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Campaigners Conference: How we change lives

What impact do we have as campaigners?

We must remember that our efforts do make a difference, even if we cannot personally meet each child we help to save or fully grasp how we have altered the paths of their lives.

It is events like the Annual Campaigner Conference that bring us all together to share the successes of our efforts and learn new techniques for improving our collective influence.

Changing the lives of thousands

Addressing campaigners at the Campaigner Conference on Saturday, Brendan Cox, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Save the Children, reminded us that it is up to us as campaigners to put pressure on policy makers and consider how our support can literally save lives.

He emphasised how important it is to never lose sight of the notion that our campaigning has a direct impact on the lives of thousands.

Activism vs. Clictivism

A panel discussion entitled Activism vs. Clicktivism: the Face of Campaigning in 2012,led by Leora Hanser, Director of Campaigns at Save the Children, debated the impact of activism and clicktivism(using social media to campaign).

As the Organising Director for online activism site Change.org, Weldon Kennedy offered an invaluable insight to the panel.

We later heard from the Save the Children Campaigns Team about the impact of our campaigning this year in the highlights of 2011 presentation.

Following this we chose to attend one of three issue sessions and heard from experts on the following:Defending Aid in a Changing WorldCampaigning to End Extreme Hunger and Child Poverty in the UK.

How to influence your MP

In the afternoon workshops provided us with skills on a range of topics from How to influence your MP to Blogging for Change.

We were privileged to hear from David Taylor, MP Researcher and Chair of the Labour Campaign for International Development, about his top tips for lobbying MPs.

The bloggers amongst us attended the blogging skills workshop led by social media expert Liz Scarff from Save the Children.

#66 cities campaign

Throughout the day many of us signed up to become city champions as part of the #66 cities campaign to end extreme hunger.

The importance of campaigning to prevent crises such as the one in East Africa right now, where the lives of 400,000 children are currently at risk, was brought to life by Julie Schindall, Media and Advocacy Manager for Save the Children, who spoke live from Nairobi.

She told us about the devastating impact rising food prices are having and give us an insight into what is happening on the ground to alleviate the crisis.

I’m proud to be supporting the #66 cities campaign as a London champion!

We save children

The Campaigner Conference gave all of us an opportunity to share in the successes of the past year, learn new skills and support one another as fellow campaigners and new friends!

As stated by a campaigner on Saturday, Save the Children is a ‘we’ organisation: campaigning together WE can influence real change.

This post comes from Save the Children volunteer and local campaigner Rebekah Russo.

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