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.

  • Coalition's aid announcement makes us question our identity

    Posted by John

    6 September, 2013

    Yesterday Mr Abbott, Mr Hockey and the Coalition announced a $4.5 billion cut to the foreign aid budget to fund roads in Australia. The response from the media and the public has been strong and swift. There are clearly many Australians who are committed to fighting poverty in all its forms. There are many who understand that we are dealing with the real lives of marginalised people, and not just the stroke of an accountant’s keyboard. This morning I read through more than 1200 emails that had already been sent through our site to Mr Abbott. The most striking thing for me as I read people’s comments is that this is now about more than the global poor (as if that isn’t enough). While the context is about foreign aid, it is now much bigger than that. We are now not only dealing with questions about our actions, but also with deeper questions about our identity. People are responding out of a deep disconnect between who we say we are as Australians (and aspire to be) and the current priorities of our nation. Clearly this has been driven in large… read more

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  • Halve Poverty: an organisers journey

    Posted by Micah Challenge

    4 September, 2013

    On Saturday August 31, thousands of people from churches, schools and community groups in the Warringah electorate and beyond formed the giant message "Halve Global Poverty 2015" across Manly Beach for Tony Abbott and Australia's political leaders to take notice. Susy Lee is a member of Seaforth Baptist Church and was on the organising team for Warringah's Halve Poverty event; rallying local schools and coordinating the education and advocacy tent. She reflects on her journey in the lead up to the day; and the powerful voice of the younger participants. It’s hard living in a very ‘safe’ seat. It feels like my vote doesn’t count for much. We’ve lobbied our (somewhat famous) MP several times with no feedback, so when Micah Challenge asked us to do something as part of their nation-wide Finish the Race campaign, our little church decided we needed something big and attention-getting. This was an important moment in history – we’re in Tony Abbott’s electorate! So five of us starting… read more

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  • Combatting Illiteracy: the path to alleviating poverty

    Posted by Ben

    1 August, 2013

    In this tiny, cramped hall in Nepal’s Palpa District, dimly lit by a single kerosene lamp, one of the world’s most remarkable classrooms fills with students. Twenty-four women – some bearing infants in their arms or swaddled in cloth across their backs – gather for two hours each evening, six days a week, after an already exhausting day collecting water and firewood, preparing food, feeding and caring for children, tending animals, weeding crops, cleaning, and all the myriad tasks Nepali women are required to perform. They gather to learn, for the first time in their lives, to read and write, taught by a trained volunteer from their local community. The fact that this classroom, or classrooms like it, can be found in every part of the world does not make it any less remarkable. The transformative power of education is seen in the faces of these women, exhausted yet intent. You can hear it in the responses they give when they are asked why, as adults, they have come back to school. “Now when I sell my vegetables in the market, I… read more

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  • Reflections on the latest UN MDG report

    Posted by Gershon

    15 July, 2013

    The latest UN MDG report was released this month. It’s one of those reports that I really look forward to every year, it’s probably the best snapshot of the progress the world has (and hasn’t) been making in the fight against poverty. Committing a few choice statistics from the report to memory is also a great way to razzle dazzle your friends and colleagues with your ‘amazing’ knowledge of world events. Next dinner party, try a line like this one, “I loved that speech that Malala gave to the UN about education this weekend. Did you know that in the last decade or so, the number of children out of school has almost halved, falling from 102 million in 2000 to 57 million by 2011?” It’s a guaranteed way to get some self-esteem boosting ‘oohs and aahs’. Back to the report. It outlines that many of the Millennium Development Goals are within reach by the 2015 deadline, but to achieve them will require building on the momentum that has been generated, despite the economic difficulties facing many nations. The… read more

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