8 April 2017 – News, Stories and Ideas to Make the World a Better Place

8 April 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 The Netherlands, Canada, Tanzania and explore totalitarianism, human development and much more!


1. After a shocking attack on a gay couple in the Netherlands, men across the country are showing solidarity by holding hands in public. “Two leading politicians went one better on Monday, however, publicly holding hands as they arrived at talks on the formation of a new Dutch government in The Hague in solidarity with the couple.”


2. We have highlighted the wonderful efforts of many Canadians in welcoming refugees to their country. Now the United Nations Refugee Agency has a web site, From Far and Wide, which shares many of these moving stories.


3. There is no doubt now that the Indigenous people of Australia are the most ancient civilisation on earth, some 50,000 years ago. A recent study examined DNA and was able to “trace the remarkable journey made by intrepid ancient humans by sifting through clues left in the DNA of modern populations in Australia and Papua New Guinea. The analysis shows that their ancestors were probably the first humans to cross an ocean, and reveals evidence of prehistoric liaisons with an unknown hominin cousin.”


4. We have mentioned here before that since President Trump’s election in America, the sales of George Orwell’s book 1984 have dramatically increased. In this article from The Conversation, they note that another book has made a resurgence as a big seller – The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt. A Jewish woman living in Germany at the time of the second world war, Arendt describes what she considers to be some of they key conditions for the rise to totalitarianism. If the book sounds too heavy, the article is well worth reading – and strangely (and disappointingly) topical.


5. There’s some interesting and important reading here in the United Nations Development Program’sHuman Development Report 2016’. There have been achievements in development all around the world but not for everyone. The report focuses on who has been left behind and why.


6. If you’re interested in microfinance as a possible solution to address inequality in the developing world generally, and particularly gender inequality, this article from The Conversation will be well worth a read.


7. Are zoos still appropriate given our increased awareness of the cost of captivity for all animals. This article in The Guardian, ‘Zoos are prisons for animals – no one needs to see a depressed penguin in the flesh‘, addresses these questions.


8. Oxfam is supporting some great work in the Nyarugusu refugee camp, in western Tanzania. They are providing bee hives for refugees to learn the art of beekeeping in this camp and in the Nduta camp they have installed 6,771 toilets and 4,396 bathing units.  These refugee camps are overrun with new arrivals given the unrest in surrounding areas. You can support the work of Oxfam in Tanzania by donating in a range of ways.


9. The National History Museum awards the Wildlife Photographer of the Year and in 2017 the winner was Tim Laman. As well as his wonderful photograph you can pop onto their web site and see all the finalists – just for some peace and tranquility at the end of a long week.


10. Great story here about Yorta Yorta man Cormach Evans who is working hard to improve the overall health of his people. Cormach is planning to paddle 170km from Aireys Inlet to Melbourne. You can support him at his Go Fund Me page, Paddle for Men’s Indigenous Health.


We’re off for a little holiday now and will return on Saturday 6 May. Look forward to catching up with you all then.