I love the Soul Survivor youth festivals. This year was particularly special as we took a mixed group of church young people, some from the LA-UK community project, and some from the Littlehampton Academy (school). Of 60 young people, 15 made first time commitments to follow Jesus, and the others had a range of positive experiences of God!
However there was one thing that frustrated me about Soul Survivor this year – and it’s nothing to do with the event itself. It’s in relation to Soul Survivor as a brand and how they have various aspects of the organisation such as SoulNet youth leaders training and Soul Action, the social justice arm.
This year Soul Action is running a campaign called ‘Not For Sale’ which focuses on the problem of poverty and how it creates and perpetuates slavery. Here is their video explanation (also available here):
But this is my problem: there are already a large number of charities running massive global campaigns to end slavery and human trafficking, many of them Christian based. Examples include Stop The Traffik, Love 146, A21 and Destiny Rescue, although I’m sure there are many, many more. While each of these organisations may have a particular focus or objectives, they all share a similar desire to end slavery.
So why are Soul Survivor starting their own campaign rather than throw their considerable weight behind one of these existing organisations? In fact, why don’t some of these big organisations join forces to have more resources to achieve their aims?
This short post from intelligent giving back in 2008 articulates my point well:
there are a number of organizations out there which seem to do very similar things. Age Concern and Help the Aged, for example, cannot easily be told apart. Beating Bowel Cancer and Bowel Cancer UK likewise are difficult to distinguish.
So isnâ€™t it therefore a good thing when some charities clear off, and put an end to duplication?
It’s a good question. I guess there are a number of motivational and political concerns for why organisations develop as they do, but the story of two rival cancer charities who merged back in 2001 gives some hope of how orgs can come together for the greater good.
As I said before: I love Soul Survivor. I also love the fact that they are inspiring young people to think about the issues of global justice. I just wonder why they have to launch their own vehicle for doing it.
Photo Credit: Sam L via Flickr