When international disaster strikes or when humanitarian crisis are occurring, sometimes, you can feel helpless. But there are many ways that you can contribute to international issues from your local areas.
Here are five simple ways you can make a difference locally:
- Write - Writing about issues you are passionate about, highlighting a cause you’re concerned about or calling for change, can make a substantial global difference. This can enlighten people on an issue they may have not been familiar with, demonstrate support for a cause and pressure those targeted to advocate change. The Brighton and Hove Amnesty run an annual Write for Rights - Amnesty describe it as a global letter writing campaign and they express the importance of how words can change people's lives. Writing letters to the press and various other media outlets is also a good way to encourage change, as well as writing to your local MP who will be able to take your concerns to parliament to discuss further. Publications and newsletters are also progressive ways to educate and advocate change.
Amnesty has a local newsletter which provides local information of the work the group has been involved in that month. https://www.amnesty.org.uk/groups/brighton-and-hove -
- Run Local Events - Running local fundraising events or holding public meetings all can contribute to the bigger cause by raising funds and helping promote a message. Running/attending public meetings is also a handy way to discuss future campaigns, fundraising ideas, provide training and bring along expert speakers. Running music nights or comedy gigs for funding can also be fun ways to raise money and help where you can. Brighton’s local Amnesty group frequently run a AmnesTEA where they share tea while simultaneously raising money for Human Rights and discuss ongoing issues. Brighton and Hove Palestine Solidarity Campaign run a weekly stall, usually at the Clock Tower, where they raise money and educate people on any current updates within their campaign. Info of their events can be found here.HYPERLINK "https://www.facebook.com/BrightonandHovePalestineSolidarityCampaign?ref=hl&ref_type=boo
- Connect and Unite - By connecting and uniting with other support groups/people it can create a domino effect of change, and boosts support for the cause. Changing it from a single act from within a local community to a national or even internationally backed up. Also, many larger companies such as Amnesty, Campaign Against Arms Trade and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom have smaller branches in local areas that support the bigger scheme of things within the larger group. Unity is such progressive tool to promote messages, campaigns and events while also being able to spread a cause beyond local communities. For instance, you may not be able to travel abroad to a particular country, but by connecting with individuals or group who can, you can feel just as involved and be more directly engaged in the cause.
- Spread through Social Media - Twitter and Facebook is the most accessible way to share and spread information quickly and efficiently, allowing direct and instant communication with any followers. Many local NGO’s have facebook pages where latest news, views and events are shared. Social media can be used to promote events, raise money, publish stories, share news outlets, spread petitions etc. Social Media does not limit you to just your local communitity, the outreach of social media posts is global and such a tool should be taken advantage of and put to good use.
It may seem that as a local community or individuals it can be hard to make an effective change in the world, but by doing any of the above we are able to give a voice to those without one, as well as promote powerful change in the world.
Here is a list of local campaign groups in Brighton and Hove, or those who have noteable branches in the area and links to their pages:
Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) - https://www.caat.org.uk/ have connections with brighton and other cities such as scotland and London. There website and facebook page share what events/public meetings/ speakers they have going on across all the country. Keep and eye out for any local events coming up. OR run an event yourself, CAAT also provide some suggestions online for how you can raise funds towards the cause locally. https://www.caat.org.uk/support-our-work/local-fundraising