Eat Act Pray - June
Despite feeling that she couldn’t make any difference in her community, Kelechi, it turns out, has made some huge impacts. Her first achievement, she explains, was helping a young girl who was going to be forced into marriage, get into University to study Law. That’s a pretty big first achievement for a young person who’s feeling disempowered!
Last year Kelechi attended a project called the Girls' Parliament, which ran confidence-building training for young girls. The project creates a platform for girls over the age of 16 to share experiences, learn from each other, and empower them to take on leadership positions in their community and get involved in decision making.
The training Kelechi received equipped her to intervene in cases of early marriage in her community. Knowing young girls have the right to refuse early marriage, she supported them to have the confidence to say no. She had learnt in the Girls' Parliament that the way to get things done is to find the people who have power to influence things, so she approached leaders in the local community to help parents understand why they shouldn’t force their daughters into marriage before they’d finished school.
For the first time, she realised that her voice meant she could speak out about unjust issues. For the first time, she had the confidence to do something about the problems around her.
‘I have been a member of the Girls' Parliament for three years now, and it has been a good experience. It has really changed my life and had a great impact on my way of thinking and the way I see myself. Before, I used to care only about myself, I did not think that I could make any impact in my community,’ - Kelechi Afubera
Talk it over
We believe that living life to its full isn’t just about having enough food or good education. It’s also about having a voice and a vote. What if voting was just the first step of our democratic action…
- Do you think your vote makes a difference?
- What would it take for your to feel politically empowered?
- What issues in your community do you want your local politicians to do something about?
- In the Bible we read many accounts of the prophets speaking truth to people in power. What truths would you want to tell our politicians?
Imagine if we had an ongoing relationship with our politicians: prayed for them and kept up to date with what they were doing, the decisions they make, the policies they support and don’t support? What if they didn’t just hear from us when we’re angry about something?
Our politicians exist to represent us and our views, but they can’t do that if they don’t hear from us. We want to make sure our politicians know who we are and know what sort of world we want to live in.
If you’re doing this before the 8th June, take some time as a group to learn about your local election candidates.
Most areas around the country will be holding hustings – public spaces where citizens can ask their candidates questions. Find our where your local hustings is taking place and think about some questions you’d want to ask them. Here are the questions we want to ask them.
If you’re doing this after the election, you might have a new politician, or perhaps your old one is still there.
Write a postcard to your new politician (or your old one if they got re-elected!) to congratulate them for winning and encourage them to use their power to make the world a better place.
Pray for your politicians
- Pray that they have wisdom and compassion as they take on this new responsibility of power.
- Pray for the issues that they’ll face in their constituency.
- Pray for their health and their wellbeing, that they’ll recover from the exhaustion of election season and be ready and energised to make a positive difference!