5 March 2016 – News, Stories and Ideas to Make the World a Better Place

WITADA Top 105 March 2016
WITADA’s Weekly Top 10: News, stories and ideas to make the world a better place. 


In this week’s Top 10 we give an update on peace in Syria and continued violence in Iraq as well as initiatives to end world hunger, and the wonderful Black Mambas – and much more too!


1. There is continued hope that the ceasefire in Syria may result in lasting changes. The intra-Syrian peace talks will resume in Geneva next week. However the current truce is fragile and there is concern that a resumption of violence will jeopardise the peace talks. Amnesty International has a petition that you can sign to call on the Australian Government to ensure a safe Syria.


2. There is so much violence in the world that it is sometimes easy for countries in conflict to fall off the news cycle. So here is a reminder of the horrendous situation that is still occurring in Iraq. According to the United Nations political in mission Iraq, “acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict in Iraq claimed the lives of 670 people, including 410 civilians, in February 2016, the United Nations political mission in that country has reported”.


3. The Black Mambas are a patrol group of local women who are having success in reducing the poaching rates of Africa’s rhino population. Since they have started their work in 2013 there has been a 76% reduction in poaching. Don’t mess with these wonderful women!


4. It’s good news for women in Algeria as the government passes a new law punishing perpetrators of violence against women and sexual harassment. This is a huge problem in Algeria where “officials say the 7,500 cases of violence against women reported in 2015 represent only 20 percent of the real number, since women prefer to stay silent rather than bring shame to their family”.


5. The World Food Program celebrated ‘Africa Day of School Feeding’ this week as it implements its strategy to deal with malnutrition in children. There are many advantages in providing meals to school children in addition to ensuring good nutrition. School meals also increase school attendance and provide a source of social support.


6. It’s not easy having a baby in Ethiopia. Ruth Jackson from The Conversation talks about her work in maternal health and the advances made and the work that is still required to ensure that women are adequately supported.


7. The importance of water management and climate change is well illustrated in the latest edition of Exposure from the United Nations Development Program – No Water, No Life: Climate-proofing agricultural practices and water management in rural Cambodia.


8. If you feel up for a challenge I can recommend the World Food Program quiz on Gender and Food Security. There are some very interesting, and disturbing, facts here.


9. Behind the Wire is an oral history project that is documenting the stories of those who have been held in mandatory detention in Australia over the past 23 years. Have a look at John’s story.


10. Here is an inspirational story about how refugees should be greeted and settled when they seek asylum. This story comes from the ABC news room about two asylum seekers who were previously in Nauru and have now been warmly welcomed to their new home in Canada. Just in case the Federal Minister for Immigration might be listening!


Great to have your company this week. Look forward to sharing next week’s Top 10 with you all.