Your personal response to 2005?
Whether the Global Call to Action Against Poverty will make history in 2005 depends on the response of millions of people around the world. What priority are YOU giving to seizing this moment?
I believe the Global Call to Action Against Poverty will make history in 2005. Either we will win policy changes that reduce extreme poverty dramatically in the decade to come, or become the biggest campaign ever to fail so dramatically. The outcome depends on the response of millions of people. What's yours?
It's a year that calls for extraordinary action and reflection. If you believe, as I do, that 2005 offers unprecedented opportunities to demolish major blockages to poverty eradication, it follows that you will make unprecedented efforts to help seize those opportunities. Or does it? How easy it is for us to get stuck in our individual or our institutional rut.
Whether you are a foot soldier or a general in the war against poverty, try asking yourself: What priority am I giving to seizing this moment?
Then ask yourself: How can I do more? Our options go far beyond what we can do in our professional capacity as workers in the development sector, because our relationships go far beyond our professional sphere. We have family and relatives. We have friends and contacts through our community, our church, our “hobbies”, professional associations and other networks. You can encourage anyone to support your national platform of the Global Call, to wear the white band, to write to their government representative, and so on. If you are a person of faith, seek guidance, through prayer, on which avenues God wants you to explore. The heroes of the Bible are those who listened to God and dared to follow his lead.
Finally, ask yourself: What are my motives? There are many good ones. But only one motive is guaranteed not to leave you disappointed. That is the biblical imperative for followers of God to speak out for justice for the poor and vulnerable, because it is the right thing to do – whatever the chances of success.
Let this motive be our driver and compass as we experience setbacks as well as celebrations along the road. And if enough people do the right thing this year, we will make the right kind of history.
– Mr Andy Atkins is Advocacy Director with Tearfund UK and on the Coordination Team of MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY, the UK platform for the Global Call to Action on Poverty.