26 December 2015 – News, Stories and Ideas to Make the World a Better Place

WITADA Top 1026 December 2015 
WITADA’s Weekly Top 10: News, stories and ideas to make the world a better place. 

In this week’s Top 10 we head to Bethlehem, Syria and Rwanda as well as featuring some great ideas for your festive season relaxation!

1. Giedre Steikunaite from The New Internationalist writes about life in Bethlehem as the city prepares for Christmas Day 2015 – “with its three refugee camps that were meant to be only temporary, 25-per-cent unemployment, lands constantly confiscated for the expansion of illegal Israeli settler-colonies, the Wall cutting the landscape and people from each other…”


2.  The Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda talks about a new concept called Justice Reinvestment as a strategy for dealing with the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in the criminal justice program. It is a concept that has come from America where it appears to be working well at reducing the overall prison population.


3. Some time ago now we shared a story about a number of photographs smuggled out of Syria telling the story of more than 28,000 deaths in government custody. Now Human Rights Watch have published a report, ‘If the Dead Could Speak: Mass Deaths and Torture in Syria’s Detention Facilities’. This article gives an overview of the report.


4. Teaching Indigenous languages has been a feature of the education system in NSW since 2005, but only from kindergarten to year 10. Now it has just been included as a new HSC subject beginning in 2016.


5. The United Nations Tribunal on the Rwandan genocide has completed its work and will close its doors by the end of December. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) “brought indictments against 93 individuals, issued 55 first-instance judgements and 45 appeal judgements and heard the powerful accounts of more than 3,000 witnesses who bravely recounted some of the most traumatic events imaginable during ICTR trials.”


And now for the good stuff – here’s some holiday ideas from WITADA so you can relax and change the world at the same time!!


6. Here’s some holiday reading for you – TEDEd have shared ’10 teachers share the books that changed their lives’. And there are some wonderful reads here!


7. And on a similar topic, you may have seen that Sweden is now giving every 16 year old a copy of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book  “We Should All Be Feminists’. The book is actually an adaptation of her famous TED Talk which is well worth having a look at. And then The Guardian added a further list of eight great books about feminism that everyone should read!


8. And more reading still – The Guardian asked more writers what other books they thought all teenagers should read and their list is quite interesting! And good reading for us adults too!


9. Human Rights Watch has featured three documentary films on the Oscars’ documentary shortlist as much watch docs for this holiday season. They are – ’31/2 Minutes Ten Bullets’, ‘Cartel Land’ and ‘The Look of Silence’. There are descriptions of each and the short trailers on the HRW site.


10. And we leave you this week, and for 2015, with some inspirational stories from Humans of New York. The ABC has put together a series of Humans of New York’s most powerful posts – and they really are!


Thank you all for your support and encouragement throughout 2015. We have had a great year and we hope to continue growing in 2016, with your support and involvement. Although WITADA is a small project we are trying to make a difference in whatever way we can. We hope that in some small way we have provided greater access to information and ideas about making the world a more peaceful and equitable place.
I look forward to your company again next year and keep an eye out for our first Top 10 of the year on New Year’s Day when we present our Year in Review for 2015.