Part of our Mission here at Boaz is to use what we learn through our work to challenge and change the unjust systems that cause destitution, both locally and nationally. Here are some ways that we can all use our voices and our actions to speak about injustice.
1) Write to your MP
Sometimes organisations like Boaz might produce templates or guidelines to help you write a letter to your MP. But you don't need to wait for a template! You can write and tell them how you feel about the current discussions about migration and the actions being proposed. Irrespective of how you may personally have voted in the last election, they are your elected representative and you have a right to be heard! If you don't know who your MP is, find out here.
You could write to your MP and explain that you want your town / region / country to be a place of welcome. Perhaps you can share some examples of things that you are doing, or that are being done by others in your local community, where local people are already showing welcome to people who have recently arrived in the area.
2) Send a thank you!
If your local representatives (councillors or MPs - click on the pink text to find out who represents you!) have voted or acted in favour of welcoming people who are seeking safety, why not write and say thank you? You can find out how MPs voted in recent votes here. There is so much negativity and hostility in conversations around immigration. A small thank you could have a big impact and be a real encouragement to our local representatives.
3) Join with others
There are lots of ways we can speak out with other like-minded people. Look out for shared petitions, open letters, rallies and demonstrations (see number (5) below for how you can find out about the latest events and actions). It might not feel like you are doing much by adding your name on an e-petition, but it really can make a difference.
The UK Government website explains that after 10,000 signatures, e-petitions get a response from the government, and after 100,000 signatures, petitions are considered for debate in Parliament.
Another way to join with others is by being part of a coalition or network. We are part of the Together With Refugees Coalition, who coordinate and celebrate different campaign actions around the UK throughout the year. They encourage us to use the orange heart emoji in our social media profiles and social media posts - could you add one to your Twitter or Instagram profile perhaps?
4) Keep learning!
We can't all be experts in immigration law, but we can keep learning more about policy changes and practices that force people into destitution. The Refugee Council produce regular Policy Briefings which is a useful place to start.
You can also read firsthand stories from people who have been supported by Boaz here, to understand more about the impact of destitution on people seeking sanctuary. Or why not watch A Place to Call Home, a short film we launched last year where Aimee shares some of her story and explains how vital it is to have somewhere safe to stay.
5) Stay connected!
Things can move quickly in the world of advocacy and special events and campaign actions are often launched at short notice. Please keep in touch with us by signing up to our newsletter, or following us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram as this is the best way to find out about things that are happening.