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EXPOSED: Why millions are shining a light into secrecy of corruption

Written by Guest on Wednesday, 16 October 2013

This week saw the launch of the EXPOSED campaign by faith based organisation Micah Challenge International. We invited them to contribute a guest blog and explain some of the motivations behind the campaign.


This week saw the launch of the EXPOSED campaign by faith based organisation Micah Challenge International. We invited them to contribute a guest blog and explain some of the motivations behind the campaign.

Sarah Dlamini from South Africa is a doctor with enough experience in the public corruption-resources-corruption-resources-health system to comment with some credibility on corruption. The Auditor General has found that R30 billion (US$3billion) is wasted on corruption in the country each year. She writes:

“Corruption is the tragedy of South Africa today. But do you know what for me is the real tragedy? The silence. Sure at the occasional braai we all have a big moan about wasted potential how the poor are the ones really suffering and then, inevitably, the conversation moves to: ‘Nothing will ever change.’ ‘The ruling party will never be voted out.’ ‘Whistle blowers will always be squashed.’

Somehow, you see, we get away with not caring. Once we’ve had an appropriate rant in whatever social arena, we return to the comfort of our reality and forget. We forget the ones who cannot forget.

We forget the young teenage mother weeping in the rural district hospital over her baby who is gasping his last because the incubator is not working. Tender gone bad. We forget the 4 year old walking home from school hit by a truck because there is no sidewalk for him to walk on. Tender gone bad. Corrupt officials turn a blind eye. And so do we.”

Sarah’s voice is why the EXPOSED campaign exists. We want to speak out to stop corruption at all levels and highlight actions that are bringing hope. We all know corruption is bad and it’s big and that it affects the poorest families the most. Transparency International’s annual reports highlight corruption levels in clear and stark fashion. EXPOSED is a response by people on the ground to take practical steps for change.

This week will see millions of people taking part in actions and prayer vigils aimed at shining a light on resources-resources-business, government and church to call for integrity and transparency. At a local level, people will make a personal commitment that may mean saying No to bribery. At the other end of the power spectrum, the campaign’s Global Call Against Corruption will push G20 leaders to take firm action against behaviour that sees trillions disappear in bribery, tax havens, shell companies and other practices designed to evade accountability.

The campaign is keen to shine light into dark corners not simply to blame others but also to stand up for some eternal values – honesty, integrity and generosity. Outside St Paul’s Cathedral on Monday evening, Canon Mark Oakley told the crowd gathered at an EXPOSED Vigil:

“We all need deep, searching scrutiny and challenge because we have grown up in a culture that has been telling us for so long now that life is just survival of the fittest. Fit for what we haven’t actually been told. But money has the power to magic us into people we would prefer not to be without us even noticing.

And … in this environment of deadly competitiveness where life is only real somehow if it manifests survival or profit, when growth is talked about without any reference to who or what growth must be for, then, of course, we curdle – as individuals, as institutions, as governments and churches. And then corruption takes hold as part of the battle we wage that pathetically call living. But corruption does not love life. It is deathly.”

Corruption flourishes when people are afraid to speak out – the blind eye and the indifferent heart. If we allow secrecy and bribery and tax evasion, people are robbed of dignity and the weakest are bullied.

In Nepal, small community churches are recovering their dignity and voice. In a unique moment they presented a letter to the President promising to contribute in a positive, peaceful and honest way to Nepal, and asked the government to do the same. They had also presented letters to local government leaders. They hope this action will herald new accountability and trust.

In countries where it can be risky to speak out – like Nepal, Uganda and Malaysia – supporters of EXPOSED are finding new heart in being part of a global event and they are working closely with groups like Transparency International.

I’m so proud to know Thir in Nepal, Joyce in Malaysia and Bishop Zac in Uganda and proud to share the story of Sarah and Canon Mark. As EXPOSED week progresses there will be more stories of hope and audacity. They will rarely reach the news but each one is helping to bring down the walls of economic selfishness and secret greed.

  • If you don’t know about EXPOSED, you can find basic information in this toolkit for churches and individuals.
  • If you are a resources-resources-business person/entrepreneur take a look at the Business Toolkit developed by Micah Challenge (with advice from many experts).

Please do all you can to pester people to sign the global call against corruption. We need your voice.

Amanda Jackson is Head of Campaigns and Policy at faith based organisation Micah Challenge International which is responsible for the EXPOSED campaign launched this week. We invited Amanda to contribute a guest blog and explain some of the motivations behind the campaign.

 

 

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Read 25809 times Last modified on Tuesday, 24 November 2015 11:47

Guest

The TI-UK blog features thought and opinion from guest writers as well as TI staff. Any opinions expressed by external contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of Transparency International UK.

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