Today I’d like to draw your attention to a new (new to me anyway) way to make your voice heard in the fight to end the most extreme global poverty and injustice. An organization called Global Citizen believes that together we can end the most extreme global poverty by the year 2030. Laudable, but crazy, right? Maybe, but the system the have set up to make this happen is incredibly smart. Here’s how it works: instead of working as yet another charity or NGO, they have partnered with a number of existing organizations to pool the support of people all around the world, chiefly to apply political and social pressure on governments to make tangible commitments to achieve specific goals.
You sign up and then from their website you are presented with action items that range from tweeting world leaders to email and letter campaigns to phone calls to congressmen. They do not deny the importance of fundraising but are focused on advocacy to ensure that governments and businesses are playing their part. Individuals can choose the issues they are most passionate about, like advocating for basic sanitation or universal education or changing laws to make sure that women have the education and opportunity to work (it is illegal in 15 countries for women to work outside the home without the consent of their husbands).
What I really like about their approach is that they put these issues right in front of you, making it easy to know how to lend your voice. There are so many worthy causes and organizations supporting them that it can be bewildering and paralyzing to even know how to start. Global Citizen brings these issues and organizations together making advocacy incredibly easy. And, as a reward, each action you take earns you points and the chance to win free tickets to entertainment. Obviously, this is a side benefit, but it turns the advocacy into a kind of game: it makes it less of a duty and just fun to do.
Through this advocacy they have pressured and educated governments to commit to providing funds for universal education, sanitation around the world, and even managed to change policy, all of which provides millions around the world with a greater quality of life.
It’s worth checking out at the least.