Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach

Counting on Collaboration

July 19, 2013

  Will Donahue

Will Donahue

After attending a recent Extractive Industries Working Group meeting with representatives from various faith-based organizations, my reflections evolved.

As a fresh intern, the perspectives I received led me to wonder how I or the organization I represent can make a significant impact on the issues we work on. A letter by a single non-governmental organization may be easily overlooked because the organization carries represents a small percentage of a politician’s constituents. I now realize, though, that a letter has immense power to affect legislation when it has ninety or so civil society organizations in support of the message. Gathering behind a movement can make a difference.

Approaching my 7th week, I have learned to associate much of one’s first internship not with ability or knowledge gained; however, the root of this experience resonates where my natural urge to overcome challenges grows.  Despite creeping thoughts of the inferiority of my singular physical presence in the Capitol, I know I have to reflect from a broader view relating to life’s journey.

I further recognize high importance of the work of faith-based organizations in places of high influence such as the United States Capitol. We emphasize crucial morals that support cohesive community living; morals which oftentimes become obsolete in political decision-making.

More frequently, I see promise in collaborative work that nurtures trust, which therein helps achieve trust in personal decisions and actions; self-trust is a key to living well and standing proudly for beliefs. Lobbying is a well-suited example of standing firmly to invoke change, especially in regards to faith-based advocacy. Together, faithful networks build hope and confidence to continue individual work. Interconnectedness allows us to be noticed; consequently, we help one another integrate the human element into the legislative process.