This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
” QUR’AN 13:11
THE ULTIMATE CAMPAIGN TOOLKIT
ISLAM IN ACTION!
WELCOME TO THE MADE IN EUROPE CAMPAIGN TOOLKIT
What is poverty? What is campaigning? Organising your campaign Tool 1 Influencing decision makers Tool 2 Getting the community on board Tool 3 Using the power of the media Tool 4 Creative campaigning Now’s the time to make a change Resources 6 10 16 22 28 30 36 38 40
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA. Acknowledgements MADE in Europe would like to thank Oxfam for their support in making this toolkit possible. A big thank you also goes out to Zeenat Azmi, Karem Issa, Afroza Begum, Amun Osman, Nazia Ahad and Lotifa Begum for sharing their campaign stories and inspiring others to make a change. Finally a big THANK YOU to all our volunteers and supporters who contributed their time, energy and ideas during the making of this toolkit.
AT MADE IN EUROPE, WE BELIEVE CAMPAIGNING IS NOT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF OTHERS. AS MUSLIMS, THE FIGHT AGAINST POVERTY AND INJUSTICE STARTS WITH YOU!
Design and print by Mominbranding.com
ARE YOU FRUSTRATED BY THE FOOD CRISIS? DOES CLIMATE CHANGE GET YOU HOT UNDER THE COLLAR? WANT TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT GLOBAL POVERTY BUT DON’T KNOW HOW?
THEN THIS CAMPAIGN TOOLKIT WAS MADE FOR YOU.
At MADE in Europe, we believe that we can empower young Muslims to be at the forefront of the global poverty debate by creating leaders of social change and ambassadors for a better world.
We believe Islam advocates for more than just giving to charity; we are called upon as citizens, people of faith and as human beings, to stand up and take action against the injustice and suffering experienced by over 3 billion people worldwide. We know that many of you are already taking action on some of the most pressing issues facing the world today, but we want to help you do more. This campaign toolkit is a guide to help you change the world and inspire others to do the same. It aims to unravel some of the issues surrounding global poverty and looks at the different ways that you can make your voice heard in the debate. It offers practical advice to get your campaign off the ground, as well as helpful tips and creative ideas to give your campaign maximum impact.
“ALLAH DOES NOT CHANGE THE CONDITION OF A PEOPLE, UNLESS THEY CHANGE WHAT IS IN THEMSELVES.” QUR’AN 13:11
WHAT IS POVERTY?
OVER 3 BILLION PEOPLE LIVE IN POVERTY*
That’s almost half the world’s population. Poverty is a word we are all familiar with, however defining its meaning and understanding its effects can be complex.
In many countries, poverty is defined by income or internationally recognised poverty lines,** however the statistics do little to explain what it really means to be poor. In Islam, poverty is defined as being when our basic human needs have not been met. These are considered to be the ability to practice religion; physical wellbeing (access to food, water, shelter and health care); intellect or knowledge (access to education); offspring and family; and wealth (access to employment and livelihood).*** Islam advocates for a society free from oppression and injustice. To ignore the suffering experienced by people in the world’s poorest regions – namely parts of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East – is to go against the very nature of our being and the principles of our faith:
“Allah withholds His divine assistance from those who need it, if they allow their brother’s dignity to be assaulted and his honour trampled.” (Abu Dawud). In order to be closer to Allah, we must show compassion towards the poor and protect them no matter what our circumstances. However, in order to best follow the Prophet’s (PBUH) words, we need to understand the underlying factors that keep people poor.
“DO NOT TURN AWAY A POOR MAN... EVEN IF ALL YOU CAN GIVE IS HALF A DATE. IF YOU LOVE THE POOR AND BRING THEM NEAR YOU... ALLAH WILL BRING YOU NEAR HIM ON THE DAY OF RESURRECTION.” AL-TIRMIDHI
*World Bank Development Indicators, 2008. **The poverty threshold, or poverty line, is the minimum level of income needed to achieve an adequate standard of living in a country. The World Bank Development Indicators report (2008) defines this as $1.25 a day. ***Definitions of Poverty, Islamic Relief, 2008.
WHY ARE PEOPLE POOR?
In Islam, social injustice is seen as one of the root causes of poverty. Conflict, natural disasters, climate change, international trade agreements and over-population, are all factors that can create conditions for social injustice. This can be made worse by decision-makers, such as governments, multinational corporations and powerful lobby groups, who support laws and policies which favour the rich and discriminate against the poor. Without a just society, people are unable to be selfsufficient. They are denied the right to education, to trade freely and fairly and to earn a living that could provide a better life for themselves and their families. Although charitable giving is intrinsic to our faith, a dependence on charity is not encouraged – it is the ability to be selfsufficient that empowers people to lift themselves out of poverty. This is illustrated in a Hadith where the Prophet (PBUH) gave money to a poor man to buy an axe to collect firewood to sell. The Prophet (PBUH) said that this was more dignified than begging (Abu Dawud). It is therefore our duty as Muslims to create a fair and ethical society that enables people to be self-sufficient.
WHAT IS BEING DONE? THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS (MDGs)
In the last few years, significant progress has been made not only in terms of our understanding of poverty but also how to tackle its root causes. In 2000, the world’s leaders joined together and agreed upon eight universal development goals for tackling poverty. These are known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs provide a framework for the entire international community (United Nations, national and local governments, aid agencies and charities) to work together to ensure that world poverty is halved by the year 2015. They include goals and targets on income, poverty, hunger, maternal and child mortality, disease, inadequate shelter, gender inequality, environmental degradation, trade and debt. These goals show how everybody has a part to play in the fight against global poverty and injustice – including you!
Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger
Achieve Universal Primary Education
Promote Gender Equality
Reduce Child Mortality
Improve Maternal Health
Combat HIV, Aids and Malaria
Ensure Environmental Sustainability
Develop a Global Partnership for Development
Icons courtesy of UNDP.
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
Expressing your views and speaking out on behalf of the poor are some of the most important ways that you can make a difference. Campaigning is about making your voice heard and joining others who share your concerns. But what exactly is campaigning? protests, about getting in the news or about changing the world overnight. It’s really about ordinary people doing ordinary things but with extraordinary results! So give it go! Read on to find out more about campaigning and how you can be part of the change... In this toolkit, we will show you that campaigning is not just for the diehard activist. It is not always about 9
WHAT IS CAMPAIGNING?
Campaigning is not a new phenomenon. In fact, people have been campaigning throughout the history of mankind – it’s just that the word ‘campaigning’ had not been invented yet! In Britain, William Wilberforce and faith groups campaigned to abolish slavery in the 18th century and the suffragettes fought for the right for women to vote in the 1900s. In India and other countries, Muslims played major parts in the campaigns for independence, and more recently, fought to bring about the end of apartheid in South Africa. These campaigners could never have imagined that their actions would lead to decisions that would change the course of history forever. Your actions can also change history. If you have ever worn a red bracelet on World Aids Day, had a chat with your mates about climate change or added some Fairtrade bananas to your weekly shop, then you are already a campaigner! In fact you are one of the millions of people all over the world who are helping to raise awareness of some of the most important issues affecting people in developing countries. Every action that you take, whether large or small, is contributing to a global movement that is challenging the way we treat our planet and humanity at large. Campaigning can take on many forms, from raising awareness at events and demonstrations to online campaigning and publicity stunts, but these are all ways of achieving the same thing – a better world, free from poverty and injustice!
Jorg Peter, Zenobi/Global Campaign for Education
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO CAMPAIGN?
As Muslims constitute over a fifth of the world’s population, we have a huge responsibility to tackle global poverty and to prevent millions more people from falling into the poverty trap. Whilst paying our Zakat, providing for the poor during Ramadan and performing Qurbani are all ways that we can alleviate poverty, Allah asks us to do more than that. He demands that as witnesses to the suffering in the world, we must speak out and raise awareness of injustice. The Prophet (PBUH) commanded us to be proactive citizens reminding us that change starts with us. As Muslims, we must set an example to others by acting in a fair, honest and ethical way. So whether through actions, speaking out, or having the will to create change, we all have a duty to make a difference to the lives of people in developing countries.
James Maiden, WISEN/Oxfam
“YOU WHO BELIEVE, UPHOLD JUSTICE AND BEAR WITNESS TO ALLAH, EVEN IF IT IS AGAINST YOURSELVES, YOUR PARENTS, OR YOUR CLOSE RELATIVES. WHETHER THE PERSON IS RICH OR POOR, ALLAH CAN BEST TAKE CARE OF BOTH.” QUR’AN 4:135
“WHEN ANY ONE OF YOU SEES ANYTHING THAT IS DISAPPROVED (OF BY ALLAH), LET HIM CHANGE IT WITH HIS HAND; IF HE IS NOT ABLE TO DO SO, THEN LET HIM CHANGE IT WITH HIS TONGUE; AND IF HE IS NOT ABLE TO DO SO, THEN LET HIM HATE IT WITH HIS HEART, THOUGH THAT IS THE LEAST OF FAITH.” MUSLIM
T WA NE WE ANG CH
TIME FOR CHANGE
WHAT IS A SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGN?
It is easy to feel overwhelmed when faced with the huge challenges posed by global poverty but you CAN make a difference. Remember that campaigning is about starting small. Every time you persuade someone to sign a petition or encourage them to recycle their litter, you are sparking off a chain of events that could potentially change the lives of future generations in the developing world. Not convinced? Think of the snow ball effect. By raising awareness of an issue and encouraging others in your community to make a positive change, you are making an impact. As more and more people take action, the bigger your impact! Remember that in the eyes of Allah, having an impact on just one person’s life has a greater significance than the action itself: “If any saves a life, it is as if he saves the lives of all mankind” (Qur’an 5:32). On a local level, you can inspire politicians, religious leaders, community groups, friends and family to change their lifestyles and behaviours. If you choose to support a national or international campaign, then your actions could influence politicians and decisionmakers to change their policies to protect or benefit poor people around the world. So don’t be discouraged. A successful campaign is not about changing the world overnight; it is about recognising the small part you can play in the fight against global poverty and then doing something about it – no matter how small. The Prophet (PBUH) said “the good work most beloved to Allah is that which is done consistently, even if small” (Muslim).
SOME SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGNS: PROOF THAT YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Haiti Debt Relief
After the devastating earthquake in January 2010, more than 415,000 people signed a worldwide petition calling for the cancellation of Haiti’s debt. The campaign led by the Jubilee Debt Campaign and supported by a number of organisations, was successful in persuading the International Monetary Fund to cancel Haiti’s $268 million debt in July 2010.
Free Health Care for Mothers and Children
In 2009, a group of 20 pregnant Oxfam campaigners took a book full of personal, inspiring and heart-warming messages directly to Downing Street, highlighting to Gordon Brown why providing free health care for mothers and children in developing countries was crucial. Soon after, during a meeting with the UN General Assembly, the Prime Minister announced a deal to support free health services in Nepal, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Malawi and Burundi.
New Wind Farms to Power 70,000 Homes
In 2008, green campaigners from the North Lincolnshire Friends of the Earth group lobbied local politicians through public consultations, to build two new wind farms. The plans were approved by the government and now 70,000 homes in the area receive clean, renewable energy.
WHAT SHOULD I CAMPAIGN ON?
What are the issues that get you really fired up and itching to make a change?
Do you want to raise awareness of issues within your community or join a larger movement that advocates for the rights of poor people? Not really sure? Here are some ideas.
As Allah’s Khulafa (stewards) on earth, we all have a duty to protect and care for our planet: “If any Muslim plants any plant and a human being or an animal eats of it, he will be rewarded as if he had given that much in charity” (Bukhari). You may want to join a national campaign that raises awareness of climate change, pollution or the over-consumption of resources, all of which threaten the very beauty and balance of Allah’s creation. Alternatively, you could encourage others in your local community to opt for a greener lifestyle by recycling more and consuming less. What about your responsibility to speak out against social injustice and advocate for human rights? Islam particularly reinforces the need to respect the rights of women and the right to education: “To seek knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim” (Al-Tirmidhi). It also speaks clearly on the right to trade freely and fairly and the right to a livelihood without exploitation. 14
MADE A DECISION? ALL FIRED UP AND READY TO GO? NOW READ ON FOR TIPS AND ADVICE TO GET YOU STARTED...
“MY PEOPLE, IN FAIRNESS, GIVE FULL MEASURE AND WEIGHT. DO NOT WITHHOLD FROM PEOPLE THINGS THAT ARE RIGHTLY THEIRS.” (QUR’AN 11:85)
Whether you support an existing campaign by a human rights organisation or talk to people about the impact of their weekly shop, you are taking action on some of the most pressing issues facing our world today.
ORGANISING YOUR CAMPAIGN
Okay, so now you have your issue – what happens next?
Well that really depends on how much you want to get involved. If you’re short of time or you don’t have the resources to organise something yourself, then why not support someone else’s campaign? Whether you sign a petition or attend an event, you are still making a difference. Alternatively, if you want to really get hands-on, then think about planning your own campaign using the tips below.
Get clued up – what are you going to campaign on?
Trawl the internet to research your topic. You don’t have to be an expert but what are the basic facts and figures? What are the latest stories in the media? Do Muslim scholars have something to say? Put yourself in the position of someone who might not know anything about the issue – what questions would you ask?
Tap into existing networks – who can you work with?
Get in touch with your local community, youth or mosque groups to see if they would like to co-organise an event or share their resources (they could provide volunteers, provide event speakers or help with publicity). Why not join your Islamic Society or other student societies on campus (Women’s Society, UN Society, Debate Society, Fairtrade, Amnesty International, People & Planet) – they already have a large network of supporters who are eager to make a change!
Decide on the target audience – who do you want to influence?
Make sure that you tailor your campaign to specific audiences by identifying the key people you are hoping to influence. Would it be more effective to target individuals or organisations on a local, national or international level? Remember that in order to have real influence, you need to demonstrate public support for your campaign. Why not start small by targeting your community through awareness raising events, and then once you have enough support, target your local MP or local decision-maker who can put your issue on the agenda.
Deciding on your campaign objectives – what do you want to achieve?
It might be easier to think of an overall campaign aim that you can summarise in two sentences and then fit some smaller objectives under this. See the next page for an example.
C ampaign Plan Overall
C ampaign Aim Smaller Objectives
– To give a presentation on maternal health to at least 50 women in the community – To get 50 signatures on a petition to end maternal mortality – To set up a Facebook page on maternal health and have 100 followers – To hold a small demonstration outside Westminster on maternal health and send my petition to my local MP – I would like to raise awareness of the issue of global maternal health among women in my community
Feedback – what do others think?
At this stage, share your campaign plan or activities with friends and family to see what they think.
Nazia Ahad age 22
Wage war on climate change! “If you’re still deciding whether campaigning is for you, I would recommend joining an organisation so you can attend or organise an event and meet new people with similar interests. When you begin to feel more confident, try planning a campaign with a friend and see how far you get. Whatever you decide to do, it’s important to be PROACTIVE; you need to have the initiative to get things done and get your campaign moving. Approach local organisations in the community to see if they will support you. I was surprised by how supportive my local church groups were; it just goes to show how people from different backgrounds can work together to achieve a common goal. One of the hardest things that I found was maintaining the motivation and commitment I had when I started. You have to make sure you keep up your end of the bargain; a successful campaign depends on what you put into it. It can be hard to balance this with studies and work but, if you have a great team that is as committed and as passionate as you are, then this makes things easier! It may be hard work but it’s also a lot of fun!”
Funding – can I get help?
There are some organisations or trusts that provide funds for campaigning but most, especially charities, do not. Many provide tools and resources (leaflets, videos, posters, petitions) that are free to download. Social media and new technologies have revolutionised the way we campaign so success does not depend on how much money you have behind you, or how much money you raise (if you choose to fundraise). Changing attitudes and behaviour is ultimately what changes the world and this can be done at no cost.
Resources – check out the back of this toolkit for helpful resources
Being resourceful also means making use of your own contacts and networks, using your creative skills to create your own materials (see ‘Creative Campaigning’ section) or using your powers of persuasion to get financial support.
Building a campaign team – how can I encourage others?
If there is more than one of you, you may want to assign roles and responsibilities to each person in the group. Rally friends and family who share your aims to join your campaign or recruit new supporters through Facebook or other social media. Alternatively, join local groups who are campaigning on the same issues – sign up to their mailing list or attend their events to keep up to date on the latest campaign activities.
Lotifa Begum age 20
Campaign for orphans! “It was pretty daunting being one of the lead organisers of Islamic Relief’s ‘Charity Week for Orphans and Needy Children Around the World’ especially when I’d had no previous experience of campaigning, but I was surprised by how much I had grown in confidence by the end of the campaign. My communications skills improved immensely. I had to work with a wide range of people from enthusiastic university students to tough local councils. I learnt to listen, to be patient and to not be afraid of sharing ideas. Teamwork is definitely the key to a successful campaign; it felt good to be relied upon, to know my skills were making a difference and to be a moral support for others. The skills I have learnt have definitely helped me further my career in the development sector. Being part of a campaign looks great on your CV; it shows that you are a passionate, confident and committed individual with a wide range of skills that can be used in whatever career path you choose!”
Decide which campaign tools you want to use – what is the best way to get my message across?
We have included some of the most commonly used tools in this campaign toolkit but there are plenty of resources online. Whether you are looking to influence decision-makers, attract publicity, raise awareness in your community or get creative in your use of materials, then we have plenty of tips and advice to get you started.
INFLUENCING DECISION MAKERS GETTING THE COMMUNITY ON BOARD USING THE POWER OF THE MEDIA CREATIVE CAMPAIGNING
22 28 30 36
INFLUENCING DECISION MAKERS
Jorg Peter, Zenobi/Global Campaign for Education Peter, Zenobi/Global Campaign for Education
You probably think that ‘decisionmakers’ are fuddy-duddy politicians, or corrupt businessmen, who are out of touch with the world, right? Wrong!
Your local council representative, town planner, chief constable, supermarket manager or Imam are all decision-makers who can have an impact on the way you live. They rely on the support of the community, so if you are not happy about a particular issue, then it’s important that you make your views heard! In the section below, we have specifically talked about how to influence national or local MPs but you can use many of these tips to get in contact with any ‘decision-maker’ who you feel should support your campaign.
Lobbying (or ‘influencing’) your local or national MP can be one of the most effective ways to bring about change. The more people that speak out on a particular issue, the more politicians are likely to change laws and policies that could save lives. Don’t believe it? MPs have said that as few as 20 individual letters from voters makes an issue a priority for them. Even if you are too young to vote, your opinion does matter, so go ahead and get in touch. Don’t be sceptical – they do listen!
• Invite your local MP to an event to debate the issues with others who are also concerned. (See the ‘Getting the Community on Board’ section). Remember to invite the media. • Get your Imam or a representative from the mosque to approach your MP on your behalf as this will demonstrate community support. • Look out for public consultations held by the government. They often like to hear your views on how your money should be spent.
Here’s how to go about lobbying...
• Find your local MP’s contact details. These can easily be found online or in election leaflets or posters. Check out www.writetothem.com • Be prepared. Check out www.theyworkforyou.com to learn more about your MP’s interests and voting record – it helps to know if they already share some of your concerns or strongly oppose them. • Meet in person to discuss your concerns around global poverty. Face to face is always best – visit a drop-in surgery or make an appointment. Or if you can’t meet your MP, then write a letter to highlight your concerns. • If you have a visit from a pollster, canvasser or politician, make sure you bring up the key issues that you are worried about.
Do’s and Don’ts
DO make it personal – a personal-style letter has more impact than a generic message sent by everyone. DO remember MPs are busy – you need to find ways to make it easy for them to participate in activities. DO remember that MPs are human – they are fathers and mothers, people of faith and global citizens, so they will be willing to listen! DON’T assume that an MP will know about the issue – they may genuinely be surprised to hear what you have to say. DON’T be aggressive or hostile as this will only antagonise people. 23
WRITING A PETITION
Petitioning decision-makers is a good way to demonstrate the backing you have, but think about your impact.
If you are trying to influence local decision-makers, then creating your own petition and hitting the streets to collect signatures would be far more effective. If you are trying to campaign on a global level, signing an online petition could have a bigger impact. • heck out the websites of leading charities C and campaign organisations that tackle the issues you are interested in; they may already have a petition which you can direct supporters to. • lternatively, create your own petition A online with sites such as www.gopetition. com or www.thepetitionsite.com and share the link on Twitter and Facebook with family, friends and your supporters. • sk your Imam to mention your petition A in the Jum’ah Khutbah and collect signatures after the prayer. Have a copy of the petition stuck on the notice-board of your mosque/local community centres and utilise classes, circles and events in the community to collect signatures. • ontact university societies who might be C interested in your campaign and ask them to distribute a petition via their mailing list or give members the chance to sign it at group meetings. • et up a Facebook group to attract new S supporters from across the world and encourage them to leave comments and links (see ‘Using the Power of the Media’ section). • ubmit your petition to your locally S elected representative and/or present one to Downing Street at http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/ • lternatively organise an event or stunt A where you could hand over your petition. For maximum impact invite the media.
Do’s and Don’ts
ORGANISING A PROTEST OR DEMONSTRATION
Large or small, a demonstration or protest can create a real sense of unity and can strengthen your campaign by attracting press coverage.
They also provide a good opportunity to tell others about what you are doing, hand out leaflets or gain new supporters. Both can be easier to organise than events as they usually can be held anywhere. Protests often get a bad reputation in the media but remember as long as they are safe and peaceful, they are perfectly legitimate.
DO consult your local council if you are holding a march or a protest to see what, if any, permissions are needed. DO think about organising your protest or demonstration during school/university holidays when it is easier to rally support. DO promote your activities – use social media and mosques, cafes or public libraries to spread the word. For example, you could make announcements after prayer times or put up posters to advertise your protest. DON’T lose the momentum of your campaign after your protest/demonstration has taken place. Capitalise on the strong feeling and energy of your supporters – what can they do next? DON’T be put off by cynicism. Try and explain the process of lobbying to people who don’t know much about it, and ask local community leaders (such as Imams and scholars) to help address concerns that people may have. DON’T forget that good organisational skills and communication are essential for a successful protest/ demonstration. Make sure everyone knows where they need to be, at what time, and what the programme for the event is. DON’T break the law. Check out www.yourrights.org.uk and www.freebeagles.org for advice on how to protest legally.
Amun Osman age 23
Stand up for our mothers! “It was really important that I came to this demonstration. It would have been easier to sit back and do nothing but I really felt I needed to help raise awareness of maternal healthcare which is affecting millions of women around the world. Although demonstrations are about highlighting serious issues, they can be so much fun. Today the atmosphere was electric; over a hundred people armed with banners, drums and loud speakers came out to make their voices heard. I would definitely encourage others to join a demonstration; it really does not take up much of your time and it’s a small deed, which if done well, can have global repercussions.”*
Here are some ideas to get your voice heard:
• Organise a public meeting or demonstration outside your local town hall, council buildings or government offices. • Invite local religious and community leaders to your protest or demonstration. • Organise a march or demonstration in your local community – you could demonstrate outside your local supermarket to encourage shoppers to buy fairly traded products. • Hold a sit in where a group goes into a building or space and sits down for a period oftime in protest. It is important that the building you choose is appropriately linked to the campaign. Remember to make sure that your actions do not harm others.
A protest is when you make a stand against the actions of a person, group, business or government and where your motivation is to get them to stop what they are doing and to listen to your concerns. A demonstration is used when you want to rally for a cause and advance your campaign.
*Due to an increased pressure on governments and the UN through campaigns such as Stand Up and Take Action, a fund of $40 billion was announced at the UN summit in New York in September 2010 to tackle child and maternal health issues www.un.org/en/mdg/summit2010/
GETTING THE COMMUNITY ON BOARD
Community events are a great way of building public support for your campaign
Not only are they fun ways of raising awareness of serious issues but they give people the opportunity to reflect on their behaviours and lifestyles. By creating a buzz and making people feel part of a movement, they are much more likely to make changes, especially if they see others willing to make that change too. Events which draw people together and talk of a collective responsibility or our duty as Muslims are likely to have a bigger impact – religious leaders can help you with this. Alternatively think about an inter-faith event to highlight our responsibility as global citizens.
Ideas for events:
• Hire a room out in your university, college, school, mosque or community centre to give a presentation on why young people should help tackle poverty. • If you think it will be difficult to draw a crowd, invite a Muslim scholar, local celebrity, MP or local charity who is already campaigning on these issues to give a talk. • Hold an Iftar during Ramadan to reflect and learn about world hunger and global water shortages. • Use the festivities of Eid to remind people that Ibrahim (PBUH) was willing to sacrifice his son for Allah. Hold an event where people are asked to make their own sacrifices to serve Allah. For example ask them to walk or cycle to work instead of using the car or swap their light bulbs for energy efficient ones. • Host a henna party and give a presentation on maternal health. Ask some of the mothers in the room to discuss their experiences of pregnancy and child birth and use case studies of women in developing countries to make comparisons. • Organise a football tournament to highlight a lack of access to education and sports for kids in developing countries. • Show a film to friends and family on the problems faced by refugees in developing countries. • Hold a special session after prayers to recite Surah Yaseen (Qur’an 36) or Tawbah (Qur’an 9) or hold special night prayers (such as Qiyam and Tahajjud) to reflect and call for an end to world poverty.
Do’s and Don’ts
DO think about whether your event will be segregated or mixed. DO think about having the event after prayer time if it’s in the mosque so that people are already there and you can attract passers-by. DO organise your event around prayer times/have a space where people can pray. DON’T assume that people are comfortable with being photographed or filmed – always ask! DON’T forget to give people who attended a way to get involved further. DON’T forget to invite local media.
Things to think about when organising an event:
• Start simple – a small simple idea can be very effective. Hold a dinner party or movie night with friends and give a little presentation on your campaign issue. Once you receive a good reaction, you’ll feel more confident to try something bigger. • Who are you looking to target – friends, family, your street, estate or borough? • Think about the timing of your event – are there any commemorative days, special holidays or UN calendar days (e.g. World Hunger Day, World Refugee Day) that will give your campaign extra impact? • Take enough time to prepare and if you can, share responsibilities amongst a team of people. • Think about advertising – will you use word of mouth, leaflets, posters or local media? • What’s your message – what do you want to achieve and what actions are you asking people to take? • Partnering up – are there any other organisations or groups who you could organise an event with? Look for local groups at your community centre, library, mosque or search online. Join your university Islamic Society or other groups to see if you can help organise one of their events.
Afroza Begum age 25
Fancy a Fairtrade cuppa? “Having to present in front of a room full of people who were quite cynical about fair trade was really nerve racking! As the presentation went on, I found my flow and really started to enjoy it. Every now and then, I would have my mother’s voice ringing in my head telling me to “Remember to slow down and speak clearly!” One of the hardest things was keeping people’s attention but having Fairtrade products and materials on the tables made a difference– a well known trick to keep people interested! It was really satisfying when at the end of the presentation, people made pledges to swap their favourite brands for Fairtrade products. If you are thinking of holding your own event, don’t be disappointed if you draw a small crowd. On the day, 50 people from the community came to my event, but looking back now, I would have definitely put more effort into the advertising to boost the numbers. It’s about starting small, learning from the experience and enjoying yourself.” 29
“BE A COMMUNITY THAT CALLS FOR WHAT IS GOOD, URGES WHAT IS RIGHT, AND FORBIDS WHAT IS WRONG: THOSE WHO DO THIS ARE THE SUCCESSFUL ONES.” (QUR’AN 3:104)
USING THE POWER OF THE MEDIA
Whether you are campaigning about climate change, demonstrating about women’s rights or highlighting how fair trade can make a difference, the right publicity is key to your campaign success.
Using the media is a great way of raising the profile of your campaign and can increase public support and put pressure on decision-makers to take action. Contacting the media may seem a little daunting but remember they rely on the public to provide them with interesting stories. You have nothing to lose – you may receive a polite ‘no’, but you may get some great coverage!
• Have a call to action – what are you asking members of the public or policy-makers to do? If you are targeting Muslim media, think about framing this from an Islamic perspective. Don’t go overboard with Islamic arguments but use short quotes or Hadiths that could reiterate your message. • Cater for busy journalists – offer photo and video materials for those who can’t attend. • Follow up your press release with a phone call – make sure it has been received. Get names and numbers for future reference.
Local & Community Media
Rather than targeting some of the big names, it may be best to start with local media outlets or community media who cover stories in your area. Invite regional TV news stations, local radio or local/ community newspapers to attend your event, demonstration or publicity stunt. If you are looking to target different communities, consider contacting ethnic or Muslim television channels, such as Al Hiwar, Peace TV, Islam Channel and Channel S, or newspapers such as Muslim News, Muslim Weekly or other local/borough newspapers. Writing a story for your school or university newspaper can also be a great way of highlighting your issue to the student population. Remember that the larger media outlets often scour the local media for interesting stories, so your story could be picked up without you having to do a thing!
For immediate release: Time/date Headline – Make it catchy but not cryptic. Paragraph 1 – Summarise the story – Who, What, Where, When and Why – all the important information needs to be in the first paragraph.
• Make your story relevant – what other current media stories can you link it to? Are there any UN days or commemorative days that will reinforce the message of your story? • Be clear about your messages and keep your story short. • Be prepared – think through the questions you might be asked and prepare for difficult questions. • Have the WOW factor – what will sell your story? A celebrity? A stunt? A prominent community leader? • ake it personal – if you are drawing attention to a M global issue, are there friends or family in developing countries who can help you collect case studies and stories to highlight your issue. On a local level, provide a quote by someone directly affected by your campaign issue or by someone prominent in your community who is willing to support your campaign.
Paragraph 2 – Put in more details to flesh out the first paragraph. Why is this happening, why should people care? Paragraph 3 – Have a quote of someone who is involved in your story. It provides the human interest element and personalises your story. Paragraph 4 – Provide any other relevant information on your campaign or stunt. ENDS
Notes for Editors
• Provide background information about you and your campaign. • Outline what you have to offer – photos or video footage. If you want the press to follow up by coming to an event, give details of photo opportunities.
Do’s and Don’ts
• DO get to know journalists and your local media. There may be journalists who have written about the issue before and may sympathise with your campaign. • DO think about your pitch – what makes your story interesting and why would that particular media outlet want to publish it? • DO give journalists enough notice if you want them to come to an event but not too much that they forget! • DON’T sit around and wait for them to call - follow up your press release with a reminder email and then a phone call. • DON’T be put off if your story is not picked up the first time. Keep trying.
Read all about it! How to write a press release
A good press release can spark the interest of journalists and get your story covered in the press. Press releases are a quick way to communicate the aims of your campaign to journalists but remember that they receive hundreds of these every day, so keep it short, snappy and interesting enough to grab their attention.
• Give some background information and statistics on the issue you are talking about. • Make sure you give as many contact details as possible. If a journalist cannot contact you the first time, they may not bother again. • Include links to your Facebook page, Twitter account or blog address.
Facebook and MySpace
Facebook and MySpace provide a ready-made platform to publicise your campaign. Set up a profile page and post details of upcoming campaign events and activities. Upload photos and videos as well as posting links to relevant news articles, websites and blogs that are linked to your campaign. Request to merge with other groups/ organisations who share your aims to boost supporter numbers and gain credibility. Use this as a place to share information, contacts and networks that could benefit your cause.
SMS messaging allows you to have direct and personal contact with your supporters. Send reminder texts of the date, time and location of your event, demonstration or protest, remind people that they can follow you on social networking sites or capitalise on the feeling after an event by suggesting to people further ways that they can make a difference.
With the power of the internet at your finger tips, it is now even easier to become an online activist. However, with so many different groups out there, it is important that you stand out from the crowd.
Check out www.digiactive.org for some great tips and examples on how to use sites such as Facebook and Twitter to further your campaign.
Zeenat Azmi age 24
Blogging for change Zeenat has been blogging on development issues for the past five years. You can find her blog at www.anobruniabroad.wordpress.com “One of the most difficult things with blogging is creating enough interest and discussion around my posts but I love receiving readers’ comments and will respond immediately to maintain people’s energy and enthusiasm. I always try to make my blogs as interactive as possible. I use photography and video, or links to Flickr, Twitter, and other websites which enables people to explore the issues further – it really adds a new dimension to the blogging experience. To an aspiring blogger, my advice would be to try and interact with people as much as possible and think about the different platforms for engagement. As well as linking to other social networking sites, I have promoted my blog at local community events, written blogs/articles for my student newspaper, as well as other charities and organisations. I have also joined forums and community networks which are great for reaching a wider audience. For example, when I posted a link to one of my blogs during a discussion on Mumsnet on fair trade and its impact on child labour, I received my highest number of visits to date.”
YouTube and Flickr
Link videos and photos to your blog or Facebook group page. For more tips and advice on how to use video for campaigning, visit the ‘Creative Campaigning’ section.
Tweet up to the minute updates of your campaign to your supporters. Ask people to follow the tweets of specific organisations, celebrities or groups that share your campaign aims.
Do’s and Don’ts
• O get your Facebook supporters to change their D profile picture to a picture relevant to the cause. It will help generate interest to other users. • O interact regularly with your supporters on social D networking sites and on your blog as people will lose interest in a static page. • O have the confidence to ask other organisations D and charities if you can write a blog for them and remember to link it to your own blogging site. • ON’T rule the roost. Create a sense of shared D ownership by giving others administration rights to update your profile or tweet. • ON’T forget to link your blog to other social networking D sites such as Twitter, Flickr, YouTube or Facebook. • ON’T forget to remind people during your events and D activities, that they can find you on social networking sites.
Other social networking sites
Remember to profile your campaign on other popular social networking sites such as Hi5, Zorpia or Bebo. You may want to use platforms geared towards specific audiences such as Muxlim for young Muslims or LinkedIn for business professionals. Alternatively, there are platforms which are interest or issue focused such as www.oneclimate.net which links people with an interest in environmental activism, or the CARE Action Network (CAN) which brings together campaigners on global injustice. For a list of social networking sites, visit Wikipedia.
Get an online debate going by blogging online. Use free resources such as www.blogger.com or www.typepad.com to set up your own blog site. Remember to post the links on your Facebook group pages or join specific blogger communities such as Xanga. Use blogs as a way to write about your campaign events and activities. Don’t forget to ‘tag’ key words found in your blog to maximise the chances of people finding it online.
Publicity stunts are used to attract maximum attention. They can be quick, one-off events or gimmicks designed to attract an audience or media coverage.
Make sure that your stunt is not too controversial. If you antagonise people or cause damage to property, then you are likely to attract the wrong kind of publicity!
Karem Issa age 26
Netting publicity “I thought that a publicity stunt would be a great way to raise awareness of the Malaria No More campaign in my town of Blackburn. We decided to drape a bright blue mosquito net over the statue of ‘grandmother and child’ in the town centre to highlight that Malaria is a disease which kills 1 million people every year globally, most of whom are women and children. The reaction was great – not only did hundreds of people see our campaign just by walking past, but many donated and asked questions. Unfortunately, we also had negative reactions – the police approached us saying they had received some complaints about covering the statue but we had already contacted the council beforehand to get permission, so we were okay. The statue is located opposite the office of the Lancashire Evening Telegraph which sparked the interest of a reporter who came to ask questions and take photos. The stunt was then featured in an article in the newspaper which we distributed to other media. Covering an iconic statue in Blackburn definitely turned heads and gave our new campaign in Blackburn some recognition.”
Do’s and Don’ts
DO think about your location. Make sure it is easily accessible and give directions and maps. DO appoint a spokesperson on the day of the stunt to answer any questions from journalists. DO take good quality photographs and send them along with a press release in case a journalist cannot attend. DON’T break the law or harm others. DON’T be discouraged or angered by negative reactions. Take the time to explain to people your campaign aims and the purpose of the stunt – you never know, you may win their support. DON’T forget about the timing of your stunt – whilst timing can make your stunt more newsworthy, you could also lose out to other events being held in the area. Check out your council website to avoid clashes with community events.
Here are some tips:
• s always, think about your aim – what are you trying A to achieve with this stunt and how can you present that visually? • There are some key ingredients to successful stunts – these include fancy dress, local celebrities, prominent community leaders, children, acting, and of course, anything that makes people laugh, grabs their attention or makes them want to join in. • Remember to write a press release and send to your local newspaper or other media outlets before your stunt takes place. • Don’t forget photos! – invite the local media to take pictures or take your own if they are too busy to attend.
Advertising and promotion are key to attracting supporters and publicising your campaign
Campaigning materials such as posters, leaflets and flyers are all simple things that can be designed with basic software on a laptop – all you need are a few creative ideas! Alternatively, if art was never your strongest subject, there are plenty of resources and templates available free to download online. Also, don’t forget the power of new technology – cameras, videos and mobile phones are revolutionising the way we campaign online.
Lights, camera, action – how to make your own video
The days of heavy and expensive camcorders are over – cheaper light weight alternatives as well as mobile phone video cameras mean that everyone can become a budding filmmaker. Video can be a powerful way of capturing public attention and making your campaign stand out from the crowd. • Check out Oxfam’s ‘How to campaign using video guide’ which features some examples of effective campaign videos. • emember that you don’t have to buy the latest video R camera technology; see if you can borrow from friends, family or maybe your school or university. Alternatively most mobiles have a videophone. Just make sure that you can transfer the footage to a computer. • Plan in advance and think about the most interesting way to promote your campaign. Think about the setting, the words, your body language and more importantly the message you are trying to get across. • hat feelings are you trying to inspire – do you W want to motivate people? To provoke anger? To make people laugh? • Most computers come with a simple editing package such as Windows Movie Maker, while Mac users have iMovie. Most video cameras and mobiles have their own editing software which can be installed on your computer. If you do not have any of these, then you can download free video-editing services such as www.motionbox.com • Once you’ve finished, upload your video on to Facebook, YouTube, Google Video, blogs and other social networking sites. Maybe organise a film showing (see ‘Getting the Community on Board’ section) where you can showcase your piece.
Don’t have time to make a film? Check out these ways to make an impact
• Do some quick interviews on your mobile with people who have attended your event or demonstration to find out their reasons for being there. Post the footage on your social networking sites. • Get some footage of your campaign activities and post online, so people can get an idea of the types of things you do. If it looks fun, then people are much more likely to join. • Get a group together and film a 10 second message to your supporters. It could be a powerful statistic, a call to action or a ‘thank you for your support’ message. • Check out existing viral campaigns that ask you to send in videos. For example, when the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition organised ‘The Climate Wave’ march in 2009, they asked their supporters to send in videos of themselves doing a Mexican wave. All the videos were then featured on their website and showed everyone from office workers to nurses, church groups to school children, doing the wave.
Here are a few creative ideas to get you started
• f you are organising an event or talk to support an I existing campaign, check out their website. They may supply ready-made posters, leaflets, banners or presentations that you can use at your events. • f you are attending a demonstration or protest, I get your friends together to create banners or buy some plain coloured t-shirts and decorate them with your own slogans. • reate a video diary of your experiences and film C your fellow campaigners in action. Upload it onto YouTube and post the link on Facebook and Twitter (See our ‘Lights, Camera, Action’ section on the next page). • hink about translating your materials into different T languages such as Urdu, Bengali, Somali or Arabic depending on who you are targeting. • ather than slogans or catch phrases, think about R using Hadiths or words from the Qur’an that could reinforce your message.
Do’s and Don’ts
DO discuss any Qur’an quotes or Hadiths with a religious leader before you display your campaign materials in public. DO make sure that you put up posters and hand out flyers in your university canteen, library, local restaurant and mosque. DO ask for permission if you want to film people (especially if it involves children). DON’T bore your audience – keep your film short and snappy, most short documentaries are only 3 minutes long. DON’T be shy in asking for a discount. Many companies are happy to reduce their prices if they know it’s for a good cause. DON’T waste paper or contribute to littering. 36
NOW’S THE TIME TO MAKE A CHANGE!
Now you have learnt the basics of campaigning, are you ready to take action? Do you feel confident that you could inspire others to make a change? We hope so.
There are so many ways that you can make a difference in the fight against global poverty, that we could not include them all in this toolkit. We hope that our ideas, tips and advice have fired your imagination and pointed you in the right direction but if you’re hungry for more, then check out pages 40–42 for additional campaign resources. Start campaigning right now by inspiring your family and friends to take action and don’t be put off by the sceptics – it is up to you to show them their potential! If at some point you become a little campaign weary and feel that the fight is fruitless, remind yourself that small actions equal big changes. Note down every little success, so you can remind yourself how far you have come and how far you can go. Remember to keep in touch with MADE in Europe as we would love to hear how you have used this campaign toolkit to make a difference. Why not email us on
Have you decided which issue you are going to campaign on? Have you done some research so you are well informed about your issue? Have you thought about how much time you are prepared to give – can you balance it with your work or studies? Do you know which other organisations or groups are campaigning on the same thing? Which campaign activity is the best to highlight your issue and have you looked at the relevant section in this toolkit for tips and advice? Have you decided on your target audience? Have you made a simple campaign plan (see page 18) and asked friends and family for feedback? Have you thought about publicity and advertising? Do you need to set up your own social networking site or can you join others? Have you checked if there are already resources available online? Do you need a team to help you and if so, have you assigned roles and responsibilities to each person in the group? If you do have a team, are you holding regular meetings to keep up to date? After carrying out your campaign activity, have you got feedback to see how you can improve in the future? Have you contacted MADE in Europe to tell us how you’ve been making a difference? Have you found someone else to pass this toolkit onto once you’re done?
firstname.lastname@example.org call us on 020 8211 9439
post a message on our Facebook group or join us at one of our upcoming events. So... what are you waiting for? Good luck and happy campaigning!
P.S. Remember to pass this toolkit on to inspire others to start campaigning! “OUR LORD, ACCEPT [THIS] FROM US. YOU ARE THE ALL HEARING, THE ALL KNOWING.” (QUR’AN 2:127)
Here is a selection of resources to help you make the most of your campaign
General Campaign Resource List Using the Power of the Media
How to use social networking sites to talk about global poverty – Global Poverty Project www.globalpovertyproject.com/howto/social_networking • ow to organise a media stunt – Oxfam H http://www.oxfam.org.uk/get_involved/campaign/ activists/downloads/howto_media_stunt.pdf • How to blog about poverty – Global Poverty Project www.globalpovertyproject.com/howto/blog • ow to spread your message in the media – Oxfam H www.oxfam.org.uk/get_involved/campaign/activists/ downloads/howto_spreadmessageinmedia2.pdf • orking with the media: a guide for local Muslim W groups www.thecordobafoundation.com/attach/TCF_ MediaGuideWebReady.pdf • How to start a blog www.howtostartablog.org/ • Oxfam activist guide www.oxfam.org.uk/activist • ocal groups and student campaign toolkit – Oxfam L http://www.oxfam.org.uk/get_involved/campaign/ activists/downloads/toolkit_local_groups_students.pdf • Global Poverty Project ‘How To’ guides www.globalpovertyproject.com/howto • Campaign Strategy www.campaignstrategy.org • Whiteband http://www.whiteband.org/en/content/campaign-tools • Guardian development website http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2010 • Campaign Central www.campaigncentral.org.uk • N Calendar days U http://www.unac.org/en/news_events/un_days/ international_days.asp • Avaaz http://www.avaaz.org/en/ • 38 degrees http://38degrees.org.uk/
Islam, Global Poverty & Campaigning
• MADE in Europe www.madeineurope.org.uk • Inspired by Muhammad www.inspiredbymuhammad.com • ranslating Faith into Development, T A Khan et al, 2009 http://www.islamic-relief.com/indepth/downloads/ Translating%20faith%20into%20development.pdf • Islamic Perspectives on Poverty and Debt – Islamic Relief www.islamic-relief.com/uk/poverty_debt.htm
Influencing Decision Makers
• How to contact your MP www.parliament.uk/about/contacting/mp • Campaigns and Petitions http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/ • UK Government’s Department for International Development (DfID) www.dfid.gov.uk • xfam guide to influencing politicians O http://www.oxfam.org.uk/get_involved/campaign/activists/ downloads/howto_influencepoliticalprocess2.pdf • Mobilising ethnic communities – Operation Black Vote www.obv.org.uk • Supporting engagement of Muslims in politics and media – www.iengage.org.uk
Millennium Development Goals
• MDG site www.un.org/millenniumgoals/ • End Poverty 2015 www.endpoverty2015.org/ • ivicus MDG Toolkit C http://www.civicus.org/mdg/title.htm
Getting the Community on Board
• Online tool to administer events www.eventbrite.com • How to organise an advocacy or campaign event – Global Poverty Project www.globalpovertyproject.com/howto/organise • Sites to post Muslim community events www.ukislamicevents.net/ http://www.muslimdirectory.co.uk/listevents.php
• ow to campaign using video – Oxfam H www.oxfam.org.uk/get_involved/campaign/activists/ downloads/howto_video_campaigning.pdf • tep by step guide to poverty-busting S communications – Oxfam http://oxfamblogs.org/youth/wp-content/ uploads/2011/02/4499-schools-coms.pdf • Free online video editing services www.motionbox.com
Health & Water
• At our mothers’ feet www.atourmothersfeet.org.uk • Ammalife www.ammalife.org • International HIV Fund http://www.internationalhivfund.org/ • One http://www.one.org/international/ • Malaria No More www.malarianomore.org/ • End Water Poverty http://www.endwaterpoverty.org/
• UK Youth Climate Coalition www.ukycc.org • Stop Climate Chaos www.stopclimatechaos.org • 10:10 www.1010uk.org • isters on the Planet – Oxfam S http://www.oxfam.org.uk/get_involved/campaign/ climate_change/sisters/index.html • limate Change Khutbah – MADE in Europe C http://www.madeineurope.org.uk/images/docs/ climate%20change%20khutbah.pdf • uslim Green Guide to Reducing Climate Change M – IFEES http://www.ifees.org.uk/Muslim_Green_Guide_ Print_Final_V3.pdf
• slamic Perspectives on Education – Islamic Relief I http://www.islamic-relief.com/Indepth/downloads/ Islamic%20perspectives%20on%20education%20Feb09. pdf • 1 Goal http://www.join1goal.org/home.php • Global Campaign for Education http://www.campaignforeducation.org/
Our mission is to inspire and enable a grassroots European Muslim youth movement of faith in action for tackling global poverty, injustice and inequality.
This is addressed through activities such as volunteering, campaigning and fundraising. We also provide capacity building services for Muslim NGOs and support for cross-faith initiatives in international development. We believe that the young Muslims of Europe can and must play a part in the search for solutions to tackling global poverty. Whether through raising awareness in their communities, lobbying politicians, volunteering overseas or in the UK, or choosing a career in international development, we believe that we can empower young Muslims to be at the forefront of the global poverty debate, to challenge global norms and to become leaders of social change. Our work is rooted in the tradition of social action, peace, justice, empowerment, human rights and diversity found within Islam.
Oxfam GB is an international NGO with a worldwide reputation for the delivery of aid and development work.
We work with others to overcome poverty and suffering, in three interlinked areas: emergency response; longterm development work; and campaigning for lasting change. We believe that all human lives are of equal value; that poverty makes people more vulnerable; and that vulnerability is increased by inequality based on, for example, gender, race, class, caste and disability. Poverty is an injustice that can and must be overcome, and with the right resources and support, people living in poverty can solve their own problems. We are proud to support MADE in Europe in the development of this campaigning toolkit. We work with people of all ethnic backgrounds and religions who want to take part in our mission to challenge the structures and policies that keep people in poverty. We believe that young Muslims can take their place alongside people of other faiths and of none, in bringing about lasting change.
Trade and Debt
• slam and Fairtrade – Fairtrade Foundation I http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/includes/documents/ cm_docs/2011/i/islam_and_fairtrade_download.pdf • Trade Justice Movement www.tjm.org.uk • n Islamic Perspective on Fair Trade – Islamic Relief A http://www.islamic-relief.com/InDepth/ 2-6-an-islamic-perspective-on-fair-trade.aspx • War on Want http://www.waronwant.org/ • slam and Debt – Islamic Relief I http://www.islamic-relief.com/Indepth/downloads/ islamanddebt.pdf • Jubilee Debt Campaign http://www.jubileedebtcampaign.org.uk/ • Robin Hood Tax Campaign http://robinhoodtax.org/ 42
MADE in Europe 4 Gateway Mews Ringway Bounds Green London N11 2UT United Kingdom T E +44 (0)208 211 9439 email@example.com
Oxfam GB Oxfam House John Smith Drive Cowley Oxford OX4 2JY United Kingdom T E +44 (0) 1865 47 2602 firstname.lastname@example.org
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