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Burma – Campaign Success! A “true benefit”

As a recruiter, one of the key questions that I ask a campaigner is “tell me about your main success in this role?”

Sometimes they are significant and impressive. Often, even for campaigners with over 5 years experience they are not substantial. Such as “we set up a meeting with this key MP” or “we got access to this funding to allow us to campaign more”

When you’re selling anything, and in this case these campaigners are selling themselves onto a future employer, then you need to focus on the “benefits” not the “features”. And many mid-range campaigners have careers which are full of “features”. Only the best campaigners have a good number of successes which are real “benefits”. This can mean changing laws or attitudes that changes beneficiary’s lives.

But as we speak, two campaigners, who you probably haven’t heard of, based in a small office in Shoreditch, have played a crucial part in potentially providing history-changing and fundamental benefits to millions of people’s lives in Burma.

Anna Roberts and Mark Farmaner – who are the Executive Director and Director, respectively, of the Burma Campaign UK have devoted the last 14 years of their lives to gaining democracy in Burma.

For just over a year, as I set up The Right Ethos, I worked a day a week at the Burma Campaign UK and saw their commitment and determination to win the campaign.

They ensured that Burmese people living in the UK were at the heart of their campaigning – people like Zoya Phan and Wai Hnin Pwint Thon – whose personal stories of how they ended up in the UK and are fighting for freedom for Burma are beyond inspiring.

I’m absolutely certain that Anna and Mark are not celebrating at the moment – although the TV news shows thousands celebrating on the streets of Rangoon and elsewhere in Burma. They are focussed on gaining a sustainable freedom and a strong democracy, which does not include the military having any power and instead answering to the people.

The Burma Campaign website gives only messages of caution rather than celebration. Perhaps a bit harsh on its supporters who have perhaps deserve to start feeling good about these positive steps forward in Burma.

It’s been quoted that the Burma Campaign UK is the world’s leading organisation dedicated to campaigning for freedom and democracy in Burma.

And latterly this is down to Anna Roberts and Mark Farmaner. What’s happening in Burma are real campaign successes for Anna and Mark personally – perhaps not the ultimate success

I sincerely hope one day that they will do themselves out of their own jobs – this is the ultimate success for any campaign.

Other campaigning organisations should have them on their radar for the future – they’d be lucky to have them within their ranks.