Back to Basics

February 14, 2012
by Jeremy Nguyen-Phuong, Global Legislative Intern

The RESULTS website can be considered the Baobab tree (below) for advocacy. What is a Baobab tree you may ask? You may have seen them in an African landscape or even in the Lion King; it is the stunning tree that the monkey Rafiki lives in. Like the “For New Activists” webpage, the Baobab Tree serves as a resource center for life around it during times of need. During the rainy season, the baobab tree must use its branches to collect and store as much water as possible before the harsh drought conditions. These tree help provide water and food to all the life around just like RESULTS.

Baobab Tree

During the first week of my internship with RESULTS, I was encouraged to explore the website as a way of learning “The Basics” of this organization. The website is incredibly thorough and filled with vast amounts of information; it’s your lesson in RESULTS 101 and like a Baobab tree it can serve to be an amazing resource for both new and seasoned activists.

The page dedicated “For New Activists” is a great coaching tool for all those interested in advocacy and RESULTS. This page has provided me with a comprehensive amount of means to build a new skill set in advocacy. “The Basics” include orientations and tours to different methods of advocacy. They really help you understand that anyone can step up and have an impact on a national level.

From all of the smooth voices and text my most important take is the storytelling side of advocacy. Of all things, why choose storytelling? I’ve always noticed the lack of media behind the efforts of grassroots activists in trying to persuade congress to support major initiatives for issues like global health and education for all. The stories of grassroots activists have always been in the background compared to other news and the success proves anyone can make a difference. I wanted to see another side to ending poverty. The Oklahoma Miracle is a great example of how even 72 hours can save $289 million into helping the lives on millions. I was moved by the power of the human voice in coming together for a common good. I believe that good storytelling can captivate anyone. Either way, presenting stories about real people can help bring us a step closer in ending poverty.

Additional Lessons from the Basics:

  1. Understanding the power of storytelling and laser talks

  2. With the right tools anyone can become a successful advocate against poverty!

  3. Find your interest and work with any RESULTS campaign

  4. Take action in creating powerful relationships in congress and the community

Overall, each branch on a baobab tree represents the activists at RESULTS, all coming together to help get the resources and trainings they need to be empowered advocates to end global poverty. At my internship with RESULTS, I know there is still plenty to learn, but I can continue knowing that I am part of this tree.

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