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What are we trying to accomplish?

1. Make global poverty reduction a high priority in Canada’s International Policy

The Micah Challenge calls for poverty reduction to become a clearly articulated priority in Canada’s international policy and, specifically, for urgent and meaningful policy change in three areas: more and better aid, trade justice and debt relief.

2. Deliver More and More Effective Aid

The Micah Challenge calls for Canada to set 2015 as the year it will meet the long-established aid target of 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) and put in place a timetable of gradual increases to this goal, starting with a 12% increase in the next budget. We also call on Canada to make poverty reduction the single focus for Canada’s aid program through a legislated mandate and accountability to the mandate. more on Aid

3. Agricultural Trade that Works for the Poor

The Micah Challenge calls for Canada to take a more positive stance towards development requirements in international agricultural trade negotiations, both regionally (Free Trade Agreement of the Americas) and globally (World Trade Organization). We also call for Canada to push for international agricultural trade rules that encourage improving the livelihoods of small farmers in developing countries, a vital element in tackling poverty and hunger (the first millennium development goal). more on Trade

4. Debt Relief  

The Micah Challenge calls for Canada to work with G-8 leaders on a financing plan for debt cancellation that does not include cuts to foreign aid, push for cancellation of debts owed to multilateral financial institutions for all poor countries. We also call for Canada to work toward replacing World Bank control of debt management with increased accountability of governments to their own citizens for the use of money saved. Resources freed up by debt cancellation are needed to achieve the MDGs. It is time to act. more on Debt

OutRun Poverty

It was a beautiful Fall day to hold our first Out Run Poverty here in Edmonton, Alberta on October 15 at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Park.  We had over 200 people attend this event from churches, universities, schools, and the community.  Students from Millwoods Christian School, Stathcona Christian Academy, the Kings University College and Christian Campus groups took part in the run.

The fun run, which marked Micah Sunday on October 16, was headed by Liz John-West, MC Chairperson. She spoke about the need for our the Canadian government to fulfill their promise of giving 0.7% of their budget to eradicate extreme poverty.  The run also had John Hiemstra, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Professor of Political Studies talk about what scripture says about Jesus’ heart for the poor.

Finally, the run hosted “Music Is A Weapon”,  an Edmonton-based non-profit organization dedicated to empowering communities through art.  They had a bicycle-powered system to generate energy for the power needs of the event. Participants took turns continuously riding the bikes so the power wouldn’t run out!

Holle Band, an all women’s Christian band, played songs which signified the place of God in our lives.

Everyone who attended prayed the MC prayer out loud and placed our thumb prints on postcards which were mailed to the Prime Minister of Canada.  The postcards asked the government to fulfill its promises made to the poor through the Millennium Development Goals.

After the run,  8 booths were set up which had information on the 8 MDG’s.  School groups, youth groups, and churches created these interactive information stations. People had a chance to visit the different booths, enjoy hot chocolate and snacks, and fellowship with other people who resonate with the call to help the poor.

The event was a great success – with a larger turnout than we expected! We rejoiced and thanked God for the beautiful sunny weather, smooth flow of events, and the chance to share the Micah Challenge mission with so many people.