International Happiness Day


United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon stated that:

“The world needs a new economic paradigm that recognizes the parity between the three pillars of sustainable development. Social, economic and environmental well-being are indivisable. Together they define a gross global happiness”

20th March is an international awareness day dedicated to promoting ‘progress’ as increasing human happiness, not just growing the economy. There is a really nicely designed website where you can vote for “which means more to you: wealth or well-being? I voted well-being and the next page has results which shows 87% of people are choosing the same!

Sightsavers’ social media manager has been busy tweeting about it. Here is an uplifting quote from a beneficiary:


There are some really heart warming stories in the news today, like this one on the Huffington Post online.  It discusses reclaiming happiness from the clutches of consumerism and shows heartwarming photos from people all around the world with what makes them happy. Wow, this is turning into a warm and fuzzy post!

William Easterly has a new book out today called “The Tyranny of Experts:Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor”. I read a review this morning. His key argument seems to also be about analysing the quest for prosperity. He says that autocratic development experts, who use a technocratic approach, overlook the supression of poor people’s human rights and offer a false bargain to meet material needs.

ugandaThis week I wrote a story on Maisie and Rebecca who are the Young Ambassadors for the Global Campaign for Education. The 14 and 15 year old have just returned from Uganda after witnessing first-hand the barriers to inclusive education. They will soon speak at the House of Commons. You can read my press release on the Sightsavers website.

A videographer also went on the trip and he captured lots of interviews and interactions between the schoolgirls and Sightsavers Ugandan beneficiaries. There is also a fantastic article in the Guardian.


watch the video

In other news, there is a lot of coverage on sports relief which runs from 21-23 March,

  • The telethon kicks off tonight on BBC One at 7pm. The sport relief programme dedicated to fundraising hopes to beat the £50 million raised last year!

“The pain I felt and went through, it’s what so many people go through, all because they don’t have a mosquito net which could save their life. I was lucky, I had the best care I could get. Some people are not so lucky.

  • Kelly Hoppen from Dragon’s Den went to Kenya’s Kibera Slum.

” It doesn’t matter where you come from or what you do, everyone has the same needs, food, shelter and sanitation. I never expected there would be such a hustle and bustle of business in a slum. I feel dreadful saying that but it’s true”.


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