Nerea Zozaya Aguado
My name is Nerea and I’m a 16-year-old Spanish student currently living and studying here in Oxford. After hearing about this student-lead initiative I was immediately drawn, as the issue of homelessness was very prevalent in Warsaw, where I previously lived before coming to study in Oxford. I believe that there is a necessity to create awareness around the issue of homelessness in Oxford, especially because many people conclude that just because it is a developed area with many people living quite comfortably, the issue does not exist: but it does. And in many places like Oxford, it is constantly increasing, especially now during the pandemic and recession. I believe that homelessness is a failure of our society, not a failure of those without homes. Therefore, we cannot turn a blind eye to the misfortune of others, especially when we can utilize our privilege to make a difference. Our main mission in Share & Care is to deliver resources and positively impact the lives of those underserved, but it is also to listen, understand and sympathise with the situation of others in order to better try and aid solve the problem. Being in a team with Shaneh, Immi and Silvia, all of whom are equally as passionate as I am cannot make me think of a better school initiative to be a part of, than Share & Care.
As I am a Chinese, English and Persian born in Switzerland, I consider myself wholesomely international. Having lived in Oxford since I was 6 years old, I feel fully immersed within the British culture. From a young age I have been brought up in an environment which advocates the importance of education and unity. Taking part in Baha’i youth groups allowed me to begin exploring ways in which our communities and world can be improved through simple acts of kindness and service projects. Upon my arrival at St. Clare’s in IB1 I was immediately drawn to the pro-active nature of Share&Care. I wanted to become a part of something special, bring new ideas for fundraising and contribute towards eradicating homelessness in Oxford and raising awareness within the St. Clare’s community. I believe that through spreading awareness, taking action (no matter the size of that act) and inspiring even just a handful on the way, together we are on the road towards helping those struggling on the street begin living a better, brighter life.
As an individual who comes from a household where issues of inequality are debated on daily and after having spent my 10th grade year in the US, nothing seemed more attractive to me than taking part in Share & Care. During my year abroad, economic inequality, among other kinds, slapped me directly in the face, forcing me to appreciate further the masses amounts of privilege I hold. I have committed myself to being as proactive as possible in ensuring the communities I am a part of achieve equality but sadly, there is only so much change we as individuals can make. However, I believe that through consistent use of groups such as Share & Care, the goal of eventually making Oxford homelessness-free does not have to be so far-fetched. After just a few months of participating in Share & Care, I was given the opportunity to become co-leader of it: an opportunity that will allow me not only to have a long-lasting impact on the streets of Oxford and its residents but also hopefully inspire people to do the same along the way.
I am a 16 year old student who has grown up in Oxford, and therefore I grew up seeing the large population of homeless people on our streets. I have always wanted to do something about it, but it is very hard to know how we can help in an effective way. By leading Share&Care along with the fabulous rest of the team, I have been given this opportunity to help make a difference in our community. I am very grateful for this opportunity to fight homelessness in my home! I hope to continue developing ideas to fight this issue, such as campaigning the council, fundraising, and most importantly, interacting directly with the homeless people. Together, we can make small changes, that have a big impact!