with others for long-term development and emergency work, and campaigning for a fairer world.
Oxfam has had strong links with South Asia ever since it responded to the famine in Bihar in 1951. Since then Oxfam teams have responded to a range of emergencies from refugee crises to earthquakes and, especially recurrent disasters of droughts, cyclones and floods that plague this region. The charity mounted large-scale responses to the earthquakes which hit Gujarat in January 2001 and Kashmir, Pakistan and northern India in October 2005, and to the massive tsunami, which affected the region in December 2004. Oxfam works with poor people in the South Asian countries to help them cope with recurrent disasters. Often, no lives are lost and there is minimal asset loss in villages where Oxfam and its partners work on preparing for the recurrent disasters.
Oxfam is also working on long-term programmes in the region to help and support the poorest and most marginalised members of society. This work includes projects focusing on livelihoods, gender equality, disaster preparedness and response, poor girls’ education, response to conflict and peace-building, and HIV/AIDS and campaigns on violence against women and the Millennium Development Goals.