Monday, August 16, 2010

Operation Survive to Five

It was like greeting an old friend when I signed in to my blog this afternoon. I had been to busy scribbling songs, poems and thoughts into my travel journals, known as the ''red books'', to take the time to make an electronic copy. So now I am backtracking, to Operation Survive to Five.

Aid and Development is a big topic, and often so deeply associated with an altruistic optimism that it seems more like a nieve aspiration than a concept supported by leading economists, businessmen and politicians. However, the Millennium Development Goals are a set of realistic goals that could see rich governments (including our own) end extreme poverty in countries affected by the global food crisis, the aftermath of genocide or war, the effects of climate change or lack of basic infrastructure. They have more money and resources than many of the people who fit the mould of my fellow survive to five delegates... poor university students and high school students with hardly enough resources to sponsor one child, let alone the 8.8 million children under 5 die of preventable causes like birthing complications, pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria.

So we need the Government to commit to giving 0.7% of its Gross National Income to Aid and Development, just like it aspired to back in the year 2000. Australia weathered the financial crisis, and a few intense days of training in Canberra taught us that yes, we CAN afford it!

We heard from some fantastic speakers, including Tony Abbot, Kevin Rudd (in his last 24 hours of Prime Ministership), Senators, AusAID workers, leading Government lobbyists and, my personal hero, Tim Costello. It could have been easy to be overwhelmed by the titles and experience of the speakers, or even the magnificance of Parliament House, but hitting the streets on the campaign trail with 40 other Vgenners ( to see members of the public sign to see a greater commitment to Child and Maternal Health brought our heads out of the political clouds, and provided the creative edge that we, as young people, tend to be particularly useful at.

Meeting with MPs, protesting, hearing empowering speakers, and informing the public about our mission helped us gain new skills, new understandings of the greater challenges of MDG 8 (
Develop a Global Partnership for Development), and meeting like-minded young people was both an incredible experience in itself, and the perfect platform to launch into my 3 months of learning first-hand about life on the field in Cambodia and Vietnam :D

No comments:

Post a Comment