17 December 2016 – News, Stories and Ideas to Make the World a Better Place

WITADA Top 1017 December 2016
WITADA’s Weekly Top 10: News, stories and ideas to make the world a better place. 
In this week’s Top 10 our must see story features local initiatives to combat climate change – people taking the power to make a change in the world!! We also visit South Sudan, Syria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malta and much more!


1. It could be argued that governments around the world are not doing enough to combat climate change. The Conversation looks at the innovative climate solutions coming from local cities and communities.


2. Ban Ki-Moon, the outgoing Secretary General of the United Nations, has written an opinion piece for Newsweek on South Sudan and the world’s betrayal of our newest country. It is am impassioned plea to find another way through this conflict and for the international community to do more to achieve peace in South Sudan.


3. The news from Aleppo, Syria this week has been devastating as credible reports of the pro-Syrian regime forces killing civilians have circulated around the world. There have been some moving commentaries including a piece from Nedzad Avdic, a survivor of the massacre in Srebrenica. And you may have seen Samantha Power’s (US Ambassador to the United Nations) challenging speech accusing “the Assad regime and its allies of enabling the execution of children and civilians during a heated exchange at an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council”. Here are a list of charities currently working in Aleppo that you might want to donate to.


4. The Lancet is a UK medical journal and last month they launched their new series, ‘Advancing Early Childhood Development: from Science to Scale. There are some very important articles in this series and they are available online at The Lancet’s web site. “The Series reveals that early childhood development interventions that promote nurturing care—health, nutrition, responsive caregiving, security and safety, and early learning—may cost as little as 50 cents per child per year, when combined with existing services such as health.”


5. They’re successful and immensely popular and their doing their bit to create a better world. Coldplay has partnered with Oxfam to raise awareness of refugees and their human rights. “Right now there are more refugees in the world than at any other time in recent history. They could be us and we could be them. The good news is: we can all help.”


6. Another of the blogs from field staff at Medecins Sans Frontiers, this time from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Sarah Wookey is a medical doctor working in pregnancy and childbirth. She shares some stories from her first days there as a Doctor.


7. Oxfam has a petition you can sign asking clothing manufacturers to disclose their factory lists. “By refusing to reveal the factory locations where your clothes are made, you put the women that make your clothing at greater risk of injury, harassment and unfair working conditions.”


8. We featured a story a couple of weeks ago about Queensland’s decision to ban single use plastic bags from 2018. Now we can replace them with bags made of potato and tapioca that are edible for animals on disposal!!


9. Malta is the first European country to ban ‘gay cure’ therapy. In fact if someone is found to be attempting to “change, repress or eliminate a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression will face fines or a jail sentence”. The new law states that ‘no sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression constitutes a disorder, disease or shortcoming of any sort’.


10. Here is the Christmas spirit in full swing in London. Hundreds of Muslims who worship at the East London Mosque have donated over 10 tonnes of food to feed the homeless over Christmas. This is part of an inter-faith project, Crisis. The Chief Imam of the Mosque, Shaykh Abdul Qayum, said that “Muslims are inspired by their faith towards helping others in need. It is a religious duty for Muslims to try to help others, irrespective of a person’s faith or background”.


Thanks for coming along to check out our Top 10 Stories. We look forward to your company in the coming weeks as we prepare some interesting reflections on 2016 and share some of our hopes for peace in 2017!