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.

  • Have we lost ourselves in statistics?

    Posted by Eliza

    28 April, 2011

    Atticus Finch was on to something when he said "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view - until you climb into his skin and walk around in it." Atticus was not talking about those in poverty when he said this, but I feel it encapsulates my experience of the 'Connecting Lives' exhibition a few weeks ago. The exhibition, which officially opened in Sydney on Monday, provides the general public with an opportunity to experience the life of three children in Africa; Innocent in a Ugandan IDP (Internally Displaced Persons Camp), Kombo in AID's affected Kenya and Selamawit, enduring child labor in Ethiopia. Having already walked through the story of Kombo at St Mary's Cathedral as part of World Youth Day in 2008, I recently had the privilege of walking through the life of Innocent and Selamawit. The stories of these girls are exceptionally powerful. I found myself hanging onto every word that came through my headphones, not anticipating the emotional extremes that I was experiencing. For 40 minutes I shared their anxiety,… 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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  • No more head-nodding observers

    Posted by Marissa

    8 April, 2011

    Last Saturday was the NSW Micah Challenge Training Day, which brought together people from all around Sydney to participate in a range of workshops and networking sessions. Topics included political engagement; key campaign focus areas such as health (MDG4+5) and environmental sustainability (MDG7); as well as advocacy and theology. It was a great day of conversations about the work of Micah Challenge, as well as the development organisations involved in our coalition. I really valued seeing people come and be informed about how as Christians we need to commit to engage more fully in the arena of poverty and social justice, even as it starts at home with the Australian Government's AusAID program. I was also really impacted by some reflections from the Chair of the Micah Challenge National Steering Committee, Paul Perini, who encouraged us to make sure we are 'participants' in the work of justice, and not just 'observers'. I was reminded that Jesus is our prime example of fully engaging with the world - and that this has significant political implications. The… read more

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  • Persistant prayer for justice (Luke 18)

    Posted by John

    15 March, 2011

    Unanswered prayer. What do those two words make you think about? What emotions do they raise? They make me think about injustice - because a vast majority of my prayers are requests that injustice would be replaced by justice - that God would make wrong things right. What happens to my faith when the thing I prayed to be made right remains wrong?I was thinking through these questions with some friends last week and I re-stumbled across a little parable in Luke 18:1-8. It's often referred to as the Parable of the persistent widow: Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.' "For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually come… read more

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