For the last 20 years the Somali capital of Mogadishu has been synonymous with war and suffering – and yet this year, 25 year-old Mohamed Mohamoud Sheik opened the country’s first florist!
Sheik’s aim is to bring back romance to the city and enable young couples to rekindle the courtship rituals of their parents. He also plans to beautify the city with trees, green spaces and children’s playgrounds, and has already set up a dry cleaning company that donates a percentage of its profits to charity.
photo by: Steve Larkinson
After almost 53 hours, 64-year-old Diana Nyad successfully completed her fifth attempt in 35 years and became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage.
She was 8 years old when she first dreamed about swimming across the Straits of Florida, and 29 when she first tried the swim. She demonstrates now that “you can dream at any age”.
image by: Jacques Descloitres
This weekend (20th-22nd Sep), now in its 21st year, CUTW 2013 will include such activities as planting trees, cleaning parks or beaches, conserving water or running environmental awareness-raising and education initiatives – whatever the local need might be.
It began in 1987 when Ian Kiernan, having seen the devastating effects of rubbish and pollution, decided it was time to take action. In 1990 the first national, community-based clean up day was organised in his home country of Australia. In 1993 Clean Up the World was launched with the support of the United Nations Environment Programme and 30 million people in 80 countries were mobilised.
image by: Marvel (based upon a NASA image)
A week from today, on Saturday 21st September, live stream of the 24-hour global transmission (including a historic concert in front of the Peace Palace in The Hague) will be available here on It’s Good News Week.
Founded in 1999 by Jeremy Gilley, Peace One Day is a non-profit organisation which aims to make 21 September, an annual day of global unity. He figured that “When you build a house, you start with one brick. If we want to build peace, we should start with one day”.
In 2001 the member states of the United Nations unanimously adopted the first ever annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence on 21 September – Peace Day. On Peace Day in Afghanistan there was a 70% recorded reduction in violent incidents (source: United Nations Department of Safety and Security).
Over 80 child soldiers have been freed following negotiations between the UN and militia groups operating in the province of Katanga in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
A total of 163 children have been freed since the start of the year through the combined efforts of the UN and child-protection agencies in the province.
image by: Rei-artur
A new large-scale study published in The Lancet contradicts the assumption that a longer old age will inevitably be accompanied by more ill health.
In 1998 researchers in Denmark assessed 2,262 people born in 1905, when they were aged 92 to 93, using a series of thorough mental and physical tests designed to assess factors such as memory, grip strength and mobility. In 2010 a further 1,584 people born in 1915, when they were aged 94 to 95, were assessed using the same tests. Despite being 2 years older, those born in 1915 scored significantly better than those born in 1905 on both the cognitive tests and the activities of daily living score, demonstrating that they were mentally much sharper and found day-to-day life easier.
photo by: Ann Gordon