For World Vision, advocacy is an essential element of seeking change for the poor and oppressed. Seeking justice through changes in policies, structures and attitudes is as important as our humanitarian and community development programs.
As a Christian organisation, World Vision draws strength and hope from the belief that God loves, and is continually involved in, the world around us. Throughout history the church has been intricately involved in bringing about positive change for the poor and oppressed. We also know that when we are generous with the small things we have, God can help that grow into something big. With God, our five loaves and two fish can feed thousands!
What’s this got to do with activism?
The word “activism” can carry both positive and negative connotations, and not many would quickly associate it with “faith”. However, the Christian faith carries within it a rich legacy of activism in a variety of forms. Christians have often been at the forefront of intentional action to change systems and structures than allow poverty and oppression to flourish.
Being active advocates against poverty and injustice consistently involves drawing from the prophetic tradition in the Bible and life of Jesus to speak truth to power (even if it is unpopular) and seeking to restore broken power relationships between people and their leaders.
For World Vision, identifying and practising the strong connections between faith and activism is an indispensable element of Christian discipleship and seeing God’s will on earth as in Heaven.
What we are doing
Advocacy and seeking justice is not something that can, or should, be done in isolation. We recognise our own limitations and shortcomings in following Jesus’ example and so seek relationships and partnerships with the church and other community organisations in our advocacy.
One such example is Micah Challenge – a coalition of Christian organisations, church bodies and individuals aiming to deepen people’s engagement with the poor and to be advocates on their behalf as an integral part of the Christian faith.
In 2011, World Vision and Visions Generation partnered to run "Faith and activism" series that aimed to provide young people with an opportunity to discuss the links between these two concepts and how the Christian faith might motivate and inform our responses to global issues (such as human trafficking).
In 2012, World Vision aims to continue providing opportunity for discussion and learning around the links between faith, activism and Christian discipleship.
Check back on this page for information later in 2012, or sign up to Pulse newsletter