What do donkeys, bees, bicycles and a flock of chickens have in common?
These gifts are up for grabs in Oxfam’s annual Unwrapped event at the University of Toronto.
Oxfam Canada was one of the few organizations featured at the second annual International Development and Cultural Week last week on the campus of the University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus. Open to the public, the event aims to raise awareness of international issues in Scarborough, says organizer Katie Boomgard.
“We wanted to give students an opportunity to learn more about how UTSC is involved in international development and culture,” Boomgard said. “We also invite people from the community to see what UTSC is doing in the community.”
The three-day exhibition featured clubs and societies that are raising awareness of global development issues. There was also a photography contest, with pictures taken by participants from all over the world, covering international problems.
Oxfam was promoting its Unwrapped event, planned for Mar. 8. The coffee house event, hosted at UTSC’s Rex’s Den, will feature food, music and the chance to donate exotic gifts to over 20 countries around the world.
“One [gift] that really stands out is a goat, which you can purchase for $58,” Oxfam representative Abe Ku Park said . “It does a lot — it can go a long way.”
The “live” gifts are not about food security, but about “ensuring communities have access to marketable products, like milk, wool or eggs,” Ku Park said.
“We try to spread awareness for equal powers, land rights, health care for all, social justice and what not,” said Ku Park. “We’ve been focusing a lot on women’s rights recently.”
The photography at IDCW week was a major part of the event, revealing first eye accounts of what is happening around the world.
“My booth is focused on Mu Sochua’s activities in Cambodia,” said Philip Skoczkowski, a second-year media student. “Not many people know about (Cambodia) — and I was there. It’s an interesting story.”
University is the perfect place for the community to come learn about these issues, given the nature of the institution, he said.
“In general as a university, as an institution that’s academically researching these issues, I think it’s really important to show the image that’s happening there, and that it’s not all just in writing but for people to see in real life.”
With IDCW week, maybe members of the Scarborough community will start to become more aware of the world away from home.
One goat at a time.