starting my internship for Oxfam Novib in February, two busy months have almost
passed. Gradually, I have learned about the work that Oxfam Novib does, both in
the office in The Hague as in the country offices. However, a comprehensive
understanding of this remains hard to get for anyone outside of the
organization as well someone beginning at Oxfam. I believe the work Oxfam Novib
does together with local organizations and other Oxfam affiliates is very
important and I am sure I am among many. However, to really appreciate
something, you have to know it is happening and, when talking to my friends, I noticed
that a lot of them that do not know what organizations like Oxfam Novib are
doing to work towards a better world.

In our
digitalized world, information on what is happening in other countries reaches
people mainly through the Internet. This can be on all social media and/or news
websites, and these websites draw in millions of views. We have seen that when
a story or video ‘goes viral’ this means it goes across the globe in matter of
hours. For organizations, like Oxfam Novib, this means that in the Internet
awaits a platform that can bring attention to specific issues. Global injustice
in the form of gender inequality, land grabbing, child marriage and so on, is
considered to benefit from having more public attention. But the big question
is how to approach something as immense as the Internet and how to use it the
right way to draw people’s attention?

NGO’s do not
want to come across as being too commercial when approaching people to join
their efforts and to spend enormous amounts of money on public campaigns; money
that could be used in a more effective way within their programmes concerning
more important issues. However, providing content on social media that could
potentially show more people the work Oxfam Novib and its partners are doing,
could benefit the organization in the long run. Seeing as NGOs find more of
their funding is coming from private sector donors, the need to appeal to
companies is greater. Well-thought out social media content could possibly help
get the attention of more donors as well as the general public. During my
internship I want to find out more about NGO’s and how social media content can
help the work of Oxfam Novib.

This blog is written
by Larissa who is interning with the Youth as Active Citizens team. She has a
bachelor in International Relations and is currently writing her thesis as part
of the master Political Science at Leiden University. She has blogged before for
the Leiden University master website  “Het Leids Kwartiertje”. At Oxfam
Novib, we have come to know her as an enthusiastic team player who is always up
interesting discussions and fun activities with the other interns. 


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