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.

  • A date with Rudd, AusAid and passionate advocates

    Posted by Simon

    11 May, 2011

    Yesterday, on a cool winter's evening at AusAid headquarters in Canberra, Gershon, Eliza and I had the good fortune of attending the foreign aid budget briefing. As we walked into a large room, full of people; there was a feeling of anticipation. How would Swan's ‘tough' budget affect the world's poorest and most vulnerable people? The foreign aid briefing began almost right on time with The Hon Kevin Rudd providing the opening statement. With his usual air of confidence, Mr. Rudd explained that the Australian Government was still completely committed to raising Australia's foreign aid program to 0.5 per cent of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2015-16. Mr Rudd went on to say that the foreign aid program had been effectively ‘quarantined' to ensure it reached this target. In a challenging and uncertain economic climate, we applaud the Federal Government's actions, which highlight the effective advocacy over a number of years by groups including Micah Challenge. However, this 0.5 per cent commitment is still well short of the… read more

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  • Being an advocate when 'Talk is Cheap'

    Posted by Matt

    4 May, 2011

    Ever heard the expression "talk is cheap"? I think it's an expression Jesus might have used if he was around today. You see, Jesus wasn't big into those who claimed to be something they weren't-especially when those people in question claimed to be "religious". How do we make sure we're not just speaking about injustice because it has become cool to do so amongst Christian circles, but rather are authentically committed to being advocates for and with the poor? In possibly his most heated moment, Jesus read out a list of charges he had against the Pharisees, who were the religious elite of the day. While they were meticulous in their tithing, prayer and knowledge of the law, Jesus identifies that they continued to "neglect justice and the love of God" (Luke 11:42, NIV). He attacked them for their obsession with looking good over doing good. Mother Teresa was another, more recent prophet who also delivered a similar stinging critique. Her name is now synonymous with loving and serving the poor. However, that's not how it began and her eventual fame was never her… read more

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  • Earthquakes, the Carbon Tax, and Easter

    Posted by Nils

    25 April, 2011

    At Easter we think again of the amazing sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross. Dying for the sins of the world and triumphing over evil, this was God coming to earth in human flesh, walking among us, making the ultimate sacrifice, and then rising from the dead. But is that what it is really all about? In 1997 author J.B. Phillips wrote a book called ‘Your God is Too Small' in which he lamented the fact that our conception of God does not do justice to who God really is. In 2011, the same is true amongst many Christians in Australia. Our God is too small. We see Easter as Jesus coming to die for our sins and we're not quite sure what the resurrection is really about, save for the fact that we rejoice over it because we believe that, through the resurrection, God has defeated death. If we progress through our walk of discipleship leaving the resurrection at that, we have short-changed the Gospel. The question we as Christians must wrestle with is what the death and resurrection of Jesus 2,000 years ago has to do with the realities of today's… read more

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  • Child and Maternal Health funding - it's kind of a big deal...

    Posted by Simon

    15 April, 2011

    There's big money in aid. Still not as much as there needs to be, when more than 1 billion people are still living in poverty and we spend more than six times the amount of money on military expenditure than poverty reduction. But compared to individual donors like you and me, it's big money all the same. Australia's foreign aid budget has doubled since 2005 and will double again over the next five years to hit an estimated $8-9 billion by 2015 (assuming the Australian Government holds to its promise of increasing foreign aid to 0.5 per cent of Gross National Income by 2015). Poverty is a big problem, so there needs to be big money in aid-but with Australia's total foreign aid budget increasing, what programs should this new funding focus on? In November, the Australian Government initiated an independent review of our nation's aid program to answer that exact question. The aid review gave individuals and organisations the chance to put forward their views. So in that spirit, here's my two cents: child and maternal health programs should top AusAID's priority… read more

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