How to: Make your group last

Preparing for September

Need an advisor?

 High school groups should make sure they have an advisor lined up for the new school year, especially if your current advisor might be moving to a new school.

Pass the Torch

 Will your main contact person be changing in September? Update your group information know so that we send any mailings to the proper address! It’s also important to make sure new leaders will have access to old files, contact lists, and any other resources (including posters or banners) that your group has.

Review past work

 What were your successes this year? What were your challenges? Can any of your past activities become annual events? Discuss how to overcome some of the problems you faced, and brainstorm for what you would like to achieve next year.

Pave the way for new members

 How will you attract new members next year? Think about planning your first meeting and how you will make it easier for people to be involved if they’re new. Try to recruit members of different ages to avoid graduating all at once!

Do some ground work

 Are there major campaigns or projects, such as the Write for Rights campaign, that your group will want to participate in? How will you take it on? In what ways will you aim to boost Amnesty’s presence at your school, on your campus, or in your community? Try not to plan everything in advance so that you have a chance to hear what new members will have to say, too. They will bring new ideas and skills into your group.

Getting ready for the Summer

Not every group shuts down over the summer. This could be a great time to:

  • Host an event before people leave, or with those sticking around for the summer. Maybe a Taste for Justice event, or a potluck?
  • Are there festivals or summer events coming to town that you can table at? Have you considered setting up an Amnesty café and handing out materials?
  • Are there conferences taking place at local colleges or universities that you can set up a display at?
  • Join other local Amnesty groups in their summer campaigning. Give us a shout if you need help finding them!

Staying in the loop

Don’t want to miss out on what’s happening with human rights? Keep up-to-date by:

  • Visiting the Youth & Student Program website
  • Sign up for the Youth & Student e-newsletter (you can sign up at the bottom of the page)
  • Join the Individual Youth Program — especially if you’re not continuing with your
    Amnesty group. For $15 a year, you’ll hear about human rights first. Amnesty’s latest
    actions, online petitions, contests, and campaigns will start with you. Email us at or call 613-744-7667 to sign up.

After you graduate

Whether you will be graduating from secondary or post-secondary school, your transition period can be an exciting and busy time. The support you’ve given to Amnesty International doesn’t have to end with graduation — we still need you! Here are a few ways to continue on your journey as a human rights defender:

  1. CONTINUE YOUR ACTIVISM AS A YOUNG PROFESSIONAL Are you interested in connecting with other young professionals about your passion for human rights? Let us know and we can put you in touch!
  2. JOIN THE URGENT ACTION NETWORK When someone’s immediate safety is at risk, we turn to the Urgent Action Network (UAN). UAN participants send urgent faxes, letters, and emails to authorities around the globe. To join, email (include your name, mailing address, and how often you’d like us to send you Urgent Actions).
  3. BECOME AN INDIVIDUAL YOUTH ACTIVIST Continue as an individual supporter of Amnesty and we’ll help you keep taking a stand for human rights. You’ll receive a personal welcome kit, opportunities to take action, regular updates, and our Activist magazine, along with a say in the future of Amnesty.
  4. VOLUNTEER AT AN AMNESTY OFFICE If you’re interested in volunteering, let us know and we’ll connect you with the Activism Coordinator in your area to discuss your options.

Build your resume

Your experience with Amnesty can not only create change on the ground, but it can also help you develop skills which will help you as you carry on in your career, within or beyond the field of human
rights. This might include:


Being a conscious global


Managing events teaches
you how to handle


Plenty of opportunities to
lead beyond your group.


Learn to communicate
with others, no matter
who they are.


Meet new people and learn from them.


Advertising events on the ground and through social media is useful to know.