A hunger for campaigning

Last month I ran a workshop in Colombo for some community groups working to promote the rights of migrant workers both leaving and returning to Sri Lanka.

What was starkly noticeable for me was their hunger for knowledge and practical advice to help their advocacy work. They were not at the start of their project or their advocacy; they had been running support services for many years and had been trying to develop their advocacy to address some of the issues revealed to them by their operational work.

And they had reached a stage when they were just hungry for anything that might help them move their advocacy on to help them achieve impact for their communities. In particular I will not forget the Tamil groups at the workshop; they were so hungry for knowledge and advice. Each time I spoke, I could feel them waiting with anticipation for their translator to share my words with them in Tamil. And each time I spoke I hoped my words would justify their anticipation!

The more that I do this kind of work – supporting people to campaign around the world – the more that I think that if you have a focus on an issue and a real hunger to see change, then anything is possible. And I hope that in future I can spend more time with people like my colleagues in Sri Lanka, who are not just going through the motions and see their work as just as another job but have a real sense of hunger for the change that they want to see in the world. 

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