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.

  • 50% of mums saved in Ethiopia

    Posted by John

    2 February, 2012

    [Australian Aid] "will increase the number of trained midwives from 2002 to 8635, and increase the number of deliveries attended by skilled birth attendants from 18 to 62 per cent.” - Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon Kevin Rudd MP, 26 January 2012. You could feel the buzz of excitement in the Micah Challenge Australia office last year when the Government’s response to the aid review boldly proclaimed that “saving the lives of poor women and children through greater access to quality maternal and child health services” would be a key development objective. This statement was coupled with positive rumblings from Mr Rudd’s office and from the halls of AusAID about the priority of health spending, which came partly in response to our calls for 20% of all aid dollars to be directed to this vital area. But the buzz of excitement was coupled with frustration. In the process of analysing the aid budget, it became clear that the rhetoric about health being a growing priority didn’t seem to match the reality. Far from seeing a… read more

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  • Celebration or Mourning?

    Posted by John

    22 December, 2011

    It’s just a few days out from Christmas. The last weeks have been filled with work parties, Christmas drinks, family gatherings and final catch-ups with friends for the year. A time for celebration! Celebration is something I like to do well. At the same time, at work I’m looking back at the past year at Micah Challenge. Thinking about work for me necessarily means thinking about global poverty and the significant problems faced by so many in our world. As always, reflecting gives me good reason for mourning. Celebration or mourning? They don’t seem to go together. Can I really celebrate this Christmas when I know the reality of the pain and suffering in our world? As I see it, there are 3 possible responses to that question: Option 1: Mourning wins – in this case I feel guilty about celebrating when there is so much pain, so I don’t celebrate Option 2: Celebration wins – this is the option that most people take – I switch off the problems in my mind (either consciously or sub-consciously) so that I can celebrate… read more

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  • Would you spend $15,000 on a meal?

    Posted by John

    8 August, 2011

    I learned very early on in my working life the importance of a dollar. The organisation I worked for early in my career partnered with poor communities in Africa. At the end of each month we would transfer funds to help pay salaries. If we didn't meet budget at the end of the month, I would get paid first, followed by the senior staff in Africa, the project managers etc etc and on down the line it went. The person that would miss out was the driver or the cook or the cleaner - the person that no doubt needed it the most. In this context, I learned to value every dollar. While I have mellowed a little in my penny watching over the years, I still have experiences that make me feel completely at sea. Last week I had one of those experiences. I was out to dinner with some old friends from school. Most of my old school mates work in the finance sector. It is a different world to the world I live in. We started talking about expense accounts and work lunches. One of the boys piped up with this question. 'Boys, some clients took us out for dinner recently. There were… read more

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  • A missing voice in the climate debate?

    Posted by John

    15 July, 2011

    "The earth is the Lord's and everything in it." (Psalm 24:1) I've been reflecting on this reality as I have listened to the debates around a price on pollution this week. As Christians, we embrace the core belief that we are not owners of creation, but stewards. It all belongs to God. Our responsibility as stewards is to use creation and care for it in ways that are consistent with the teaching of Jesus, the character of God, and the nature of the kingdom. That will necessarily include ensuring the way we use our resources results in justice for the world's poor. Our perspective on a price on pollution needs to be God centred and other centred. Certainly we consider our own needs, but never only our own needs. That's the distinctive voice that has been missing from this debate, and one that Christians can bring - a selfless voice - and a necessary voice. Our position on climate change: Micah Challenge Australia is a campaign focused on the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and halving poverty by 2015. Micah Challenge is not a climate change… read more

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