Balloting for the RAG charities vote which took place last week, closed on Thursday 9th February at 6pm. Oxford Raise and Give supports four charities a year; two national or international, and two local. The charities, chosen in a ballot each year share the profits of RAG’s fundraising activities over the course of the next academic year.
This year sixteen charities were in the running to receive funding. Six local charities missed out on funding; SAFE!, Farmability, Keen, Aspire, Jacari, Young Women’s Music Project. Those local charities who won the vote were Oxford Homeless Pathways and OSARCC (Oxfordshire Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre).
Oxford Homeless Pathways is a charity which runs the O’ Hanlon House and Julian Housing projects. Started as a provider of emergency overnight accommodation they now assess and rehouse adults without homes. They also offer training and support to these adults to develop their skills. OxHOP, as the charity is otherwise known, also runs Oxford Homeless Medical Fund which supports the medical services which provide for homeless people in the area.
OSARCC offers support to female survivors of sexual violence in Oxfordshire. They run counseling, advocacy, a helpline and email support to the women for whom they provide. Run as a collective by women of all backgrounds the charity, set up in 1979, also delivers consent workshops to schools. The consent programme delivered to Oxford University students was developed in collaboration with the charity. In the past year they supported 465 women. They are the only such specialist organisation in the area.
Oxford Rape Crisis showed their thanks to those who voted, saying on Twitter: “Huge thanks to everyone who voted for us in #ragballot2017 we’re ecstatic to be one of the charities supported by @oxfordrag in 2017/18”
The two national and international charities to receive funding from RAG this year are The Against Malaria Foundation and Education Partnership Africa. The first of these aims to help protect people from malaria through the provision of long-lasting insecticidal malaria nets. They also track and report on malaria. Malaria kills at least 500,000 people a year and the charity hopes that by providing, and ensuring the use of nets which cost just £2 a person, they will fight the disease.
Education Partnership Africa, the second international charity to be awarded funding from RAG in the upcoming year, focuses its work in Africa. Their aim is to ensure those of school age receive a good education. By collaborating with Ugandan and Kenyan schools, and through their use of volunteers, they invest in resources and facilities and improve the education of many.
Currently, the organisation contains many Oxford University students and alumni but they hope to expand their volunteering system to incorporate volunteers from other universities.
Although RAG’s fundraising will be split between these four student-elected charities, they are keen to emphasise that they also “often raise money for other charities by facilitating events which take place in colleges.”