Hmmm…a lot has been happening lately and I haven’t really known how to put it. So I will attempt to now – it’s a pretty slow day at work.
About a month ago I went to a conference called Voices for Justice which pretty much just involved me and 260 other people going into Parliament House and asking MP’s and Senators to make an effort towards achieving the Millenium Development Goals (MDG’s). Meaning, halving global poverty by 2015. This year (this conference has been happening for 4 years now) we were focusing on the goals for more aid, better aid, and climate change.
More aid refers to the target of raising our overseas aid budget .7% per Gross National Income (GNI). We’re currently on .34% and aiming at reaching .5% by 2015. Which, yeah it’s great that our government are trying to improve, but it’s still not good enough. Australia makes up 2% percent of the world’s global economy, so we should be striving to contribute our fair share which ends up being .7%.
Better aid means targeting aid for children and maternity health. Each year, 9.2 million children die before their 5th birthday. This is mainly from preventable diseases like malaria and diarrhoea.
When I say climate change, we weren’t just lobbying to keep the temperature rise below 2 degrees. We were also asking the government to give money to assist those in developing countries who, due to the change in climate, are struggling to survive where they live. Whether you believe climate change is “>man made or not, it’s still important for us to be assisting those who can’t eat or even live in their homes because of rising sea levels, drought or more frequent monsoon seasons. The money we were asking is in addition to the .7% we were asking.
It was a really challenging and informative time. I learnt a lot about what is happening in the world, the way our country works and I also learnt a lot about myself. I felt more confident and more sure of myself. I am incredibly shy and self conscious, and meeting up with the people who are in charge of the country is a fairly scary prospect. But I did it. And I loved it.
I really want to encourage those who are passionate about this stuff to speak to your local MP. They’re not as scary as they seem and love to talk to the people in their electorate. It is not normal for people to lobby for someone else and it whether you realise it or not, it actually does make quite an impact.
We also presented K. Rudd with 5612 letters asking him to raise the aid budget to .7% by 2015.
Also, people all over Australia are holding 5th birthday parties to raise awareness of the millions of children who don’t make it their 5th birthday. They sign cards and send them to their MP (or hand it to them). If you want to get involved in something like this, check the Micah Challenge website for info.
This has really been a pivotal moment for me in terms of learning more about what it means to follow Jesus. I am so excited about what the future holds for me. Regardless of the fact that at the moment I have absolutely no idea. Ha.