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OXFAMCloseup, Summer 2014

Harvests of hope

At Oxfam, we know well as Americans how the impact of daily decisions—even the smallest ones—can ripple across the world. For example, what about that cereal we chose for breakfast? It may be produced by one of the 10 big
food companies that are contributing to climate change, which, as you’ll read in this issue, is making it increasingly hard for small-scale farmers to grow the food all of us need.

For some Somali-Americans, decisions by our Treasury Department could have a devastating impact on their ability to send money home to their families who need it for basics like food and medicine. Here, we explore the importance of that lifeline and the family ties that keep it from fraying. Among Somalis we talked with in Minneapolis, I’m struck, particularly, by the words of Sadiq Yusuf Mohamud:

“The entire community wouldn’t exist if there was no interdependence,” he said.

In a way, Mohamud could be speaking for our whole global village. In a world as interconnected as ours, we cannot deny our responsibility to each other. That’s why I’m so inspired by the energy and enthusiasm of a new generation of Oxfam activists, some of whom you’ll meet in our story on page 4. At Bonnaroo, a music festival in Tennessee, and at music events across the country, Oxfam activists are helping us grow the movement to fight poverty and injustice.

Alyssa Hartman, an Oxfam student leader volunteering at the festival, summed up that mission best when she said, “Oxfam really lays the groundwork … on how to be an active and engaged citizen.”

Your decision to stand with us—and be that engaged citizen—will help build a better future for everyone.

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