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.

  • What will Mr. Rudd's resignation mean for the poor?

    Posted by John

    23 February, 2012

    My answer to the question posed in the title of this blog is simple – I don’t know yet. The obvious reaction to Mr. Rudd’s announcement for us here in the Micah Challenge office is to get focused on what this will mean for the campaign. How should we respond? What strategies should we develop to ensure Australia’s commitments to the world's poorest people are maintained and strengthened? I was in that space this morning when I read something from a Pastor friend of mine who said this on Facebook: ‘"@twitter reveals the dysfunctional heart of Aussies in response to the crisis. A better response? Pray with me 4 @JuliaGillard & @KRuddMP" It was a timely reminder for me. The focus for Micah Challenge this week has been our PrayACT campaign. We have been encouraging people to focus on prayer as the primary action we should take as Christian advocates for the poor. No doubt we will also spend time over the coming days, weeks and months thinking about how we can best use our voices on behalf of the poor in this… read more

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  • 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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  • Why we 'like' the aid advisors review.

    Posted by Ben

    31 January, 2012

    AusAID's recently completed Aid Advisor Review just barely made a dent in a media landscape dominated by cricketing comebacks, tennis marathons, lost Prime Ministerial shoes and the like, but it's a small, good thing, and another step in the right direction for Australia's aid program. Advisors can be tremendous for building capacity, transferring skills and knowledge, and filling critical human resource gaps in developing countries. However, as previously discussed on this blog, they can be pricey and it's not always the most cost-effective way, or the most strategic way to build national ownership for development priorities and deliver results that help the poor. Continuing to reduce our reliance on advisors and contractors to deliver our aid program is a good way to manage a growing aid budget well and build on trends towards greater partner country ownership of agreed development priorities. Australia still has more to do in meeting our commitment to lifting aid to 0.5% of national income by 2015 (let alone setting a timetable to meet our… read more

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  • Celebrating International Day of People with Disabilities

    Posted by Stevie

    2 December, 2011

    The way I see it, living with cerebral palsy has given me opportunities to rise to the challenges I face. Living in Australia, I have a walking frame, wheelchair, and an aide called a ‘keyguard’, which assists my typing. Provided with assistance, I was able to go through primary and secondary mainstream schools. Growing up I had physio, speech and occupational therapy, all of which helped me to develop my physical abilities. My immediate and extended family are extremely supportive, encouraging me to do all that I can for myself, and assisting me when needed. I have developed my writing, public speaking and pastoral skills, studied a Diploma in Counselling Studies and enjoy dear friendships – everything I need to lead a rich and fulfilling life. I have been given opportunities and empowerment to be all that I can be... All that I was born to be. But if I had been born into poverty, my life would have been very different. Without a walking frame, or wheelchair, I would crawl along the ground. As a small child, I would have been reliant on my… read more

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