When people become involved in seeking justice for others, they often need the help, support and guidance of local non-governmental organisations which represent local concerns. As people gain confidence in their ability to advocate for changes for the better on a local scale, they may feel more confident about raising their concerns at a regional level.
Local advocacy work can have only a certain amount of impact. National influence is frequently required to ensure human rights are defended. This involves advocacy work at a national or international level. NGO staff may be able to provide information on legal issues, guidance on what actions to take and be willing to make their office facilities available. They can share learning and case studies from other countries. Some NGOs may be able to raise advocacy issues at international level. Christians may consider entering more fully into the decision and policy making of their country by becoming politicians.
- Read Exodus 2-5. These stories about Moses show different stages of advocacy and different approaches we can use when acting as an advocate. Firstly, we need to be fully aware of the situations of others and to feel compassion for them (Exodus 2:11). Who do we feel God may be wanting us to help? How can we learn more about their situation?
- In Exodus 2:15 to 3:22 we learn that it takes many years before Moses is called by God to go to Pharaoh and bring God’s people, the Israelites, out of Egypt. How did God equip Moses (4:1-9)? How may God be preparing and equipping us to take future action? What dangers are there in rushing into a situation to try to help people?
- Moses could have remained in his comfortable position, as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. However, he gave up his privileged position to help the Israelites. Have we counted the cost of helping others? Are we willing to make any sacrifices involved?
- We read in Exodus 4:10-31 that Moses is given the help of Aaron and the support of the Israelite leaders. Have we identified others to work alongside? What organisations do we know about who work with advocacy issues? How could we find out more? Who else could work with us?
- Moses faced considerable difficulties and setbacks as he tried to change the situation of the people (Exodus 5 to 6:1). How did he cope with these difficulties? What was God’s response? How do we cope with difficulties and opposition? How can we deal with the doubts and concerns of those we are trying to help?
- What examples do we know about from previous advocacy work or campaigns? What encouragements can we gain from these? What lessons can we learn from them?
- How can NGOs working on advocacy issues encourage and guide us in what we hope to do?
Articles 19, 28, 29 UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights