CREATING A CULTURE OF INNOVATION
Published: Feb 22, 2011
On January 12th one year ago, the lives of millions of Haitians were changed forever. As the tragedy unfolded, Americans were quick to lend support. An estimated one of every two US families gave something to Haitian recovery—tens of thousands of them to Oxfam. We were fortunate to have had the resources on the ground to allow us to use that support to respond quickly.
In the days following the earthquake, I witnessed the best in my colleagues. Our staff in Haiti carried a dying coworker miles on foot in search of medical care. In the States, staff drew together immediately, working swiftly to implement our humanitarian response and to rally public support.
In spite of demands in Haiti, Oxfam's work elsewhere continued. We helped people fighting tragedy on an epic scale last year. We responded to crises from Pakistan to Darfur, from flooding in West Africa to tropical storms in Central America. Meanwhile, our ongoing development and advocacy work flourished. By late 2010, Saving for Change, our microfinance program, had reached nearly 320,000 people in Mali. With Oxfam's support, use of the System of Rice Intensification accelerated in East Asia, helping more farmers use fewer seeds and less water to achieve higher yields. Oxfam's work contributed to the Salvadoran legislature passing a new law in 2010 criminalizing violence against women. Our efforts in Peru influenced the Congress there to enact a citizen consultation law that supports indigenous rights. And we achieved a major win in the US with the passage of oil, gas, and mining transparency legislation.
Reflecting on all we accomplished, I am humbled. As the new year begins, I want to congratulate you on your achievements in 2010. For Oxfam's successes are yours: the progress we make is a testament not only to the dedication of Oxfam's staff and partners, but also to the potential of a movement that is fueled by your commitment. Imagine what we can achieve together in 2011.