Simon Francis: Even in paradise we need to tackle bad news

Published on January 31, 2019

Even in paradise there is bad news.

Take the case of the locals on Easter Island who have been fighting the sale and occupation of their ancestral lands by a five-star hotel, the Hangaroa Eco Village and Spa. But if western media ignores the problems faced by far flung places, it ignores the good news even more.

Nonetheless, there are positive stories in international development. So here are three good news stories you may have missed courtesy of the news site I edit, The Rooftop.

Old shoes can make a difference

Children’s charity Sal’s Shoes counted its one millionth pair of shoes and delivered them to South Africa, where they began a new life on the feet of three year old Tumelo.

Up to then, Tumelo had been wearing shoes with holes in both soles, leaving him open to infection and disease from parasites such as hookworm.

Sadly, this situation is all too common. Walking with shoes is a rarity for 300 million children worldwide.

Sal’s Shoes aims to change that calculus with a mission to distribute outgrown (but not outworn) children’s shoes around the world, in order to protect little feet from injury and infection.

The fight against unnecessary blindness is making progress

Campaigners are marking twenty years of success in saving the sight of millions of people in Ethiopia.

Over the past two decades, Orbis has supported local campaigners and the government in delivering improvements in eye care, which has saved the sight of millions of people.

Successes include the introduction of paediatric eye health and optometry services, training the first generation of disease specialists, introducing modern cataract surgical techniques and opening the first Eye Bank in Africa outside of South Africa

Scientists are working to tackle global challenges

Scientists in the UK are coming together in a £279 million fund to address some of the world’s biggest challenges – including plastic waste, dementia, and resistance to antibiotics.

The research teams will work closely with others researchers from around the world on the big challenges, including from the USA, Canada, Japan, and South Korea.

Simon Francis is a contributing writer at Grit Daily. Based in the United Kingdom, Francis covers news from the U.K. each week. To let him know about your good news email him at

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