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A call for change

With Teatime for Change on the 9 June under a week away, the countdown has really begun. The resounding support and anticipation for this momentous campaign was most definitely evident during the Teatime for Change Conference call.

I joined other supporters from all around the UK, some of the thousands of people who will be travelling to Westminster, to discuss preparations and plans for the big day. The conference call was a unique opportunity for supporters to come together to brush up on our lobbying skills and make sure that we can make a big impact in Westminster together.

During the call we had the chance to hear from research and policy advisors Jess Espey (Save the Children) and Chris Jordan (ActionAid) about the 3 key issues that we are asking our MPs to commit to:

  1. Aid Works – make it count
  2. Stop tax dodging
  3. Champion new and fair funding for development

This was a great chance to hear from those who have experience in the field and can provide proof that government support on these issues could really make a difference.

One point that stuck with me was that since 1999, foreign aid has enabled 40 million more African children to go to primary school — real evidence that aid does work. In addition, the fact that developing countries lose over one and a half times more through tax dodging than they receive in aid has really left an imprint on my mind. If multinational companies paid the tax that they owe, developing countries could help themselves to move out of poverty.

We were also able to add a few more strings to our Robin Hood lobbying bow with some last-minute lobbying tips.

Top tips for an effective lobby

  • Lay down the issues and let your MP know why these issues are relevant to you
  • Make sure that your MP understands the issues
  • Make sure your MP WILL act by suggesting a follow-up plan
  • This is a one-off chance to let your MP know what you feel about International Development- enjoy it!

In the lead up to Teatime for Change what has already become clear to me is that there really are many other people around the UK who want our government to help in the fight against poverty.

Not everyone believes the negative headlines

Teatime for Change has highlighted the fact that not everyone believes the negative headlines about aid and international development that are printed in some papers. There are thousands of people who recognise that even though we maybe facing tough times as a result of the eonomic crisis, people living in developing countries are suffering to a much greater extent. Throughout the country there are people who believe that  it is our responsibility to act as part of the global community and Teatime for Change is the perfect opportunity for our voices to be heard.  The scale of Teatime for Change, with many organisations working together, also means that this really could be the big moment when our government commits to change.

If you have only just heard about Teatime for Change it is not too late! If you believe that it is (tea) time to say goodbye to poverty once and for all then sign up here and add your voice to the campaign. This is a unique opportunity to talk face-to-face to your MP and tell them what you think!

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