As an organisation with numerous members, SMC’s natural and strategic focus in everything we do is civil society organisations. These organisations educate and mobilise people living in poverty about their rights and how to improve their ability to change their situation themselves. The organisations provide a platform for advocacy and give people and groups a stronger voice in society.
Since many of the organisations in SMC’s network have a faith-based identity, religion, faith and other convictions are important factors that influence people’s sense of dignity, their attitudes and values and their ability to drive change processes.
SMC wants to see a world in which people can influence their own situations free from poverty and oppressive structures. The basic premise is that every individual is created in God’s image. Human dignity therefore comes from God and is inviolable. Every person has human rights that are universal and non-discriminatory. Individuals can demand their rights from their government and society individually or in groups. Through engagement and participation they can help enhance the legitimacy of organisations as agents of change.
As duty bearers, social actors have a responsibility to reduce poverty and provide the right conditions for fair, equal and sustainable communities in which human rights are met and individuals can influence and change their own lives. They must also create a favourable environment for civil society organisations to do their work so that, through organisation and engagement, they can promote democracy, peace and diversity.