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International Relations Students at WUT Visit Oxfam

By Casey Loyet


Oxfam proudly declares “[t]he power of people against poverty.” After visiting Oxfam it is abundantly clear that they do not take this statement lightly. On Monday the 3rd of December, Webster University students studying to earn a Master’s in International Relations had the privilege of visiting Oxfam Thailand. The group of students was led by Dr. Latifa Laghzaoui, a professor at Webster University Thailand (WUT).

oxfamThe students were greeted by Ms. Chinnarat Buttho, Senior Human Resource Officer at Oxfam Thailand. Ms. Buttho gave an in-depth presentation on the mission of Oxfam Thailand, as well as examples of how Oxfam is working to achieve their goals. Gender Justice and Food Justice are two of their largest programs. Campaigns that fall under these programs include the Supermarket Campaign and the Save Our Daughters Project.

Next, the group had the pleasure of speaking with the Campaign Officer of Oxfam Thailand, Ms. Nawaphon Supawitkul. Ms. Nawaphon Supawitkul and Ms. Chinnarat Buttho gave a thorough explanation of Oxfam’s Save our Daughter Project as well as Oxfam’s Supermarket Campaign, called “Behind a Barcode.” Behind a Barcode puts pressure on supermarkets which act as the middle man in the food distribution chain. Oxfam works to engage with and score supermarkets, based on their policies. Ultimately, the Supermarket Campaign aims to eliminate unethical products that end up on the shelves within these stores. Important steps in achieving this mission include educating consumers and holding store owners accountable. The Save Our Daughters Project takes a child protectionist approach, while working with vulnerable populations. This program assists individuals who have experienced rape, who have been exposed to child trafficking, and teen mothers.

Last but not least, the students met with Ms. Suntaree Rangkusone,  the Country Director of Oxfam Thailand. Ms. Rangkusone invited the next group of Dr. Laghzaoui’s students to conduct project visits. This will allow students to view the implementation of Oxfam’s projects first hand. Ms. Rangkusone further mentioned the possibility of future students partnering with Oxfam while conducting their research.

The WUT students thoroughly enjoyed their visit. The Oxfam hosts were kind, welcoming, and informative. They each provided the students with useful and thought-provoking accounts of their work. While reflecting on the experience GMAIR student Cassidy Winters, concludes that visiting Oxfam was “so informative and it was a great experience to learn about the projects going on in Thailand!” Webster University is grateful and wishes to thank Oxfam, for their hospitality and insight.