As part of Volunteers’ Week 2016, 20 Chevening Scholars lent a hand at Oxfam’s Southern Logistics Centre in Milton Keynes. Oxfam is an international organisation that works with partners and local communities in more than 90 countries to help end poverty through various initiatives, including the sale of donated goods on Oxfam’s Online Shop.

The scholars were given a brief orientation before being split into small groups. They then spent the day sorting and taking photographs of the stock, and helping to place listings online.

‘I spent the day sorting out clothes, which we put online according to quality and brand, and whether they were new or used. We also put photographs online,’ said Sophie Dambe, a Chevening Scholar from Malawi.

The day concluded with a briefing from Oxfam’s online manager, Sara Louise Davis.

‘The scholars managed to list 119 items, which could help raise over £2,000. This money could be used to purchase any of the following things: fix 88 wells; buy 78 goats; buy 194 chickens; and provide 97 toilets kits for a classroom.’

Many of the scholars said it was an enriching experience, with some even purchasing items to help support the cause.

‘It was quite an amazing experience because I realised how beautiful and valuable the things that people donate to Oxfam are. It is also amazing how people volunteer at Oxfam to help end poverty,’ said Tantely Zohasina Razafinjatovo from Madagascar.

Alicia Primo from Guyana echoed this sentiment, saying ‘it feels good to come and do work for charity, using my time and energy to help the poor and marginalised across the world.’

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