I want to give full credit to the friend who opened my mind to feminism and poverty primarily and inspired me to deepen my knowledge and lead change. I am actively campaigning for the STANDASONE refugee unity campaign for Oxfam, volunteering for Oxfam, actively running Oxfam Campaigning Society at my school, supporting #HEFORSHE equality campaign, BodyShop Against Animal Cruelty campaign, signed up for and deepening my knowledge with Dementia Friends.
You’re probably wondering why at the age of 16, I care about such big issues. When I look beside me many of my peers are small minded and only focused on themselves and their future but forgetting about anyone else. I don’t want to live a life on this Earth where I destroy it and hurt people, animals etc. I want to live here fully and colourfully by learning about my planet and all the people who inhabit it while improving the lives of others and travelling and taking action to enjoy the experience of living. It doesn’t burden me or overwhelm me.
It sounds a lot…the secret is it isn’t.
What do I believe in? What do I support?: My friend first opened my eyes to feminism and EQUALITY of all genders. I have personally made decisions based on female stereotypes I felt obliged to follow and I am constantly receiving sexist comments for studying STEM subjects. This sparked my interest, it makes me care. Overall I discovered I believe in EQUALITY for all. So minimising poverty, sexism, lack of sustainable material usage, animal cruelty and dementia misunderstanding were topics I wanted to address personally and a list that developed over time. Write a list of things you care about!
What kind of involvement do I want?: Do you want to volunteer, campaign, advertise or simply become more knowledgeable and understanding about a topic?
How much time can I realistically give to campaigning?: This is the trick. I volunteer four hours a week in the Oxfam shop. I spend an hour a week preparing for my society meetings and an hour running it. Then I spend time researching and exploring ideas on the other topics, discussing with friends and family when I can. In terms of my life balance, this IS NOT a large sacrifice but is enough to make an impact. These durations are also very flexible and adaptable. You have got to be realistic in this or you won’t be helping anyone!
How can I make a difference?: Research the charities and organisations that support your chosen topics. How can you help? Contact them for information. Social media campaigns, donations, purchasing from certain websites, bake sales? Knowledge ALWAYS helps. You need to open up and be aware of the world around you.
I hope this has somewhat inspired you or given you an insight into my life.