Melbourne News

Millennium Development Goals Exhibition

Kairos: Volume 21, Issue 0121-1-millennium-pg17

A free interactive exhibition about tackling world poverty organised by Caritas Australia and AusAID was recently launched at the BMW Edge Theatre, Federation Square and was open from 19 to 30 January.

The ‘Blueprint for a Better World’ exhibition presented each of the eight Millennium Development Goals, set by 189 world leaders in 2000, as a blueprint for social change worldwide, through photographs, interactive displays and contributions from Caritas partner communities.

The exhibition highlighted the role of Caritas Australia and its community partners in tackling poverty for the world’s poorest. It also presented a call for action at all levels: if the Millennium Development Goals are to be achieved, a commitment from the public as well as government is needed.

Caritas Australia chief executive Jack de Groot said the exhibition provided insight into Caritas and AusAID’s sustainable development programs. He spoke of Caritas’ support for those facing disasters, such as the recent Haiti earthquake.

“It is the poor who are often the hardest hit by catastrophic events,” he said.

Mr de Groot said Caritas was responding to immediate needs but, having been involved in Haiti for 55 years, was also committed to long-term support.

Caritas Australia global education adviser Mary Anne Collins presented a 2007 water project in Tanzania as an example of an initiative that tackled all eight Millennium Goals.

“The local people can say who are the most marginalised,” she said. “They know best the problems the people face.”

The Hon. Clovis Alidor Mwamba, a Member of Parliament of the Democratic Republic of Congo (in exile), shared his experience as a political prisoner and some of the many problems faced by people in the DRC. He described how Caritas Congo supported people with food, shelter and medical care. He said Australia had a key role to play in leading developing countries to establish democratic systems.

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