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

3 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 visit Yemen, the UK, Jamaica and look at some great edible cutlery and some socially just ice-cream makers – and of course, much more!


1. In a follow up to our stories last week about National Reconciliation Week, here is a great overview from SBS / NITV about the background and importance of this week. Also some truly beautiful pictures and stories from the National Constitutional Convention courtesy of the Sydney Morning Herald.


2. A big congrats to Taiwan for a groundbreaking decision by their constitutional court to allow same sex marriage!


3. The situation in Yemen has reached a critical level with the head of the United Nations humanitarian effort warning the world that “Yemen is headed for total collapse as the international community fails to take action to end the conflict in the country and help the millions of people at risk of starvation”. Stephen O’Brien said that “Yemen now has the ignominy of being the world’s largest food security crisis with more than 17 million people who are food-insecure. Crisis is not coming, it is not looming, it is here today – on our watch and ordinary people are paying the price.” You can visit the United Nations World Food Program to donate or go to the Oxfam web site.


4. The UK organisation, Positive Action in Housing (PAIH) is linking refugees with host families. Just like an Airbnb for refugees, the popularity of this program has grown incredibly in the last 18 months – from 600 nights of shelter per year to now 29,000 nights. What a wonderful idea!


5. The Guardian has done a feature story on the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and in this article it covers the range of work that the UNHCR does with some of the most vulnerable people around the world.


6. There are celebrations in Coral Gardens, Jamaica as the Rastafarian community marks the Prime Minister’s apology for the trauma experienced during the 1963 violence that left many dead and destruction throughout their community. It’s a fascinating story of struggle for recognition that emerged out of some serious ‘brutality, injustice and repression’.


7. Narayana Peesapaty and Pradnya Keskar have a lot to be proud about. They have invented a form of edible cutlery that they hope will help to create a plastic free world. The cutlery is made from millet, a water conserving crop, and they believe they can make the cutlery for less than 2 cents each. The cutlery comes in 3 flavours – sweet, savoury and plain.


8. The Human Rights Watch Film Festival is featuring a movie made by Tiffany Hsiung, ‘The Apology’, which features the stories of South Korean, Chinese and Filipino women who were subjected to sexual exploitation by the Japanese army during the second world war.


9. Queensland Urban Utilities has made the first poo-powered car in Australia, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, and it was unveiled in Brisbane last week. “With the plant capturing waste from about 300,000 Brisbane residents, power is generated when biogas from the sewage is fed into a cogeneration unit – a giant engine that creates electricity.”


10. We are all about encouraging people to do what they can to make the world a better place and the owners of Ben and Jerry’s ice creams have decided that they need to take a stand on gay marriage. So until Australia legalises gay marriage they will not allow customers to order two scoops of the same flavour ice cream!
Have a great week – see you again next time.