2 September 2017 – News, Stories and Ideas to Make the World a Better Place

2 September 2017
WITADA’s Weekly Top 10: News, stories and ideas to make the world a better place.
In this week’s Top 10 we look at toilet paper, gay marriage in Chile, slavery, racism, feminist and much more!


1. We’ve talked about them before but here we go again – Who Gives a Crap is an innovative business producing environmentally friendly toilet paper and they donate 50% of their profits to help build toilets in areas of need around the world. “We started Who Gives A Crap when we learnt that 2.4 billion people across the world don’t have access to a toilet. That’s roughly 40% of the global population and means that diarrhoea related diseases fill over half of sub-Saharan African hospital beds and kill 900 children under 5 every day.” So far this is their impact:
  • $1,175,000 donated to fund hygiene and sanitation projects around the world
  • 30,797 trees saved
  • 74 million litres of water saved
  • 5,922 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions avoided
And their toilet paper is great to use!!


2. Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet has introduced a bill to legalise gay marriage – even though they are one of Latin America’s most conservative nations. And that’s all I’m going to say about gay marriage (except how disappointing it is that Australia is still struggling with this basic human rights issue!).


3. You might think that slavery is a thing of the past – but no! The Conversation has a feature article on the actions that businesses can take to ensure that there is no slavery in their supply chains.


4. Getting through the arctic is not an easy task for a Russian gas tanker but it’s just happened without an ice breaker and in record speed – thanks to climate change!


5. This is a lovely article from the New York Times about ‘how to raise a feminist son’. It’s a really important point that boys need to be raised outside the existing social stereotypes of masculinity. “Even as we’ve given girls more choices for the roles they play, boys’ worlds are still confined, social scientists say. They’re discouraged from having interests that are considered feminine. They’re told to be tough at all costs, or else to tamp down their so-called boy energy.”


6. And while we’re on important social issues that we need to talk more about and understand more deeply, The Sydney Morning Herald has an article on ‘how to respond to the worldwide upswing in racism‘. “It is true that hatred isn’t innate to humanity. Racists aren’t born racist. Bigots have to learn to become bigots. And it’s equally true that hatred can be overcome through goodwill.”


7 This is the story of Nada Markovic, a Bosnian woman who has set up the first female cooperative in Bosnia-Herzogovina to assist women who are survivors of sexual violence resulting from the conflict in their country.


8. There was a presidential election in Kenya earlier this month with over 12 people were and more than 100 seriously hurt. Human Rights Watch is calling on Kenyan authorities to investigate “unlawful killings and beatings by police during protests and house-to-house operations”.


9. Laura Samira Naude and Esther ten Zijthoff volunteered in refugee camps in Greece and knew that the needs of refugees extended beyond housing and food. So they launched the “Education Community Hope and Opportunity (Echo) and open a library on wheels” to provide refugees with a quiet space in which to study and work towards their future. And that’s how we change the world!


10. Many of you will have already seen it, but for those who haven’t this is an inspirational video of a commencement speech given by J.K. Rowling at Harvard University in 2008. She uses the opportunity to raise attention to important social issues in a tactful but direct way. We need to hear more inspirational speakers saying these sorts of things at public forums such as this!


Stay strong in the fight for justice for all people in this beautiful country we have! Look forward to your company again next week.