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Advocacy week: we can all make a difference

Advocacy week 2021

Learning about advocacy with WONDER made me realise we are never too small to make a difference, for ourselves and for others.

Attending Advocacy Week at WONDER Foundation was an amazing experience. It made me realise that we are never too small to make a difference, for ourselves and for others. I learnt how activism can become policy-making through speakers like the Funnel Group. Throughout this week, I was able to cultivate new skills.

Her Difference: Poorvika

Joining this program was enjoyable and one session caught my eye. Two young women, Poorvika Mehra and Reine Radwan are activists and campaigners. Poorvika campaigned when her university’s policy did not support their students.

University policies should support and protect its students. She gathered other students to campaign to the university about it. She became a hardworking activist and campaigner, challenging other social issues. Poorvika’s activism in her university may look small but it helps future students. The improved policy will assist the students at their time in university. Her campaign made a difference to the student community.

Her Difference: Reine

Reine became an activist and campaigner when she was young. She worked and volunteered for organisations that help asylum workers, refugees and migrants. Reine believes that the integration process is important since it helps them find work. She worked for an organisation that focused on employment for migrants and refugees.

This organisation gave language English lessons, digital skill lessons and provided them housing. By volunteering, Reine made a difference to many vulnerable individuals. She learnt a new language because speaking their language helped them integrate better. Through her hard work, Reine was able to help them fit into their new society and give them confidence. Her support created a difference in others lives.

Developing my skills

The opportunity to learn about advocacy helped me develop my skills and gave me transferable skills. Throughout the week, we had speakers from a freelance journalist to the Civil Service. I have used note-taking skills and listening skills during their speeches.

Yet, this week has given me many transferable skills. The presentation required problem-solving skills to improve the Digital Inclusion Policy. My team used critical thinking and time management skills to write the presentation. The judges reviewed our presentations and I learnt presentation skills. One point from one of the speakers was that it needed more data. We could have used graphs, reports or a case study to support our work.

Even before Advocacy Week, I have been volunteering at the Baytree Centre. I have used research and analysis skills to find funding for Baytree. While volunteering, I have learnt the ability to gather, assess and interpret data. All along, I have been relearning skills, like discussion and group work skills at Baytree.

We are never too small to create change, we can create change for others and for ourselves. We can start small in our communities like Poorvika, or we can help organisations like Reine. Making a difference always starts with you, there is an opportunity waiting for you. You will have to take a chance to make that difference.

Author: Kamina Dumbuya, volunteer at WONDER Foundation

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