Many Nigerians, every day, are concerned about various issues that border from economy to health to education to social development. Many of us wish we could do something about it and many of us are doing something about it through advocacy. The majority of those working on advocacy has also been
engaged at the community level mobilizing for change. Today’s post discusses the possibility of social change to reduce social inequalities that undermine peoples’ opportunities to equity and economic
prosperity, and the role of community mobilization in facilitating such change. So how do you begin to mobilize for a social change?
- Firstly, you need to identify a problem in your community or society that tickles your passion. An issue that you feel very strongly about. It could be degradation of the environment, social injustice, human rights abuse, etc. Don’t be discouraged when people ask you why you choose to advocate for a particular issue over another one which in their opinion is more important. For instance, someone might ask you, why are you advocating for the environment when there is so much injustice around. Don’t be perturbed, there is definitely someone else, whose interest is advocacy against injustice.
- Now that you have identified your passion, begin to talk to friends who you think will support your cause. Invite people to come and be part of something bigger than themselves.
- Approach community leaders and authorities within your community and discuss the problem with them.
- Ask your supporters to refer friends and family. From school to places of worship, to the gym, to professional organizations, and social media, your supporters are in meaningful places you can’t always be. Arm your supporters with creative ways to evangelize on your behalf and make it easy for them to invite their friends and family to join them in supporting your cause.
- Encourage the people who support your cause to write an online review or anywhere else they can. A positive review can go a long way in impacting the impressions of prospective donors.
- Win real, immediate, concrete improvements through short-term, attainable goals (otherwise known as “issues”). The ultimate goals may not be reached for years or even decades, but you achieve small wins to keep the movement going.
- Give your supporters a sense of their own power by promoting the self-confidence of your cause and its individual members. Because people who develop a sense of their organized power are more likely to stay active and take on larger issues.
- Continue to engage community leaders, lawmakers and policymakers. Write petitions and get as many people as possible to sign the petition