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.

  • 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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  • Will aid be a priority at the next election?

    Posted by Jennifer

    2 April, 2013

    If you were to ask 20 average Australians to give you a list of their top 5 priorities when it comes to making a decision to vote, how often would foreign aid gain a mention? Having done this very experiment informally myself over recent weeks, I have quickly discovered that education, child care, jobs, immigration policy and other domestic priorities very quickly fill up this list for most people. Climate change policy may feature somewhere around number 4 or 5 for those who have an environmental inclination, but in very few cases will foreign affairs get a mention, let alone foreign aid. It is true that foreign aid currently accounts for only 1.5% of Government expenditure, so why should it be a priority? I would argue that in terms of its capacity to save lives and increase the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of people around the world, this money is some of the most important of all Government expenditure. With a Federal election scheduled for September 14th, Micah Challenge is committed to placing foreign aid high on the agenda of policy… read more

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  • Adventures of an Intern

    Posted by Laura

    26 November, 2012

    Whenever people ask me what it is that I actually do at Micah, I find it a bit hard to explain. “I’m an intern,” I say, “the political engagement intern.” “And what does that mean? What do you do?” “Well,” I begin to explain, “I work in the office, with Ben, learning about the political process, thinking about campaigns, and mulling over how Christians can be engaging with the Australian government, being advocates of the poor, and effectively providing aid.” To be honest, that’s not even half of it. A bit of background: My name is Laura, and I’ve spent the past couple of years at Sydney University studying international relations. It’s been great, but a little bit abstract. For a long time I’ve been interested in issues of poverty, and have had a vague sense of the calling on Christians to actively work to right injustice, but with little sense of what that can, or should look like in reality. Towards the end of last year, I heard that Micah Challenge offered internships,… read more

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  • Happy World Toilet Day 2012!

    Posted by Ben

    19 November, 2012

    It's not one of the best-known or most widely-celebrated of international days. It doesn't have a major celebrity spokesperson or designer accessory to promote it. But World Toilet Day is, arguably, one of the most important days on the calendar. Your loo, and the sanitation infrastructure you are perched on top of every time you do your daily business, is probably doing more to keep you healthy than any other medical advance made in the last 200 years. But in the world today, 2.5 billion people still don't have access to adequate sanitation and around 1.1 billion still practise open defecation, with health consequences that aren't difficult to imagine. Diarrheoal diseases cause around 2 million deaths each year, and almost all of those are the result of low-quality water supply, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene. Locally and globally, though, there is good news. Grassroots, or bottom-up (pun intended), campaigns to bring toilets to every community are having startling success in many places. In Nepal, for example thousands of communities… read more

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