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.

  • Child and Maternal Health funding - it's kind of a big deal...

    Posted by Simon

    15 April, 2011

    There's big money in aid. Still not as much as there needs to be, when more than 1 billion people are still living in poverty and we spend more than six times the amount of money on military expenditure than poverty reduction. But compared to individual donors like you and me, it's big money all the same. Australia's foreign aid budget has doubled since 2005 and will double again over the next five years to hit an estimated $8-9 billion by 2015 (assuming the Australian Government holds to its promise of increasing foreign aid to 0.5 per cent of Gross National Income by 2015). Poverty is a big problem, so there needs to be big money in aid-but with Australia's total foreign aid budget increasing, what programs should this new funding focus on? In November, the Australian Government initiated an independent review of our nation's aid program to answer that exact question. The aid review gave individuals and organisations the chance to put forward their views. So in that spirit, here's my two cents: child and maternal health programs should top AusAID's priority… read more

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  • No more head-nodding observers

    Posted by Marissa

    8 April, 2011

    Last Saturday was the NSW Micah Challenge Training Day, which brought together people from all around Sydney to participate in a range of workshops and networking sessions. Topics included political engagement; key campaign focus areas such as health (MDG4+5) and environmental sustainability (MDG7); as well as advocacy and theology. It was a great day of conversations about the work of Micah Challenge, as well as the development organisations involved in our coalition. I really valued seeing people come and be informed about how as Christians we need to commit to engage more fully in the arena of poverty and social justice, even as it starts at home with the Australian Government's AusAID program. I was also really impacted by some reflections from the Chair of the Micah Challenge National Steering Committee, Paul Perini, who encouraged us to make sure we are 'participants' in the work of justice, and not just 'observers'. I was reminded that Jesus is our prime example of fully engaging with the world - and that this has significant political implications. The… read more

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  • Praise for 'Theology of Climate Change' paper

    Posted by Tabitha

    7 April, 2011

    I came across the following article praising our 'Theology of Climate Change' paper on the Christian Today website. I was encouraged to see that the effort of our Theological Working Group has been met with appreciation. Great timing with the launch of our 'Share the Earth' MDG7 campaign too... Christians and Climate Change The issue of Climate Change continues to heat up in Australian politics with the Federal Government taking a major hit in the polls for its controversial carbon tax, while the Opposition continues in its refusal to accept the science of climate change. While this may leave you unsure of who to believe and scratching your head to work out why it has become such a political hot potato, it is vital Christians look to the Bible for an appropriate response. In 2009, The Australian Christian aid campaign, Micah Challenge released a statement called a "Theological Response to Climate Change". This paper is as relevant today as it was when it was first released and is a must read for any Christian wanting to form a biblical response to the issue.… read more

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  • The division that drives us

    Posted by Steve

    31 March, 2011

    There is an age old debate within the Christian faith; one that will not ever be permanently resolved this side of the second coming. It's the contentious "battle" between social justice and evangelism - global justice verses personal salvation; social worker verses street preacher. As someone who pours the majority of their energy into the field of international development and advocacy for the poor, I obviously have a propensity towards social justice a significant expression of my Christian faith. And to be honest it took me a very long time come to terms with those who couldn't see my side of the coin as clearly as I could. I recall conversations in years gone by where I've debated Christians who I know are more focused on the evangelism "side" of things than I am; but nothing I said was particularly effective in changing their minds, and nothing they said ever convinced me of the need to advance the gospel more overtly than I already was. My conviction was that God's Spirit would work through my life, deeds, love and (yes) words to draw people to himself,… read more

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