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.

  • No choice but to persevere

    Posted by Matt

    10 April, 2014

    For me there is no choice as to whether or not to persevere in the fight against global poverty because for the people I advocate for, choice is not a luxury they have. Now before you think this is about to be a hard-nosed, "let's go hoo haa, stop whining and pull yourself up by the bootstraps" kind of call to arms, let me put you at ease. For those of us who care for the poor and marginalised, the last few years in Australia have been long, painful and at times utterly depressing. We have seen promises broken, cries for justice go unheard and what has felt at times to be not just a toughening of policies but a hardening of hearts. So if you would allow me, let me take you to the far West of Nepal, to meet a woman whose perseverance has been the difference between life or death for countless mothers and their babies, so that her incredible story of determination might refuel and restore you to continue in your own advocacy here in Australia. It was early in the morning when Basanti - a ‘Child Health Now‘ Ambassador trained by… read more

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  • Budget priorities and people power

    Posted by Ben

    26 March, 2014

    Budgets, they say, are moral documents. They reflect the priorities and aspirations of the governments and nations that prepare them. Budgets weigh up which issues and concerns will receive public funds, and how much they will receive, and which issues will be left aside. First budgets of new governments are also significant for signalling new priorities or key differences in approach from their predecessors. It is a way of (economically) framing the story the government wants to tell about itself, about the world, and about the solutions it has to offer to address the problems it regards as particularly important. So the budget sitting of Federal Parliament from Tuesday 13 May and the presentation of Treasurer Joe Hockey's first budget are widely regarded as key moments for the Abbott Government. It's in this light that we'll be watching with interest to see the direction the Government takes in its first overseas aid budget. (Watch the video below for my more detailed explanation of the budget process.) We won't just be watching, though. We… read more

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  • It's time we talk about Syria

    Posted by Phil

    17 March, 2014

    If there is one thing you read about this week it should be the crisis in and around Syria. Forget what you think you know. It’s time you heard the untold story. This is a story about the peaceful majority in Syria, not the violent minority. This is a story about Syrian people who have never touched a gun or weapon of any type. This is a story about mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and grandparents. Syria has become the most significant humanitarian crisis of our generation. There are almost ten million Syrians who have been displaced, including over two million refugees who have fled the country. In the modern era there has never been a time when over half a country has been forced from their homes. Just imagine, the entire population of Sydney and Melbourne being forced to flee their homes from violent conflict. Imagine those people wandering along bomb laden highways and across harsh deserts in search of safety for themselves and their families. It is difficult to fathom, but this is exactly what is happening in and around Syria. Syrians are… read more

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  • Australian aid does a lot of good

    Posted by Ben

    27 February, 2014

    AusAID's 2012–13 annual report (and its last stand-alone annual report since it was absorbed into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) was released late last week and there was lots to be happy about. Through our overseas aid program in 2012–13, we helped to: Vaccinate more than 2.7 million children against deadly diseases Provide safe water for an additional 2.2 million people Provide basic sanitation and increased knowledge of hygiene practices to around 1.9 million people Enrol an additional 1 million children in school Train 100,000 teachers and school officials Ensure more than 7 million poor women and men had access to social transfers (cash or food) Train 200,000 public servants, as well as more than 22,000 police and other law and order officials Support 27 countries to improve public financial management Provide 11.8 million people with life-saving assistance during conflict or crisis situations I would say that for less than 1.4% of the federal budget, and just 35 cents in every $100 of our nation's income, that… read more

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