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.

  • Australia's overseas aid: reducing poverty or detaining asylum-seekers?

    Posted by Ben

    11 April, 2013

    In a deeply cynical move just before Christmas last year, the Government diverted $375 million from overseas aid to help meet the rising costs of detaining, processing, and supporting onshore asylum-seekers. This diversion of such a large amount of money (7% of the total aid budget) away from the core business of Australia's aid program – helping poor people move out of poverty – has already had an impact. Our contribution to the life-saving work of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria was cut by $10 million. Programs to help vulnerable communities to adapt to climate change in Vanuatu, Tonga, Indonesia and the Philippines have been axed. Water, sanitation and hygiene programs, maternal and child health, education and livelihood programs have all been delayed or "deferred". Every region and every area of Australia's aid program handed over part of its budget to help plug the Immigration Department's budget hole. Oh, almost every country. Papua New Guinea and Nauru – who are hosting asylum-seeker detention camps… read more

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  • Reflecting on Micah's training modules and change in the church

    Posted by Micah Challenge

    8 April, 2013

    Kylie Dundas writes this blog upon reflection of her participating in our online Training Modules over the past couple of months. She reflects on what she has learnt in the training, as well as sharing her experiences of social change within her church. I have recently been undertaking the Micah Challenge Training modules on how to create social change. Whilst it always initially seems too difficult to squeeze in another activity into my already overflowing schedule, I’ve found these modules to be helpful and interesting. It’s helped me reflect upon my own personal journey of advocating and demonstrating love to the poor and needy of this world. The training has also led me to more critically reflect upon my leadership of a social justice group within my local church. 6 years ago my local church had no social justice ministry, we were pretty inward focused, and not feeling very empowered (or even motivated) to change anything. In 2009 a Catalyst group formed (a Baptist World Aid Australia program) by a small group of 5 people who wanted to see a… 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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  • Driven to action - Scott's pledge to Finish the Race

    Posted by Scott

    27 March, 2013

    It’s official. There are now more overweight people in the world than undernourished. According to the World Health Organisation, in 2008, more than 1.4 billion adults, 20 and older, were overweight. I am one of them. Ok, I prefer to think of it as pleasantly plump, but however I describe it, I find it disturbing that in a world with such plenty 868 million people don’t have enough to eat. Statistics like this are not only disturbing; they drive many to despair, to throw their hands in the air and sigh at the intractability of the problem. They have the opposite effect on me. They drive me to action, because I believe the situation can change. Take undernourishment. In 1990 there were just on a billion hungry people in the world. In the 20 years since then the world population has grown by 1.5 billion, mostly in poorer countries, yet the number of undernourished people has declined by more than 100 million. And the trends are all in the right direction, whether you’re thinking income poverty, child mortality, or kids in school. I was in… read more

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