Micah Challenge Australia Blog

 

The Micah Challenge blog is a space for discussion and debate about the issues of global poverty, faith, advocacy and justice and the Millennium Development Goals. This blog aims to provoke thought and challenge you to learn more about the issues discussed. We welcome your comments.

Micah Challenge is a global campaign of Christians speaking out against poverty and injustice. Click here to visit the Micah Challenge website.

  • Combatting Illiteracy: the path to alleviating poverty

    Posted by Ben

    1 August, 2013

    In this tiny, cramped hall in Nepal’s Palpa District, dimly lit by a single kerosene lamp, one of the world’s most remarkable classrooms fills with students. Twenty-four women – some bearing infants in their arms or swaddled in cloth across their backs – gather for two hours each evening, six days a week, after an already exhausting day collecting water and firewood, preparing food, feeding and caring for children, tending animals, weeding crops, cleaning, and all the myriad tasks Nepali women are required to perform. They gather to learn, for the first time in their lives, to read and write, taught by a trained volunteer from their local community. The fact that this classroom, or classrooms like it, can be found in every part of the world does not make it any less remarkable. The transformative power of education is seen in the faces of these women, exhausted yet intent. You can hear it in the responses they give when they are asked why, as adults, they have come back to school. “Now when I sell my vegetables in the market, I… read more

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  • Dirt in the Ground, Money in the Bank

    Posted by Jennifer

    30 July, 2013

    The continent of Africa is richly endowed in natural resources and yet suffers the highest rates of poverty in the world. In the past decade, many resource-rich African nations have enjoyed significant economic growth, which have been reflected by massive jumps in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and per capita income. For example, in Angola, GDP grew an average of 10% annually and per capita income increased by 111% between 2000 and 2011. And yet this wealth has not been accompanied by improved wellbeing in all countries. Despite the growth in its economy, Angola has the eighth highest rate of child mortality in the world and ranks 148th on the United Nation’s Human Development Index. This highlights a massive misalignment which exists between the resource wealth and development progress being experienced in many countries in Africa. The African Progress Report 2013, published by the Africa Progress Panel, seeks to explain these discrepancies and offer potential policy solutions to redress them. So why do Africa’s citizens not enjoy the… read more

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  • Houston We Have A (Tax) Problem

    Posted by Ben

    22 July, 2013

    On Friday, the Finance Ministers of the G-20 met in Moscow to talk tax. To facilitate the discussion, the members-only club of rich countries, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), put forward its Action Plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (pdf). Translated from Bureaucratese, that's an action plan to tackle aggressive tax avoidance and evasion by multinational corporations. Unfortunately, it's a plan that is good on recognising some aspects of the problem but not so good at taking a root-and-branch approach to tackling that problem. The action plan recognises that the problems caused by multinational tax avoidance are real, and they cause real harm to governments, to taxpayers, and to businesses – particularly domestic businesses who are unable or unwilling to make the same use of tax avoidance opportunities available to multinational companies. It even notes that tax avoidance by multinationals causes particular problems for developing countries as, "the lack of tax revenue leads to critical under-funding… read more

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  • Disability Inclusive Development Day - Sita's Story

    Posted by Lucy

    17 July, 2013

    Over 1 in 5 of the world’s poorest people live with disability – meaning that including people with disabilities in our aid program is key to overcoming poverty. Today we’re making sure this important issue stays on the aid agenda by taking part in ‘we D.I.D. it’ day, calling for an AusAID Ambassador for Disability Inclusive Development. Here is a story of why… Meet Sita. At 21 years of age and wearing a dress that she has made in beautiful colours that reflect the bright Indian sun, she is a picture of confidence and capability. However, Sita’s life has not always been so strong and hopeful. Like many others in India of her age, Sita contracted polio when she was young which led to a permanent disability that affected the way that she walked and moved. “I started to miss school because it was too hard to get there. It was more than 2 km away and we cannot afford a bus. So I ended up staying at home and doing nothing. I stopped going outside and seeing my friends. I was very sad,” says Sita. Even when Sita… read more

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