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.

  • 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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  • The Manly-Manado Walk is giving poverty the flush

    Posted by Vikki

    13 August, 2012

    The 10km ‘Spit-to-Manly Scenic Walkway’, along Sydney’s harbour foreshore, is undoubtedly one of Sydney’s most beautiful walks through the amazing bush land and beaches of the northern beaches. Such beauty has been the backdrop for 1,600 walkers who, over the last seven years, have raised over $186,000 for communities living in Manado, Indonesia by taking part in the annual Manly-Manado Walk (www.thewalk.org.au), organised by my church, Seaforth Baptist. In less than four weeks (8th September) the eighth Manly-Manado Walk is looking to raise a further $50,000 for 50 mothers and babies at a Compassion Child Survival Program, which is part of our church partnership with Getsemani Baptist Church in Manado. And the exciting news is that the pastor and his wife and son (who is a doctor at the project and speaking at Voices for Justice) are visiting us for the first time from Manado to take part in the Walk. The Walk is much more than a fundraiser. Through our involvement with Micah Challenge, our church has been inspired and encouraged to speak… read more

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  • A $60 billion return on a crap investment?

    Posted by Ben

    25 July, 2012

    Politicians sure do love a good cost-benefit analysis. When resources are scarce, and since there's always another good cause (or a more politically attractive one) to invest public money in, it's good to have some sort of evidence of return on investment. Of course, cost-benefit isn't the only thing that matters when it comes to public policy. However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has just released a cost-benefit analysis that I hope every Australian politician reads: Global costs and benefits of drinking-water supply and sanitation interventions to reach the MDG target and universal coverage*. Looking beyond the yawn-inducing title, though, the report is mind-blowing. It assesses the total economic benefits of meeting the Millennium Development Goal targets as 60 billion US dollars each and every year, through time savings from reduced illness, reduced health care costs and lives saved. Just hold that thought for a moment; halving the proportion of people in the world without access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation would bring… read more

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  • 2.5 billion reasons to sit on a giant toilet

    Posted by Ben

    26 June, 2012

    You may have seen the image of Independent MP, Rob Oakeshott, on a giant toilet in the media lately. It did the rounds of the Sun-Herald, The Age, Crikey and Twitter. It was featured in a website launched by the National Party to attack Mr Oakeshott. We understand that the National Party intends to campaign hard against Mr Oakeshott in the seat of Lyne. Fair enough. That's what political opponents do. But we were disapppointed that the Nationals attack website badly misrepresented the photograph. Rob Oakeshott took his seat atop the novelty toilet in support of a campaign to provide decent sanitation to the 2.5 billion people worldwide who don't have it. Diarrhoea is the second largest killer of children worldwide, and causes the deaths of more children under the age of five than measles, malaria and AIDS combined. Almost all of these deaths are caused by lack of access to – or poor quality – water, sanitation and hygiene. Surely this issue deserves the attention of our elected representatives. And rather than be ridiculed, they should be… read more

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