Spreading the word on positive deeds

Every day, we are inundated with troubling reports from war zones, tales of corruption and cheating, and accounts of dramatic political and economic changes around the world.

That is the job of the media - to tell the stories of major developments around the world as they unfold, while helping readers make sense of the rapid and relentless changes around them.

On the other hand, many readers are also looking for inspiration. They want to hear accounts of how people around the world are coping with the pressures of modern life and helping others to do so. Such reports are often well-read, and our readers tell us so.

This is why The Straits Times is partnering with some 50 of the world's top media groups for this year's Impact Journalism Day.

In this meaningful initiative, we share stories with our partners about people around the world who are stepping forward to make an impact in a positive way, tackling challenges, big and small, in their communities.

The Straits Times has been a founding member of this effort, which was initiated by social enterprise Sparknews in 2012.


From the initial 20 members, the project has grown to 50 today, including some of the world's leading media titles, and it reaches some 120 million people worldwide through print and digital media.


Each newspaper contributes content and draws from the shared pool of stories to publish a supplement in print, as well as online.

This is the sixth year that ST is publishing a special supplement on 50 ideas and solutions to change the world. There is also a special microsite at www.straitstimes.com

These ideas offer hope for people and communities grappling with problems that range from the most basic, such as how to access drinking water and provide shoes for children, to more particular issues such as tackling colour blindness or food security.

This year, The Straits Times has focused on the matter of menstrual health. It is a little-discussed subject, even taboo in some quarters, but it is nonetheless a real issue faced by women in developing countries. Some women are kept from schools, secluded in isolated huts, or even have to forgo their wages for a week every month due to old prejudices and unaffordable care. Three Singaporean sisters are addressing this via their three-year-old start-up called Freedom Cups.

Some other interesting projects include edible spoons that help to reduce plastic waste, protein powder made from coffee grounds and harvesting sea squirts for biogas.

We hope that you will find the reports in the pages that follow both interesting and inspiring, and that they prompt you to consider how you might join in to do your part to make an impact on your community too.

Beyond Impact Journalism Day, you will find more such features in our weekly Community and Causes pages, which appear in the Home section of our newspaper and the Singapore section of our website.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 16, 2018, with the headline 'Spreading the word on positive deeds'. Print Edition | Subscribe