8 December 2018 – News, Stories and Ideas to Make the World a Better Place

8 December 2018
WITADA’s Weekly Top 10: News, stories and ideas to make the world a better place.
In this week’s Top 10 we visit Luxembourg, South Sudan, the United Nations, Mali and much more.


1. Hats off to Luxembourg who have just made all public transport free from 2020 – that’s good news for the environment and for those who have financial stress. The aim is to reduce traffic congestion but it will clearly do much more than that!


2. It’s not good news for Medecins Sans Frontieres as their search and rescue ship Aquarius is out of action after a campaign from European governments to block the ship’s operations. The Aquarius has been involved in the rescue of tens of thousands of refugees and provision medical care.


3. The recent student protests about climate change inaction produced some wonderfully creative slogans. My favourites are ‘If you were smart we’d be in school’ and ’This can’t wait till I’m bigger’. Young people have more insight and guts that many adults give them credit for!


4. On 10 December 2018 the United Nations will celebrate 70 years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was developed. Have a look at the progress that has been made since this time in this great overview from the United Nations.


5. And as we approach this anniversary of the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, The Conversation looks at 10 photos that have changed how we see human rights.


6. The situation in South Sudan continues to be severe. The South Sudanese government launched a new military offensive in April this year when “soldiers systematically commited war crimes and crimes against humanity, including killing civilians, abducting and raping women and burning food stocks”. Amnesty International has a donation campaign where you can make a contribution.


7. The United Nations Development program has installed solar panels in over 300 villages in Mali which are now powering everything from hair dryers to fridges and cookers, as well as water pumps. Around 300,000 people are directly benefiting from these developments and you can read some of their stories here.


8. This is a very interesting article from The Guardian which looks at the impact of Brexit for women. It argues the well known point that austerity is particularly harmful for women and that the economic shock from Brexit is likely to widen the inequality gap between the sexes.


9. We like it when people use their power for good and it seems that Roger Federer is doing just that! He has just announced that he is spending a huge $13.5 million on building over 81 new schools in Africa.


10. If you’re looking for an ethical Christmas present for friends and family (and we really hope you are!), here is a lovely one. Edgar’s Mission is “a not for profit sanctuary for rescued farmed animals that seeks to create a humane and just world for animals and non-animals”. They have a wonderful plant-based cookbook called Cooking With Kindness, and it is full of delicious recipes that wont harm you or any of the beautiful creatures we share the earth with. In fact, buy two and keep one for yourself and give one as a gift! And there are many other truly beautiful Christmas gifts at their online store.


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