No Corruption Generation – Programförklaring
At our annual Open Heart Conference 2010, all delegates discussed what the main cause of poverty could be. Everyone from both the South and the North agreed that the greatest cause of poverty is corruption. Then we discussed what Children’s Mission was doing to fight this. We came to the conclusion that Children’s Mission has been mainly working with the symptoms, and not the root of the problem.
Corruption – a dangerous opponent
As Missions Director for Children’s Mission, I have given much thought to how we could be able to work with the problem of corruption without risking our work and the safety of our employees. Working against corruption is as dangerous as putting your head in a beehive, poking around and screaming. The bees would attack you and you would be unprotected. For a small organisation as Children’s Mission, it’s almost impossible to fight those who are already corrupted. Our fight against the corrupted would be like a fly fighting against a lit light bulb. It would have ended with us falling to the ground, exhausted, burned out and dying. The resources of corruption are bigger than the powers of Children’s Mission, and it wouldn’t be wise to challenge a supreme opponent. But, just as the lamp gets its energy from electricity, corruption is nurtured by ordinary people. That’s why the fight shouldn’t be fought against those who are corrupted! The fight should be directed at those that through education and advocacy can stop the inflow to the ranks of the corrupted.
A new generation rising
My idea with “No Corruption Generation” is that we should educate children and youth in what corruption does to society. I get the inspiration from the movement “A non- smoking generation” that was founded when I was young. When I was in elementary school, smoking was cool. You were in the popular crowd if you spent your time smoking at the schoolyard and people looked up to you! But then, “A non smoking generation” came to our school and told us what smoking did to our lungs and bodies. We learned about the backside of smoking and how much it cost our health and the society. They brought facts and pictures that I will never forget. Suddenly we realised that smoking wasn’t cool. It was dangerous and stupid. “A non-smoking generation” made us take a stand against smoking. We put on t-shirts and caps with the message. Taking a stand as a young person follows you for the rest of your life. My generation born in the 60’s, grew up and now works in the corridors of power. What happened when we came to power? We introduced smoking bans at restaurants, workplaces and public spaces.
My dream is that Children’s Mission would be a part in starting a movement like “A non-
smoking generation”. Through educating and shaping opinion among children and youth about what corruption does to society, we can form a new generation that takes a stand against corruption, something that will follow them for the rest of their lives.
Corruption is to the society what cancer is to the body! Corruption exists in every country and as a cancer it spreads and gets a hold in different ways. There are more or less aggressive kinds, but all of them lead to destruction and injustice. Since corruption is global, we need joined forces, and everyone needs to feel an ownership of “No Corruption Generation”, regardless of gender, ethnicity, religious or political affiliation. For this reason we need a symbol that everyone can embrace and understand the meaning of. A crying eye is something that everyone can understand and relate to. It makes us want to wipe the tears and comfort the one that is crying.
How do we continue?
Today, we have a unique opportunity to use social media to spread a global message. I believe we should use these possibilities to spread the message and make it available for everyone. The symbol and the message should be so strong that everyone wants to carry it and be a part of the message. We should work globally through social media and at the same time work in our own context.
What do we need now?
We need a think-tank where we gather knowledge and ideas. Then we need a hard-hitting curriculum that can be used in education and advocacy. We also need funding for the project. It could be public funding, donations from companies or organisations that want to make the effort to be a part of starting this.
- A global movement where everyone can partake and have a sense of ownership.
- A non-violence movement.
- A drug free movement.
- A separate movement with its own statutes and values. The legal form should be democratic.
- The movement should work through words, pictures and spreading knowledge.
- The form of the movement should be youthful in order to address the target group.
- We will never fight individuals, separate companies or political parties – but the phenomenon of corruption.