WITADA’s Weekly Top 10 – 20 June 2015

20 June 201520 June 2015
WITADA’s Weekly Top 10: News, stories and ideas to make the world a better place. 


Today is World Refugee Day so in this week’s Top 10 we feature a  range of stories about refugees and our global response to the refugee crisis, as well as a look at Ramadan, Aung San Suu Kyi’s birthday celebrations – and we celebrate Impact Journalism Day!


1. The UNHCR has marked International Refugee Day with the release of a new report, ‘Global Trends Report: World at War’. The report highlights the increase in worldwide displacement stating that it is at the highest levels ever recorded and that “the number of people forcibly displaced at the end of 2014 had risen to a staggering 59.5 million compared to 51.2 million a year earlier and 37.5 million a decade ago”. But there have also been celebrations around the world. “From Africa through Asia to the Americas, UNHCR and its partners celebrated lives that, once in danger of being lost, had been transformed and given fresh hope. Tales born from misery and suffering ended with inspiring notes of achievement, success and hope.”


2. UNICEF has contributed to World Refugee Day with a feature story from UNICEF Chad where Nigerian refugees are now attending school for the first time. Beautiful story and pictures. And UNICEF Australia has written a children’s story, Welcome Home, Shukri,  about what it means to be safe and welcomed to Australia. It was written with 83 young people aged 8-12 years all from different cultural backgrounds. It’s a beautiful story with lovely illustrations.


3. The World Food Program draws attention to the situation in some of the less reported areas of the world where the refugee crisis is real and where food shortages are causing fear and desperation including Nigeria, South Sudan, Burundi, and Yemen. Again, both the stories and the photos are amazing.


4. The Elders have produced a video marking World Refugee Day as Mary Robinson, Kofi Annan and Lakhdar Brahimi all  speak about their passion to end the crisis for refugess worldwide.  Martti Ahtisaari from The Elders has also released a statement directed to the nations of Europe asking them to respond to the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean with compassion and respect.


5. The Guardian reports on a recently released Amnesty International report, ’The Global Refugee Crisis: A Conspiracy of Neglect’,  that focuses attention on world leaders who have neglected the needs of refugees, resulting in many deaths.


6. The Guardian has featured a video ‘Children talk about asylum seekers: ‘they’re not doing anything wrong’ video”. The children are aged between 6-11 years and this is part of the Kids Talk Refugees project. It’s beautiful! Ignorance about asylum seekers may be more widespread amongst adults than children though. So this story from Robert Tickner (CEO of Australian Red Cross) in The Guardian covers a few of the facts about asylum seekers that Australians commonly get wrong.


7. Tens of thousands of protesters have marched in London against further cuts to government spending. The ‘End Austerity Now’ demonstrations have been some of the biggest yet with a suggested 250,000 people protesting.


8. The Guardian has published a guide to Ramadan, the Islamic holy month. Aisha Gani answers a range of questions about Ramadan – what it is , when it is (right now), why Muslims fast, who fasts, and lots more. It’s great information for those of us who would like to better understand this important time for so many Muslims.


9. On 19 June Aung San Suu Kyi celebrated her 70th birthday. The Telegraph has a tribute to her life in pictures. Aung San Suu Kyi has also been in the news this week regarding her recent visit to China and the elections scheduled for later this year in her country.


10. And today is also Impact Journalism Day! The idea is that on 20 June each year newspapers are invited to share some stories of hope and inspiration and change. Check out the great stories they have created – from over 50 leading newspapers sharing 101 stories with 120 million readers!!


Thanks for coming along to our Weekly Top 10. Hope to see you next week.