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Why is Tearfund involved in advocacy?

Tearfund is involved in advocacy work because it addresses the underlying causes of poverty and injustice. Advocacy doesn’t just raise awareness of a problem, it always seeks to change the policies, practices, systems, structures and attitudes that are at the root of the problem.

Our impact in 2020/21

Advocacy around the world

Tearfund staff and partners have been involved in advocacy initiatives over many years, at local, national and international levels.

In the UK, the current focus of our advocacy is the climate crisis and its impact on people living in poverty. In 2021, in the lead-up to the UN climate conference, COP26, we called on the UK Government to take decisive action to help end the climate crisis. We will continue to hold the UK Government to account for keeping the promises made at COP26 and push for more ambitious commitments from them.

Globally, Tearfund, our local partners, and the communities we work with, are campaigning on a wide range of poverty, human rights and environmental issues. For example, we are advocating for governments to reduce taxes on renewable energy technologies in several countries. We are also a core member of the Renew Our World campaign, which is active in 20 countries. This campaign is currently focused on calling for a fair recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and ensuring a sustainable future for all creation.

The church and advocacy

It is part of the mission of the church to speak out against injustice, defend people living in poverty, hold those in power to account, and empower people to speak out for themselves.

Our understanding of this call to responsibility is rooted in Jesus’ command to love our neighbours as ourselves (Mark 12:31). Love for our global neighbours can look like providing help during an emergency or empowering communities to build a better future.

When issues of injustice are causing harm to people, love involves taking action to put things right and working to change systems, laws and attitudes.

Tearfund has produced a toolkit for churches which covers the biblical basis for advocacy, with notes for facilitators and exercises for workshops or study groups.

The church can play a number of strategic roles in advocacy work:

Church and community mobilisation advocacy

Tearfund has been implementing the church and community mobilisation (CCM) process for more than 20 years in at least 25 countries. Through this approach, churches work with their communities to identify needs and mobilise their own resources to address them.

In some countries, Tearfund’s church partners have introduced advocacy into the CCM process. This involves equipping people in the local community to influence the decisions, policies and practices of powerful local decision-makers. They learn to hold local government officials accountable and gain access to the essential services they need.

Case study

Your voice can make a difference

Visit Tearfund Action for ideas and resources to help you put your faith into action to tackle poverty and injustice.

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