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.

  • Finish Well

    Posted by Micah Challenge

    9 October, 2012

    Almost a month on from Voices for Justice, Courtney Gavin, Baptist World Aid's Production and Marketing Coordinator, reflects on finishing the race to halve extreme poverty by 2015. If I could describe Voices for Justice 2012 in three words, they would be: amazing; encouraging; motivating. But perhaps I should start at the beginning. My advocacy began as a teenager. Enraged by global poverty and wanting to do something about it, I discovered Micah Challenge and quickly enlisted by signing the ‘Micah Call’. But when I realised this advocacy might actually mean having enough guts to talk to my local federal MP, I have to admit…I was kind of freaked out. So ‘X’ amount of years later, here I am at Voices for Justice for a second time (slowly overcoming my fears), this time as a lobby group leader…no pressure!! My lobby group met with one MP, one Senator and two advisors to a politician. We asked them to recommit to increasing aid to 0.5% GNI by 2016 (and a timetabled commitment of 0.7% by 2020), to ensure effective… read more

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  • Reflections on Voices for Justice

    Posted by Josh

    26 September, 2012

    Well, the Micah Challenge’s Voices for Justice conference is over for another a year, and I thought I might offer just a few reflections on what we did while we were in Canberra for the four incredible days. Though the quality of the teaching sessions, the general reality of our diversity in unity, and the important meetings with (over 100!) MPs are obviously very important to note (and great to take part in), I thought I’d take a step back and look at some of the larger themes. The conference this year centred, basically, around two main points: 1) Firstly, it was noted very clearly that we need to celebrate the progress that has already been made towards reaching the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. For me, this was such an incredibly important part of the whole conference. Though it is true that we still have a long way to go in some instances (and I’ll get to that below), I believe that it’s essential to celebrate the progress that has been achieved. When dealing with issues of poverty and social justice, it’s… read more

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  • Day 4 Voices for Justice - Finishing the Race

    Posted by Micah Challenge

    19 September, 2012

    It was a giant toilet last year. This year, a giant puzzle graced the front lawns of Parliament, spelling out: 2015 Halve Poverty. More than 30 politicians attended the media event, adding their jigsaw-shaped photo to the puzzle. It symbolises the team effort and support across the political spectrum, and that all of us have a part to play in finishing off what we started. I have to say I am exhausted. It’s been a busy day of lobbying, speaking to politicians and brainstorming ideas for local action. We’ve been hearing many inspiring stories from the various lobby groups and the encouragement from politicians to keep on advocating. Our group met with our local MP, the Hon Daryl Melham MP from Banks. We were pleasantly surprised at his support this year and shared some entertaining moments. He will be making a speech in Parliament on the issue and looks forward to attending a Micah ‘Finish the Race’ event. I think it can be easy to become jaded, both amongst politicians and seasoned campaigners. We need to keep our fire for justice… read more

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  • Day 3 Voices For Justice - Entering Parliament

    Posted by Micah

    18 September, 2012

    Day 3 – Voices For Justice Caption Phil Chan with other Voices For Justice participants We’re finally here and there’s a hive of activity at Parliament House! After a morning prayer session on the front lawns, we’ve been busy today meeting with politicians, attending panel discussions and question time, which was unsurprisingly rumbustious. Our lobby group had an extremely encouraging meeting with the Hon Laura Smyth MP, the federal member for La Trobe in Victoria. We were blown away by her overwhelming support for the MDGs and passion in helping the poor. I was particularly surprised at how friendly and frank she was during our discussion, sharing her experiences in the Asia-Pacific, where she saw poverty first-hand, and her activism on social justice before entering politics. She was genuinely interested in what we had to say. She said it was important to cultivate community support on our policy asks, such as raising awareness on the importance of aid for sanitation and hygiene, and to suggest cuts in other parts of the budget… read more

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