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The days of traditional fundraising are long gone, and charities are discovering innovative ways to engage new audiences. Oxfam is no exception. This month, the international development agency has launched OXJAM, a month-long festival of ‘gigs for good’, where proceeds from concerts and parties are donated to important development work around the word.
“OXJAM is an awesome way to engage with a new demographic,” says Nadia, Events and Fundraising Coordinator for Oxfam Australia. “It’s definitely a way to get the Oxfam message out to a wider audience but equally a way to easily donate money through a party or gig rave that you might already have been going to. It’s a win-win.”
OXJAM started in the UK in 2006 and has grown to more than 50,000 musicians who have played to over a million people at thousands of venues. Plus the line-ups are of a (seriously) high calibre with iconic artists including Jarvis Cocker, T.E.E.D, Fatboy Slim, Hot Chip headlining past shows.
Australian artists have embraced the concept too, by coming on board and playing for free to support Oxfam’s development and disaster relief work. Yolanda Be Cool hit the festival off at the MTV x OXJAM launch in Sydney last week. Ara Koufax and the I Oh You DJs will be playing at Shadow Electric in Melbourne on August 15th and Joyride will play in Sydney at the end of the month at the One Day Sunday’s party.
When one in three people live in poverty, it’s inspiring to see the music community maximise their talents and mobilise the power of people to make a difference.
Volunteer gig-makers can choose from a few different Oxfam programs to support:
1) Disaster Risk Reduction: Preparing communities for damage caused by natural hazards like earthquakes, floods, droughts, and cyclones.
2) Water and sanitation: One in eight people cannot access clean water, claiming more lives over the past century than any other health issue. From drilling bore holes and sinking wells to installing rainwater tanks and building toilets, Oxfam’s public health engineers and public health promotion specialists work with poor communities in more than 20 countries to find the right solution and achieve the best possible health outcome.
3) Gender work: Globally, women represent 70% of people living in poverty; they make up two-thirds of the world’s workforce, yet only earn 10% of total income; and one in three women have experienced physical or sexual abuse in their lifetime. The gender quality programs help women all over the world to strive towards equal rights in their homes and communities.
4) Oxfam’s general fund, which will be directed to where it is needed most at the time.