This is what it feels like to campaign for change

This is what it feels like to campaign for change

Our guest blogger today is Lia Rijneveld, a ONE Youth Ambassador from Leerbroek, The Netherlands.

When ONE told me that I was chosen to be one of the 20 Youth Ambassadors in the Netherlands I felt very proud! As Youth Ambassadors, we’re campaigning hard in the run up to the European elections, so that candidates commit to the fight against extreme poverty.

I recently attended three EU debates (in Utrecht and Bilthoven) with lots of MEP candidates. At the first debate, my fellow Youth Ambassador Marloes and I had to approach candidates and engage with them on the campaign. It takes some nerve to get out there, but candidates are often interested in meeting you. Most importantly, of course, there are pledges to be signed. But what a satisfying feeling when you convince a candidate to sign!

Me with fellow Youth Ambassador Marloes van der Linden and MEP Judith Sargentini

Lia (left) with fellow Youth Ambassador Marloes van der Linden and MEP Judith Sargentini (centre)

Getting the approach right remains a challenge with each candidate, and while I am not scared to approach politicians, I sometimes would just like to “jump” on them with the pledge in my hand and shout “sign, sign, sign” – that’s probably not the best option though! It doesn’t always go as smoothly as you hope, but that won’t stop us.

And it’s paying off! Last Monday, some candidates even came to introduce themselves after I sent them an email about the campaign, and were happy to sign. People in the Netherlands are starting to hear about ONE and I’m part of the reason why. So I am making a difference – that feels great.

MEP Candidate Sebastiaan den Bak and myself

MEP Candidate Sebastiaan den Bak and myself

And of course it doesn’t stop there. Once at home, in Leerbroek, the local newspaper was eager to hear about what I was up to, and so again I was telling my story. I can only hope that it helps to get the message out to people in the Netherlands and encourages them to sign the petition.

lia 2

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