11 February 2017 – News, Stories and Ideas to Make the World a Better Place

11 February 2017
WITADA’s Weekly Top 10: News, stories and ideas to make the world a better place. 
In this week’s Top 10 we are featuring stories of inspiration and good news. At a time when many people feel powerless to effect change, it’s important to remember that things are changing all around us as individuals come together to do what is in their power to make the world a better place. So this week we celebrate those people who inspire us to create change in our own worlds.


1. There is a lot of focus on the importance of building stronger communities and recent research suggests that this is a key ingredient for a happy life. So we should all follow the example of the folks from Urban Food Street.


2. There are so many other great examples of people working in their local communities to help others and this one in particular caught our eye. Given-Dignity Sitei is a refugee from Botswana and has settled in Toowoomba in November last year. Since then she has become involved in a new regional food waste project – REAP. In collaboration with the YWCA and OxHarvest, REAP aims “to have a positive impact on the environment and reduce poverty by redistributing excess food supplies from organisations, farmers markets and food producers that have too much to charities serving those who don’t have enough”.


3. Check this out!! Sweden is so good at recycling that they have run out of rubbish!! As a result they have had to import rubbish from other countries to keep their recycling plants operating.


4. Great story from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees – an innovative project is involving a group of Syrian refugees in reducing waste in Lebanon.


5. Great story about a 7 year old who has started his own recycling company because he is so concerned about rubbish in our oceans. Ryan started when he was 3 year old and as his web site suggests, there’s no stopping him.


6. This is an inspirational story about a young artist in Uganda, Ruganzu Bruno, who has created an organisation called Eco-Art Uganda. Bruno wanted to be the next Picasso but soon realised that the amazing sculptures that he was building were being used by children in their play. So he decided instead to build playgrounds out of found materials and the results have been amazing!


7. There are many stories now about people in small communities welcoming refugees. In Malvern, Worcestershire (UK) many Vietnamese refugees were welcomed in the 1970s and now there is a push to open their community to refugees from Syria. Vivienne Jones is behind this push!


8. Assisting distressed young refugees escaping violence through the use of theatre has become the mission of one Syrian refugee. You can read her story at the New Internationalist.


9. Here is the story of Nada Markovic. She is a human rights activist from Bosnia and Herzegovina and runs an organisation called ‘Maja Karvica’ that works to empower women from rural communities.


10. Here’s just a little more wonderful inspiration to end our week. Gabriel Akon is a Syrian refugee living in Adelaide and is the latest and hottest things on the Australian hip hop scene. His stage name DyspOra and he aims to “be a catalyst for a conscious revolution so people really … start thinking and living different” both in Australia and East Africa. And he has also set up a new online record label, Playback 808, to record artists who are immigrants living in Australia. Lots of great tracks on their site!


Thanks for your company again this week – stay inspired!