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.

  • How a supermarket can explain the problems of tax corruption

    Posted by Marissa

    14 October, 2013

    MNCs, base erosion, profit shifting, subsidiaries, tax havens, transfer mispricing... lots of complicated economics terms that zoom over many of our heads, mine included. While determined to undertake further research and grasp the implications of what was being referred to as a complex and broken system, I came across a simple yet accurate analogy. Going to the supermarket, you are left with the choice of lining up for a cashier, or jumping to the self-serve machine. I was shocked to learn recently that it is not uncommon for people to cut corners and avoid accurately paying for things. For example, you can manually enter an item to pay 39c a kilo when it is actually worth $20 a kilo. It's wrong: it's unethical, it's stealing, and it's illegal.... But because you're operating the transaction yourself and there's no one over your shoulder watching exactly what you're doing, you can get away with it. Amazingly, the supermarket company knows this is happening but from a business and profits perspective, it is actually cheaper for… read more

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  • Leaders map way to take global development beyond 2015

    Posted by Amanda

    6 June, 2013

    The leaders of three very different nations, Indonesia, the UK and Liberia (as well as an army of advisors) have been meeting over the last nine months to discuss what the world might want to aim for in the next generation. At the moment we have the Millennium Development Goals which Micah Challenge campaigns around, but what happens after 2015? That’s what the High Level Panel has addressed in its report to the UN. It set out its ideas on a post 2015 global development agenda after hearing from thousands of people and groups. The report builds on the MDGs in many ways but goes beyond them. It wants to ‘eradicate’ extreme poverty and it urges the world to embrace sustainable development with social, economic and environmental dimensions. It puts women and youth at the heart of the picture and talks about the importance of peace and good governance. It weaves human rights throughout the report and importantly it wants any future goals to be universal – so they apply to Australia as much as Timor Leste and Brazil. And perhaps unexcitedly it… read more

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  • Embarrassed but thankful

    Posted by John

    18 March, 2013

    I’m rarely embarrassed. My family is often embarrassed by me, but I’m rarely embarrassed. Tonight I was embarrassed. Embarrassed to be an Australian. Embarrassed to be me. I’ve known Francois for 4 years. We’ve met three times in that 4 years. Every 2 years Micah Challenge Coordinators from around the world gather for fellowship and planning. Francois is the Coordinator of Micah Challenge in the small African nation of Burundi and we are together in South Africa at the moment. I arrived last night and this morning we hugged and renewed our friendship. Tonight we sat together to pray for our nations. We were each given a profile of our nation with various poverty/justice indicators on the sheet. I was embarrassed. This is not new to me. I know there is mass inequality in our world. So tonight I was surprised at how fresh the reality of that inequality was for me as I sat next to Francois. I didn’t want him to look at Australia’s profile because I was embarrassed by it. I didn’t like the way it made me feel.… read more

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  • Women of Goma cry out for peace this Christmas

    Posted by Amanda

    17 December, 2012

    At the first Christmas, angels sang of peace and goodwill - comforting and hopeful promises that fit our celebrations. But for Mary and Joseph and their new baby, God's promise must have seemed elusive. We know they had to flee immediate danger because of Herod's cruel response to the prophecy of a new king. I wonder whether they had an inkling of God's peace that passes understanding – I hope they did as they sought God's protection and guidance outside Israel. If Bethlehem was a forgotten backwater of the Roman Empire, Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), is a remote and forgotten place today. But a place rich in minerals like gold and coltan. A place worth fighting over. On November 20, 2012, M23 rebels seized Goma, reigniting a war that has ravaged the region for 16 years. In the midst of UN inaction and corrupt government troops, the M23, one of many rebel groups vying for power in allegiances that shift and change, was able to move swiftly. Neighbouring Rwanda was accused of supporting the M23 for ethnic and economic… read more

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