24 February 2018 – News, Stories and Ideas to Make the World a Better Place

24 February 2018
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 food insecurity, free range eggs, fashion, Madagascar, Syria and much more!


1. Food security is a massive issue around the world. Now the World Food Program has a new initiative – ShareTheMeal – designed to fight famine int he world’s most troubled areas. “20 million people in South Sudan, Yemen, Northeast Nigeria and Somalia are on the brink of famine.” The ShareTheMeal campaign is asking us to donate $0.50US to feed one child for a day.


2. And while we’re on the important topic of food, if you live in south east Queensland you might want to think about participating in the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre’s ‘Dinner in Damascus’ on the Gold Coast in March. Sharing a traditional Syrian meal and listening to stories from Africa and the Middle East!


3. This feature article by Ai Weiwei in The Guardian is an excellent read as he shares his experiences as a child refugee and now a refugee activist. He talks about his recent film, Human Flow, that we have featured in our Top 10 previously.


4. The Conversation’s podcasts are interesting and informative – we particularly loved this one in their Essays on Air program – When did Australia’s human history begin? Great for the whole family on those Sunday afternoon drives!


5. In a recent and very disturbing development, the Federal Government in Australia is seeking to limit the capacity of charities to participate in public debate and to advocate for the needs of some of the most vulnerable people in Australia. There are a couple of petitions you can sign if you feel strongly about the importance of democracy – Hands Off Our Charities and  Greenpeace.


6. You may not know much about Madagascar (the country not the movie!) but it is a unique environment with over 75% of animals found nowhere else in the world and many rare plants.  There are many threats to this pristine environment and now one activist, Clovis Razafimalala has been charged for encouraging protesters to damage an administration building, charges that are considered to be bogus by those who attended the demonstration that he was not even present at. Amnesty International has a petition you can sign to ask the Madagascar government to dismiss the conviction and to ensure freedom of speech in their country.


7. The Conversation has a very helpful article on the issue of free range eggs and how to know how free range they actually are. It appears that the definition of free range is not as straight forward as we might think. There is also an app developed by Choice, CluckAR, that you can use to scan your egg carton and get information on the brand’s farming conditions. And Animals Australia have a petition you can sign to ban battery cages forever!


8. Greenpeace has launched a new campaign targeting fashion and asking us all the check to see how our wardrobes are looking. It seems that the fashion industry is responsible for over 21 billion tonnes of textile that ends up in landfill each year which results in 10% of global carbon emissions and 20% of all industrial water waste. And yes you can join the movement and make a new kind of fashion statement!


9. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has launched a pilot project in collaboration with the German government to “train refugees as psychosocial peer counsellors, the goal is to teach coping skills and stress management while giving new arrivals someone to talk to about their troubles”. This project is part of a number of others that are aimed at helping to address the needs of the thousands of refugees and asylum seekers who have arrived in Germany in the past two years.


10. Seven year old Mahammed Arfat lives in a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh and every afternoon he joins his friends on top of the hill to fly his homemade kite. His kite is pretty impressive and it was given to him for free by 10 year old Fayes Khamal. There are some beautiful images in this story from National Public Radio – children who can find happiness despite brutality and who share it willingly with each other.


Great to have your company this week. See you next time!