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Among the chaos, glimmers of humanity prevail

As we march well into the final quarter of 2019, it's only natural to begin looking back at the year that's been. We do this every 12 months without fail. New years eves filled with reminiscence and nostalgia, with hindsight and often times surprise at the events that unfolded as the year went by.

But we're not there quite yet. Instead we can use this time, as the seasons change and as the world continues to spiral into a bad episode of a political sci-fi series, to look back at some of the unexpected glimmers of great deeds that we've witnessed in recent months and remember that progress is contant, no matter how hard the push back.

Welcome back to FairPlanet's weekly roundup, where we bring you some good, some bad, and a whole lot of food for thought from recent times. We always want to couple the news we find hard to swallow with facts that make us proud to be alive today.

And we always want for you to Read. Debate: and Engage.

The good

despite everything, human beings are wired for empathy

Most about today's world might indeed point toward an opposite truth, but according to a 2013 study from the University of Virginia, human beings are hardwired for empathy toward one another – the process of putting ourselves in an other's shoes is in our very being. The research showed that our ability to relate to people who are close to us is in fact what informs our own sense of self, guiding our so-called moral compass and impacting our decision making on a daily basis.

It is very much the reasoning behind why charity and donation still prevail today; why activism is stronger than ever. Why against all odds and in the toughest of realities, people continue to brave their circumstance and help one another to reach a better life. It may not always seem obvious, but the forces for good and change are strong in our current political and societal climate, and our empathy toward one another is what leads us to stick together for the better.

Let's not forget that humanity is more powerful than political fads and international feuds. That our commonality will always win over our differences. That politicians and governments come and go – but we stay. And that deep inside, apparently, we're built to care more than we are to hate.

Extinction Rebellion Empathy
The bad

The world is waking up to climate action, but it's not yet enough

Climate change and in response climate action has perhaps been the single biggest movement around the globe. No matter where you are from, what you believe, your economic status or what political aisle you vouch for, climate change will impact us all. And in turn, climate action has affect each and every one of us.

From street protests to school strikes and the current airport action taking place in London's City Airport, those coming together to raise awareness of rapid and dangerous climate change are making serious waves.

FairPlanet joined the Global Climate Strike from September 20-27, and Extinction Rebellion's climate protests at Trafalgar Square in London, which have begun on October 7.

But before we celebrate the power of these movements hold we must look toward to the reality they are opposing; the ignorance of those at the top and the damage created on a monumental scale by global corporations.

It is said that a mere 100 companies are responsible for 71 percent of global CO2 emissions. In response, a new Greenpeace petition is calling on people from across the globe to pressure advertisers to drop oil and gas companies’ ads and sponsorships.


Greenpeace petition: ‘no more climate-wrecking oil ads’

by Yair Oded

As they ravage our planet, oil and gas companies spread misinformation campaigns. A Greenpeace petition calls on advertisers to drop their advertisements.
Unexpected good around the world

NYC bans the term 'illegal alien’

by Yair Oded

New York City banned the usage of the term 'illegal alien' and outlawed all forms of discrimination based on someone's actual or perceived nationality.
farm drones africa

Hail Africa’s new age farming

by Bob Koigi

With the internet wave in agriculture moving at supersonic speed, the onus is on African governments to provide the vicinity for this farming revolution.
pride march bosnia

Right after the first-ever pride march in Bosnia a rainbow appeared

by Katarina Panić

The Bosnian capital Sarajevo hosted the first Pride parade amidst heavy security. Although there were five hundred people expected, some three thousand gathered to struggle for human rights in the country.
somali rwanda refugee

African refugees find a new home in Rwanda

by Bob Koigi

A gesture by Rwanda turns the country into one of the most proactive and a true embodiments of the African spirit, ‘Africans for Africans’.
Country focus

The small landlocked country of Rwanda, with just over 11 million citizens is based in east-central Africa shares its borders with Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and the DRC. Still recovering from a government ethnic cleansing that saw the genocide of approximately 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus, Rwanda is currently trying to rebuild its economy and society.

With a thriving tea and coffee farming economy and trade, Rwanda has slowly yet steadily been building its economy and stabilising its people. The World Bank has praised Rwanda's "remarkable development successes", which in turn has seen large portions of the population escape poverty and inequality.

Yet despite progress, Paul Kagame, who has run the country since 1994 and as president since 2000, has faced international backlash over his policies and human rights record, with the media in the country experiencing censorship, internet shutdown and journalists exiled for reporting freely.