It takes a village to end poverty and empower leaders


Oxfam is an international confederation of 17 organizations working in over 90 countries across the globe to find solutions to poverty and injustice. Oxfam’s work in the Philippines, which started after the People Power revolution, focuses on supporting women, saving lives, and building livelihoods. It is active in disaster-hit and conflict-prone areas, particularly in Eastern Visayas and Mindanao.

“Oxfam’s goal in the Philippines is to help address poverty in the country by reducing the levels of inequality and building a more resilient society,” said Justin Morgan, Country Director of Oxfam in the Philippines.

This can be done, Morgan said, by empowering women and other vulnerable groups, by ensuring accountability, and by partnering with civil society, government, and business in building resilient livelihoods.

Oxfam believes a just world without poverty is possible if individuals, communities and institutions, work together and do their fair share. 

Empowering the poor

Oxfam’s programs, in partnership with local civil society organizations, also educate and empower poor women.

Zahria Muti-Mapandi is a Maranao woman and the head of a Muslim women’s organization in Mindanao. Oxfam helped nurture her advocacy for development plans and gender-based budgeting at the local government level.

 EMPOWERED LEADERS. Lyca Sarenas (center in green) of Oxfam in the Philippines with women leaders of Mindanao. Image courtesy of Oxfam.

In Mindanao, Oxfam’s sustainable livelihood program over the last five years helped local residents address issues such as women's access to markets, access to credit, addressing impacts of climate change, and develop smallholders' business enterprises on organic rice, rubber, abaca, and moringa.

Oxfam also initiated climate change adaptation and risk reduction measures in its rural agricultural communities. Oxfam is well known for its advocacy to call for an increase in public and private sector investments on climate adaptation.

Oxfam also focuses on empowering women to become economic leaders. It has pushed for care work, largely borne by women, to be supported by government programs and shared more equally with men in the household.