Focused campaigning

As someone who both cares about issues of poverty and justice, and who works in the charity sector – and in particular, the campaigning sector – I am on quite a lot of campaigning email lists.

And it feels like lately the number of ’email your MP’ campaigns has increased. I don’t feel like I can take all of the actions I get, and so I end up ignoring most of them, and probably missing something that I consider really important.

So I’ve been thinking about making my own campaigning more focused: choosing one or two causes or charities, and making sure that I’m signed up and take action for those causes. But…which ones to choose?

I was reading the latest issue of Tearfund’s newsletter, ‘Tear Times’ over Christmas, and an article on the issue of hunger really caught my eye.

Hunger affects one in every seven people on the planet. 925 million people go to bed hungry tonight. It’s a massive issue that causes so much pain and suffering.

I’m also constantly troubled by the issue of water and sanitation.

Food and water are two things that I totally take for granted. I have vastly more than I need of both, and I can’t imagine what life is like without them.

The causes of hunger include climate change, corruption, and greed.

The impact of hunger, water and sanitation reaches into issues of health, education, crime, street children and general poverty.

So to fix it, we need to tackle lots of other things. But fixing it helps improve lots of other things too.

However, I also think it’s a fixable issue. With better trade and distribution, and with training, tools and technologies, we can feed everyone on the planet.

I don’t have stats and facts for all of those things, but that all seems pretty obvious to me.

Yes, there are things wrong in our country: with energy and transport policy, with the tax system, with corporate greed, with banking, with privatisation.

There are big global problems too: trade issues, climate change, debt, war, and so on.

But these things just don’t seem important when you consider that there are people who don’t have food to eat or water to drink.

From what I read, Tearfund and a group of other charities are putting together some new campaigning around hunger for 2013.

I’m going to focus my campaigning there. I’m going to write to my MP about hunger. I’m going to send whatever postcards or letters I get to whatever people in power seem important on the issue.

I will pray, I will give, I will read and I will share.

Perhaps you’ll join me?

The plans for 2013 don’t seem to be firm yet, but here’s an action you can start with.

And I’m going to focus my support on Tearfund. As a Christian, I support the foundations and basis of their work and I like that its a charity I can connect with at a spiritual as well as practical level. I know them well and I’m privileged to do some bits of

work for them. I think their approach to aid and development is effective and sustainable. I believe in what they’re doing and I trust them.

It’s not that I don’t care for or support other charities or campaigns. I just think that my campaigning energy is better if its focused rather than diluted. Of course I’ll stay up to date with other organisations and campaigns, but hunger and water will be my focus, and Tearfund will be my charity if choice.

Here’s to a great year of focused campaigning! I’ll try and keep you updated.