The participants’ answers to that one question tell Fomodor what she needs to know about the effectiveness of the work of the Christian Convergence for Good Governance (CCGG), a World Renew funding partner. And what she finds is that there are consistent, quality results. Fomodor began working with World Renew (then CRWRC) in the Philippines in 2002 as a justice consultant and became general secretary of the CCGG in 2007.
CCGG is a coalition of Christian churches, including the CRC of the Philippines, that educates, equips, and engages people in the political process. The framework for the training is integrity—of candidates, voters, and government structures—based on biblical principles such as honesty, transparency, and diligence.
In 2007, Fomodor began working among Christian churches to train young adults in leadership and local government. As a result, many of the young people ran for government offices and won in 43 districts. Next, Fomodor trained regional pastors to emphasize non-partisan political education in their sermons, and churches began to sponsor political rallies that provide communities with opportunities to learn about candidates and their platforms.
Today, there are 1,300 trained leaders teaching poor and marginalized people that they have a right and a duty to cast their own, un-influenced vote in free and fair elections.
Then last year, Fomodor began to train indigenous people in voter education and registration. Today, there are 1,300 trained leaders teaching poor and marginalized people that they have a right and a duty to cast their own, un-influenced vote in free and fair elections.
With a small staff and supplementing with consulting and teaching, Fomodor says that working at the grassroots level with people in their communities is a calling. “It is a miracle to change people’s mindsets,” she says. “In communities where buying votes is normal, the beginning of that change is when people stop accepting money or goods from political candidates in exchange for their vote.”
Educating voters, challenging corruption, and activating Christian churches and organizations in national affairs is helping to “level the playing field,” Fomodor says, so that minority ethnic people and others who live in poverty have a voice and a vote in their leadership.
Sometimes the results of the work are surprising, even to the CCGG staff. When they used social media to advocate for a peaceful protest against a $1 billion corruption scam that exploded in recent national news, more than 150,000 Christians and other citizens showed up for a peaceful public rally against extortion, fraud, and bribery in government offices. To Fomodor, the turnout illustrated CCGG’s role in “connecting the Word of God to our everyday lives.”
“CCGG’s ministry comes from God, and He will sustain it,” Fomodor says. “I just sow the seeds and pray, and He makes it grow.”
In the coming months, CCGG’s work will include working with the United Nations to monitor the use of non-profit funding for Typhoon Haiyan response, continuing to build capacity and accountability among Christian churches, and advocating for a more consistent application of a national agreement with indigenous peoples.
CCGG also partners with Micah Challenge International, a coalition of Christian organizations in 50 countries working to end extreme poverty and educate, train, and resource Christians around the world to become involved in advocacy.
World Renew’s Asia Team Leader Tom Post says that, “CCGG is a Christian catalyst in the struggle against corruption in the Philippines. CCGG is empowering Christian pastors and congregations to anonymously report cases of corruption and to advocate for Micah Challenge goals in their parishes.”