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Oxfam launched their Global Ambassador programme this week, and Scarlett Johansson was the latest celebrity to join. Oxfam International, founded in 1995, is a league of 13 organizations working with thousands of partners in over one hundred countries, aiming to find long-term solutions to economic and social injustice.

Ms Johansson recently accompanied Oxfam on a trip to India and Sri Lanka to meet young Dalit girls in a rural school, women campaigning against domestic violence and humanitarian workers. She said, “Once you’ve met amazing people like the Dalit girls I met on my trip you just can’t turn your back. I was shocked by a lot of what I saw, but seeing the fantastic work Oxfam was doing I also felt that there was hope.”

Other Ambassadors in Oxfam’s programme include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Colin Firth, Dame Helen Mirren, Minnie Driver, Gael Garcia Bernal and Annie Lennox.

“I’m in this fight for the long term,” says Lennox. “The outcomes of the G8 this year are a disappointment and we must not allow politicians and governments to get away with breaking promises around health and education, which are essential for developing nations.”

Supporting Oxfam’s maxim ‘we work with poor people, we influence powerful people, we join hands with all people’ actor Gael Garcia Bernal says, “We have to help small-scale farmers to have a voice and then – together with millions of others – exert huge pressure on decision makers to change the trade rules.”

Actor Djimon Hounsou says, “As an African, born and raised in Benin, where cotton is the main source of income for farmers, it is important for me to join forces with Oxfam, an organization that works to fight against the unfair trade laws that keep farmers poor and unable to provide for their families. Subsidies in developed countries are killing the chances of hardworking farmers in Africa of earning a decent wage. It is an honor to
be able to represent Africa and Oxfam when I’m meeting with the powerful politicians that create these laws.”

Oxfam’s International Artist Liaison Manager, Claire Lewis, says of the new Global Ambassador programme, “Our Ambassadors are listened to across the world, and their support helps to give a voice to people who would not otherwise be heard. Through their work, Oxfam’s campaigning messages can reach a much wider audience and have a huge impact on decision makers. We are delighted to have so many credible and passionate Ambassadors from across the globe.”

The name “Oxfam” comes from the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief, founded in Britain in 1942 during World War II. Today, Oxfam International is involved in development programs, emergency work, research and lobbying, and campaigning to raise awareness.

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