Let's take advocacy back to basics. In our world which filled with complicated acronyms and challenging hurdles, it's crucial to remember the true essence of advocacy.
It's a beautiful movement, originating from a place of rights, compassion, and empathy. Despite the challenges it faces, from limited availability and funding shortages to stringent eligibility criteria and legal frameworks, advocacy remains one of the most powerful and incredible forces for supporting and empowering people when they feel most alone.
The unique and wonderful role of advocacy is to defend and represent those who often don't have a voice. Its impact and privilege in people's lives are unparalleled. We should cherish this role and protect it fiercely. Sometimes, when we become entangled in the intricacies of the law, the bureaucratic system, and the inevitable drama that accompanies advocacy, we need to pause and remind ourselves that we are all fellow human beings on a shared journey. Our purpose is to support, listen, encourage, and stand beside others as they forge their own path.
Here are some questions to keep you thinking about advocacy and not lose sight of the basics:
- Are we staying true?
- Are we prioritising people?
- Are we making advocacy accessible?
- Are we protecting the freedom to advocate and speak out?
- Are we measuring and highlighting our impact?
- Are we supporting our workforce?
Advocacy is about supporting people to exercise their power to speak up, be heard, and be taken seriously. It's about people’s freedom to choose how they want to live their lives. In the midst of all the difficulties faced, advocacy remains an incredible force for good, and those of us fortunate enough to practice it every day, have a great responsibility. So, let's not forget the basics: our shared humanity, our commitment to empower, and our dedication to making the world a better place for all.
Advocacy, you are truly amazing.