Time for Change
The seventh chapter of the toolkit will introduce you to the basics of advocacy campaigns. The seed of social change lies in collective action. When people come together to voice a single opinion, it forces those in authority to take notice. This can take the form of a simple letter or petition. It can also take the forms of street protests and hunger strikes.
As an organization or an activist, when you try to advocate for change, there are additional considerations for you. You have to think about long-term change. Thus, you have to plan your campaigns and activities in such a manner that they will help achieve your objectives in 6-months, 1-year, 5-years or even within your lifetime. If you have financial resources, you are in a better position to conduct advocacy activities, such as holding press events, renting billboards, sending out newsletters, producing documentaries and organizing conferences. These types of activities require both a lot of time and money.
But even as an individual, there is so much that you can do. You can write an opinion-editorial for the local newspaper, you can file a complaint at a government office, you can give interviews about an issue that concerns you to a radio or television audience. This chapter will introduce you to some of the tactics and tools for conducting advocacy programs in Afghanistan, based on our experience.