24 June 2017 – News, Stories and Ideas to Make the World a Better Place

24 June 2017
WITADA’s Weekly Top 10: News, stories and ideas to make the world a better place.


In this week’s Top 10 we celebrate World Refugee Day / Week with a combination of good news stories and important information about the refugee crisis in the world at the moment.


1. Tuesday 20 June was World Refugee Day. It is “the day the world commemorates the strength, courage, and perseverance of millions of refugees. Held every year, World Refugee Day also marks a key moment for the public to show support for families forced to flee”. There is a petition you can sign on the United Nations web page to show your support for refugees today.


2. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees publishes ‘The Global Trends Report’ each year. This report counts and tracks the number of refugees and displaced people around the world and analyses these trends. “Over the past two decades, the global population of forcibly displaced people has grown substantially from 33.9 million in 1997 to 65.6 million in 2016, and it remains at a record high. The growth was concentrated between 2012 and 2015, driven mainly by the Syrian conflict along with other conflicts in the region such as in Iraq and Yemen, as well as in sub-Saharan Africa including Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, and Sudan.” They also have a very interesting video and article on 5 facts about people forced to flee which is well worth a look.


3. If there are questions that you or those you meet with have about refugees, chances are that the answers can be found in this article from Human Rights Watch as they answer questions such as what is a refugee, how many are there, what laws protect refugees, etc. Also The Conversation has an interesting article on the differences between a refugee and a migrant – quite a blurry line!


4. There are so many good news stories about refugees and the contribution that they make to society. The Guardian has a lovely story about Tuan Nguyen who came to Australia as a refugee from Vietnam in 1982. He began work at St Vincent’s Hospital as a dish washer and is still there today but now as Professor of medicine.


5. There are also many good news stories about organisations doing wonderful work to support refugees who arrive in Australia. Last week we encouraged you all to donate to the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre’s telethon. They had hoped to raise $300,000 to help in continuing their important work but instead they raised a whopping $660,816.


6. And there are also many good news stories about the benefits to communities and those who open their homes and their hearts to refugees. In fact there is recent research to suggest that refugees offer long term economic and social benefits to their communities. Blacktown in western Sydney welcomed more than 80 Syrian refugees earlier this year. They have organised a series of community events to ensure that everyone feels welcome. “This was a great example of not just the community coming together, but also different organisations coming together to get the best possible outcome for the community.”


7. Giles Duley is a well known photojournalist who uses his work to draw attention to a range of social issues especially those involving refugees. In this article in The Guardian he shares his reflections, and photos, of revisiting Syrian refugees in Lebanon. IDEAS.TED.COM also has a wonderful story on Giles’ work photographing Syrian refugees.


8. Doctors Without Borders / MSF has a wonderful article to celebrate refugee week. Kelly Nicholls asks what the word refugee means to you and looks at some of most important issues in the current refugee crisis.


9. The UN Refugee Agency and FC Barcelona have partnered to develop the Sign and Pass campaign. “The “Sign and Pass” Campaign gives people all over the world the chance to show their support for refugees by digitally signing a football online and then passing it on to their friends via social media. By signing the ball supporters add their name to UNHCR’s #WithRefugees petition, which already has over 1.5 million signatures.”


10. And to end our Top 10 this week, we leave you with an inspirational TED talk by Siyanda Mohutsiwa who is uniting young Africans through social media “to overcome borders and circumstance, accessing something they have long had to violently take: a voice”.


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