The Sister-to-Sister Mentorship Program taught me many international advocacy tips. One of the most crucial tips I learned is to have a goal for any concern that you want to change. Having a goal will help you see what you can do in terms of activities or strategies to achieve the change. After setting a clear goal, it is important to outline the activities that you are going to conduct. It is best to include partners and relevant stakeholders in your activities in order to generate a collective responsibility.
It is important to spread your message to a large audience, particularly an audience who can help achieve your goal. It is best to use different mediums to share your message, from media, meetings, press releases, and other open discussions. This will help to reach a large audience.
It is also a good idea to know your target audience so that you can develop your key messages and a briefing note. These documents can act as a guideline to your advocacy team. They also will build consistency and effectiveness in your advocacy.
While in Ottawa I participated in face-to-face meetings, radio interviews, group meetings, and panel discussions. Through these events I realized that many people were missing a lot of information about what is going on in South Sudan. Many people wanted more details on issues I talked about, and wanted to share their contact information so that we could continue sharing information. This taught me a very important lesson in international advocacy: there is strength in numbers, and through working together as a team we can spread information, and take action, quickly.
Advocacy can be used as a strategy to combat violations against women and girls in South Sudan. I will share the advocacy tips I learned in the Mentorship Program with the women activists of South Sudan. It would be very effective if women activists could reach a large audience of government and community leaders, and stakeholders. The bigger the audience, the higher impact you will have.
Alice joined us in Ottawa for the 2014 Sister-to-Sister Mentorship Program. She completed six weeks of communications and advocacy training alongside two young women activists from Guatemala and Sudan. Alice is now continuing her work to defend women’s rights in South Sudan.