14 January 2017 – News, Stories and Ideas to Make the World a Better Place

WITADA Top 1014 January 2017
WITADA’s Weekly Top 10: News, stories and ideas to make the world a better place. 
In this week’s Top 10 the Human Rights Watch 2017 World Report is our feature story. We also check out Airbnb for refugees, gender equity in Scandinavian countries, the changing face of life in Africa, and much more.


1. Each year Human Rights Watch releases their World Report and the 2017 edition has just been published. This is a great resource for those of us interested in the human rights situation for people all around the world. You can download your free copy from their web site.


2.  Airbnb has changed the face of travel for many people. Now there is a new version of Airbnb set to be launched in Australia focusing on refugees – Refugees Welcome. It is currently working in Germany and plans are under way to launch this year.


3. Closing the gender gap is something that Scandinavian countries take seriously. The Conversation has a feature story on some new developments in education and utilising children’s books that “show different types of heroes and a diversity of family models (including those with single parents, adoptive children, and same-sex parents)”.


4. The January edition of the New Internationalist is a special one where Chris Brazier reflects on development in Africa as he traces life for people in a village in Burkina Faso in Africa. He first began visiting in 1985 and has returned every 10 years since then. This edition, ’Three Decades of Change in an African Village’, has some really interesting insights into development in Africa.


5. The idea of a universal basic income has been supported by many on the left of politics for a long time. This article from the ABC explores the complexity of issues in a debate that is gaining momentum internationally. And relatedly, New Internationalist has an interesting article where two experts on income inequality debate the idea of a maximum wage!


6. Wendy Murphy was not an ordinary tourist when it came to her trip to Rwanda. She challenged the President’s approach to leadership and was invited to tour the country and see their human rights record for herself. There is no doubt that Rwanda has come a long way but Human Rights Watch highlight the ongoing and hidden issues that require urgent attention in human rights in Rwanda.


7.  Kofi Annan has written an opinion piece for The New York Times where he “argues that the most important lesson of Nelson Mandela’s life is that each one of us – and not just visionary leaders – must play a role building just, equal societies”. This is an inspirational read!


8. Oxfam is asking for donations to assist in their work in Iraq. As part of this request they are sharing some of the stories they have collected from families ‘caught in the crossfire’. If you’re considering donating, it’s easy to do and here’s where to go to donate.


9. Most people enjoy the experience of chatting with their hairdresser and most hairdressers say that people tell them all sorts of personal things while having their hair cut. Now a new law in the US state of Illinois trains hairdressers in domestic violence as a way of addressing the enormity of this social issue. “Hairdressers, barbers, cosmetologists, hair braiders and nail technicians in Illinois will receive an hour of mandated abuse-prevention training as part of their licensing process.”


10. Some inspiration to leave you with – a group of refugee women have come together, with the assistance of the organisation Access Community Services, to set up a new social enterprise, The Spice Exchange. And there are many benefits for all.


Thanks for coming along to read our Top 10 this week. Hope to see you back again next week for another collection of inspiring stories about changing the world!