20 January 2018 – News, Stories and Ideas to Make the World a Better Place

20 January 2018
WITADA’s Weekly Top 10: News, stories and ideas to make the world a better place.


In this week’s Top 10 we go to the United States, Germany, Iceland, Somalia, and much more!


1. We missed this one at Christmas time but it’s never too late to be festive so here is the One Heart Refugee Choir “made up of 24 refugees from countries including Zimbabwe, Uganda, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Jamaica and Kazakhstan” who have recorded a wonderful version of ‘Lean On Me’ in the spirit of solidarity and resilience. Have a listen – it’s soooo beautiful!


2. Over 41 million people in America live in poverty. The United Nations sent Philip Alston, a independent expert on human rights standards, to find out why. Ed Pilkington from The Guardian joined him and reports on their findings in this fascinating and disturbing article. You can also access Philip Alston’s Statement on his visit to the USA here.


3. Congratulations to Germany who generated so much renewable energy over Christmas that it paid its citizens to use it! This is the result of over $200 billion that has been invested in renewable power over the last 20-30 years.


4. And while we’re at it, let’s celebrate Iceland’s new equal pay laws that make them the first nation in the world to fine companies for gender pay inequality. “Companies and government agencies with more than 25 employees will face fines if they can’t demonstrate that men and women receive the same salary for the same job.”


5. Sit back with a nice cuppa and have a read of this wonderful article by Alice Gaby and Tyson Yunkaporta in The Conversation as they explain the seasonal ‘calendars’ of Indigenous Australia. It is an amazing story.


6. In this article Melissa Fleming, UNHCR, talks about the ongoing displacement of Somalian refugees and the progress being made to assist people to return to their homes and rebuild their communities. However many Somalians are still living in refugee camps, some for over 26 years since the conflict began. She shares some of their stories in this article.


7. Meet Michael Murphy and Alan Ricks who, in 2007, started the organisation MASS Design Group to develop a new sort of architectural practice that works with communities and builds buildings that heal. In this article from ideas.ted.com they share some of their amazing work.


8. UN Women have released a new interactive resource to educate people about violence against women around the world, including sexual violence, human trafficking, female genital mutilation, child  marriage and many other important issues.


9. If you’re up for it, this is one of the best and most important articles you will read in 2018. George Monibot, one of the great social commentators of our time, has written an article on neoliberalism – it’s rise and it’s agenda. It comes on the eve of the publication of his new book, ‘How Did We Get Into This Mess: Politics, Inequality, Nature’.


10. We love to hear stories of individuals doing what they can to make the world a better place. For some inspiration at the end of our week, here is the wonderful Cassie Cohen and Jackson Bursill who are currently running 4000km from Cooktown to Melbourne to raise awareness about the situation of refugees arriving in Australia after fleeing conflict and persecution in their home countries. They are hopeful that they will also be able to raise some much needed funds for our friends at the Asylum Seeker’s Resource Centre. They have so far raised $4691 but are aiming for $10,000. You can donate here.


Thanks for your company again this week. See you next time.