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.

  • Urgent AND Important!

    Posted by John

    18 February, 2013

    I wouldn’t blame you if you were tired of people like me telling you that I need your help or support RIGHT NOW! Urgency can be tiring. Urgency is stressful. Urgency is unsustainable. That’s why the experts always warn us not to let the ‘urgent’ crowd out the ‘important’. The reality is that poverty in our world never slips off the urgent list. At every moment of every day someone in our world faces a life or death situation that is caused by poverty. However, for us who are removed from those situations, keeping it on our urgent list is probably unrealistic. That’s why our focus at Micah Challenge is to create lifelong advocates who will stand against the injustice of poverty as a matter of course – people for whom fighting poverty becomes part of who you are, rather than just something you do for a time. In other words, we are trying to plant it firmly on your ‘important’ list rather than your ‘urgent’ list, so that it doesn’t get pushed down your priority list. Having said that,… read more

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  • Let's finish what we started

    Posted by John

    13 November, 2012

    All of us have jobs that we leave unfinished that are the source of much frustration. All of us have to-do lists that never seem to get done. But some things just shouldn’t be left unfinished. In the year 2000 we committed to achieving eight Millennium Development Goals in order to halve poverty by 2015. These goals included reducing the number of kids dying before their fifth birthday by 2/3, reducing the number of mothers dying in childbirth by ¾, and halving the number of people without access to a toilet. We committed to ‘spare no effort’ to free people from extreme poverty. Some things are worth finishing. Micah Challenge’s Finish the Race campaign is an invitation to all Christians in this country to make sure that we don’t leave the job of halving global poverty by 2015 unfinished. There is too much at stake to let this slip down the to-do list. Finish the Race is an opportunity to work together as the body of Christ to address poverty and injustice because we believe poverty is contrary to God’s desire… read more

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  • Follow the Leaders

    Posted by John

    21 June, 2012

    I regularly have conversations with people who are passionate about the cause of poverty reduction, yet feel disheartened that their friends, or even their churches, don’t seem to care enough (or in some cases don’t seem to care at all) about addressing the issue. This kind of apathy is undoubtedly one of the biggest obstacles we face in the fight to overcome poverty. It can make the strongest of us feel disheartened at times. But every now and then we’re encouraged by breakthroughs. Every now and then something pulls us out of the miry clay caused by apathy and inspires us to express our hope through action. This week’s open letters, sent from Australia’s church leaders to the leaders of both the government and the opposition, provide us with one of those moments of inspiration. The letters, signed by leaders of most of Australia’s Christian denominations, express deep disappointment at the broken promise from the government as it pushed out its timetable to increase aid to 0.5% of GNI beyond 2015. The leaders… read more

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  • A Response to Mr Downer

    Posted by John

    31 May, 2012

    In an article entitled ‘Aid means quality, not quantity’ published on May 20 in the Adelaide Advertiser, Alexander Downer claims that the NGO community says ‘barely a word’ about aid effectiveness and is only interested in the size of the aid budget ‘even if much of it is wasted.’ As someone who is actively involved in the NGO sector, this is my response to Mr Downer’s article. Alongside thousands of everyday Australians and NGOs, Micah Challenge has repeatedly called for more effective aid. We have called for a greater focus on inclusive development for disabled persons, more effective spending on health, water, sanitation and governance programs, as well as greater transparency and accountability. Certainly the quantity of aid becomes a focus for both the NGO sector, and the general public around budget time. This is basically because the government often seems to be looking for ways to defer increases to the aid budget. That was the case when Mr Downer was Foreign Minister and, sadly, is still the case now. That said,… read more

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