CARE BLOG

The Aftermath

5/8/09

There's so much to say about the importance of advocating for women and girls around the world who don't have the power to speak up for themselves. There's so much to be said for hundreds of people who, despite a rampant economic crisis, set aside time and money to travel and stand up on behalf of those girls and their communities. But what you don't expect from attending this conference is the impact it will have on you, as an advocate.

On the way home from DC I realized that I had actually made a
difference in someone's life whom I will never meet, a village that I
will never visit and the impact of those 3 or 4 conversations with
policy makers would have effects that I may never fully realize but are
extremely valuable in the grand scheme of things.

One of the aides we spoke with on Tuesday said that one of the
reasons his office wasn't in total support of the Child Marriage
Prevention Act is because it didn't really do anything to prevent child
marriage. I tried to convey to him that although the act
doesn't seek to punish anyone or set aside any large amounts of money
for this particular fight, it most certainly sends a message and sets
us on a course to end this damaging practice. It's a start. I don't
know if he got it. We'll see after the vote.

But advocacy works the same way. We may not win the battle on every
visit and sign everybody up to join our movement at every meeting, but
we definitely add one more log to the fire of change when we show up
600 strong to share stories and push agendas toward ending poverty. My
little voice is important in the choir.