Oxfam launches booklet to inspire 'self-defence'

Oxfam has produced a booklet to counteract some of the most common misconceptions about the charity.

The Art of Self-Defence was presented as an example of pro-active public relations at last week's Third Sector Forum by Alan Gosschalk, a member of the ImpACT Coalition. Illustrated with pictures of Oxfam employees striking self-defence poses, it explodes common myths about the charity, such as "Oxfam threw our tsunami cash down the toilet".

The response states: "We did, actually. After the Asian tsunami, we built more than 4,600 latrines across the affected region. Proper sanitation prevents disease and saves lives."

A spokeswoman for the charity said: "This is a way of countering some of the things that are said about Oxfam and the wider sector - the sort of things that get thrown at us at dinner parties and are directed at volunteers in our shops."

The booklet also tackles the accusations that Oxfam spends most of its money on administration and that its bosses go to work in limousines.

The spokeswoman added: "We deliberately avoided being defensive."

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