ActionAid is a global movement of people working together to further human rights and defeat poverty for all.

What if I quit activism?

Friday, May 16, 2014 - 09:35

In the long history of development, it is only practical people who have made a positive impact. 

As Ghandi once remarked, “be the change you want to see in the world” and as Activista we believe “youths are not only the leaders of tomorrow, but also drivers of change today." As patriotic citizens of the world, I and my fellow youths decided we shall be the change we wanted to see. 

The 12th March, 2014 was the formation of 12:49 Activista, 12 being the date of arrest and 49 the number of youths arrested for putting on t-shirts demanding the release of a people driven Zambian constitution.

To the bold and passionate youths, this was a building point to continue as activists while to the fearful it was a breaking point after experiencing six hours in the police cells. 

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“I quit activism, it’s too risky and a waste of time” was a statement from some Activistas, a statement escorted with fear which was evident in their facial expressions immediately after our release from the police cells. Before I could consider quitting as well, I decided to think twice about this and actually am still thinking, since the majority of the world's population are young people and more than 50% are under the age of 30.

We are the most marginalized groups of people who are failed by current efforts to eradicate poverty and unemployment.

We can truly increase our impact and fulfill the promise of a better and more just world for the present and coming generation of youths, starting from our communities to the global scale.

Following the Sweet Nothings report which revealed that since 2007, Zambia Sugar has deprived Zambian public services of an estimated USD$27 million as a result of the company's tax avoidance schemes and special tax breaks, the African Union revealed that up to $60 billion is lost each year through tax dodging by big companies that could be used for education and health.

ActionAid is carrying out a tax power campaign demanding the Zambian government to close tax loopholes. We are speakingto communities through radio discussion programs to make them aware of the importance of tax to ordinary Zambians.

ActionAid's Clean Up Barclays campaign calls on Barclays to be ‘a force for good’ by closing their offshore department that promotes tax havens to big businesses in Africa.

I have come to the conclusion that quitting activism is actually quitting the better world we want to live in now and in the future. We have this information and are empowered to make a positive difference in our communities not only for our good but also for the good of the generations to come.