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Inspiring News Stories
Excerpts of Highly Inspiring News Stories in Major Media


Below are one-paragraph excerpts of highly inspiring news stories from the major media. Links are provided to the original stories on their media websites. If any link fails to function, click here. The inspiring news story summaries most recently posted here are listed first. You can explore the same list with the most inspiring stories listed first. See also a concise list providing headlines and links to a number of highly inspiring stories. May these articles inspire us to find ever more ways to love and support each other and all around us to be the very best we can be.


Note: This comprehensive list of inspiring news stories is usually updated once a week. See also a full index to revealing excerpts of key news articles on several dozen engaging topics.

Device Pulls Dozens of Liters of Water from the Air–Already Being Installed in Jordanian Desert Homes
2023-04-20, Good News Network
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/device-pulls-dozens-of-liters-of-water-from-t...

Entrepreneurs in Jordan have created a sophisticated machine that pulls water from the desert air at a rate that could cure the country's water woes. 1,000 units of their flagship device have already been pre-ordered by the Jordanian government, and the success of the invention has allowed the innovators to attract dozens of promising scientists who can hopefully expand on their success and bring water resources up to speed in the relatively-stable Near Eastern nation. Aquaporo [is] a relatively straightforward, air conditioning-sized machine that can harvest 35 liters of water every day in a desert climate of 20% humidity. Aquaporo CEO Kyle Cordova and engineering director Husam Almassad got their start at Jordan's Royal Scientific Society. Their invention looked a bit like a chest freezer. Inside, rows of nanomaterials formed into tubes and other shapes act like a sieve that filters water out of the air. The physics behind it are much the same as those found in this Classical Indian architectural feature and takes advantage of air's tendency to speed up as it moves through a narrow passageway; called the Venturi Effect. It leaves behind the heavier water vapor, which condenses, drops into a collection apparatus, and is fed then into a reservoir. Research on the efficacy of Aquaporo's invention shows it can achieve levels of water purity greater than Nestle brand bottled water, and collects it from the air at double the rate of existing moisture capture technology.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


The Alternative by Nick Romeo review – moral substitutes for the free market model
2024-01-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2024/jan/08/the-alternative-how-to-build-a-...

You can't help but applaud Nick Romeo for showing the workable alternatives to capitalism and the moral driver behind them – everything from the way companies are incorporated to how employees are hired, paid and enabled to share in the value they create. There is no need for ordinary workers to be pawns in a system that makes humanity and ethics secondary to the unbending logic of the marketplace and blind, selfish capital. He takes us to the Marienthal job guarantee programme in Austria. Today the town is piloting the impact of a universal jobs guarantee for all of its out-of-work citizens. Essentially there is a job for anyone unemployed for more than 12 months – you can even have a hand in designing what it is you will do with your time when you work – and you get paid up to Ł2,000 a month. People opt to work rather than receive welfare benefit, and there is ample evidence it raises their self-worth while delivering a service – care to the elderly or tidier parks – that was not there before. Better still, it costs the state virtually nothing because unemployment benefit is simply transferred to the now employed worker's pay packet. Romeo takes his reader from one inspiring example to another – from the Purpose economy programme in the US, in which firms are dedicated to delivering greater purpose in perpetuity, to examples of companies paying genuine living wages to their employees to encourage commitment. Around 7,000 B Corps, which commit in their founding constitution to put social goals before profit, now trade in more than 90 countries – there were effectively none 25 years ago.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Deep underground, robotic teamwork saves the day
2023-07-20, Knowable Magazine
https://knowablemagazine.org/content/article/technology/2023/deep-underground...

When a Manhattan parking garage collapsed in April this year, rescuers were reluctant to stay in the damaged building, fearing further danger. So they used a combination of flying drones and a doglike walking robot to inspect the damage, look for survivors and make sure the site was safe for human rescuers to return. Soon, rescuers may be able to call on a much more sophisticated robotic search-and-rescue response. Researchers are developing teams of flying, walking and rolling robots that can cooperate to explore areas that no one robot could navigate on its own. And they are giving robots the ability to communicate with one another and make many of their own decisions independent of their human controller. Such teams of robots could be useful in other challenging environments like caves or mines where it can be difficult for rescuers to find and reach survivors. In cities, collapsed buildings and underground sites such as subways or utility tunnels often have hazardous areas where human rescuers can't be sure of the dangers. As robots become better, teams of them may one day be able to go into a hazardous disaster site, locate survivors and report back to their human operators with a minimum of supervision. "More work ... needs to be done," [roboticist Viktor] Orekhov says. "But at the same time, we've seen the ability of the teams advanced so rapidly that even now, with their current capabilities, they're able to make a significant difference in real-life environments."

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


I'm a Black musician who has befriended and encouraged over 200 Ku Klux Klan members to give up their robes.
2023-06-02, Business Insider
https://www.businessinsider.com/daryl-davis-ku-klux-klan-kkk-musician-racism-...

In 1983, I was out playing at the Silver Dollar Lounge. I had just finished playing the first song when someone put an arm around my shoulder. It was a white guy. He said it was his first time sitting with a Black guy, and I asked why. The man looked at me and said, "I'm a member of the Ku Klux Klan." I thought he was joking. But he pulled out his wallet and handed me his KKK membership card. It only dawned on me a couple years later that I blew my chance to ask them the question that had been plaguing me since I was 10 years old: How can you hate me when you don't know me? Who better to ask that of than someone who went out of their way to join an organization that has, for over 100 years, practiced hating people who don't look like them? I spent the next several years traveling across the country, interviewing the man from that night, Klan leaders, and Klan members, and eventually writing a book about it. I did not convert anybody. Over 200 Klan members have converted themselves. The more we conversed, the more people would change. One time, someone said we should put Black people down. But I sat there calmly, and they'd be curious about why I didn't fight back. Now their ears are open. Now we can nourish those seeds, water them, and, in most cases, they bloom. Of course, some people go to their graves with hatred in their hearts. But what gives me hope, despite the current state of this country, is the fact that I've seen it work. I've seen people change.

Note: Daryl Davis has successfully persuaded more than 200 KKK members and other white supremacists to disavow their allegiances. Read more about the power of calling people in with love, rather than criticism and judgment. Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Paraplegic Veteran Uses Skydiving to Reclaim Lost Sensation in His Legs and Soul
2024-03-12, Good News Network
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/paraplegic-veteran-uses-skydiving-to-reclaim-...

There was a lot that Army veteran Alex Dillman lost when he became a paraplegic after an IED blew up under his legs in Afghanistan, but now an unlikely activity has allowed him to take some of what he lost back. Hurtling through the air at 120 mph, Dillman doesn't need his wheelchair to skydive; he doesn't really need his legs either. In that unique state of concentration and freedom, he says he's "expected to perform," a do-or-die state of mind that he says he hasn't felt since his old life on deployment. Dillman originally saw adventure therapy as a way to combat depression and PTSD he suffered from in the wake of his lost abilities, but he never imagined it would help him get some of those abilities back. Now he's part of an adventure therapy non-profit called Skydive First Project, where he utilizes outdoor adventures to assist individuals suffering from PTSD and depression. Based in Tampa, activities encompass hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, horseback riding, scuba diving, and tandem skydiving. "[The] great thing about skydiving is that it gets me out of the chair," said Dillman. "I don't bring my chair with me, so I'm in a free state. I don't need to be in the chair to perform the act of skydiving." "I can feel my legs and my feet to a certain extent. I can get a better sense of my overall being, feel what my legs are doing, feel what my hips are doing. Having that feeling again ... even if it's for 30 seconds or 60 seconds ... is enough for me!"

Note: Read more inspiring news articles on incredible people with disabilities.


German hospitals serve planetary health diet
2024-03-28, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2024/mar/28/planetary-health-diet-mea...

Patrick Burrichter did not think about saving lives or protecting the planet when he trained as a chef. But 25 years later he has focused his culinary skills on doing exactly that. On the outskirts of Berlin, Burrichter and his team cook for a dozen hospitals that offer patients a "planetary health" diet – one that is rich in plants and light in animals. Compared with the typical diet in Germany, known for its bratwurst sausage and doner kebab, the 13,000 meals they rustle up each day are better for the health of people and the planet. In Burrichter's kitchen, the steaming vats of coconut milk dal and semolina dumpling stew need to be more than just cheap and healthy – they must taste so good that people ditch dietary habits built up over decades. The biggest challenge, says Burrichter, is replacing the meat in a traditional dish. Moderate amounts of meat can form part of a healthy diet, providing protein and key nutrients, but the average German eats twice as much as doctors advise. Patients on the wards of Waldfriede praise the choice of meals on offer. Martina Hermann, 75, says she has been inspired to cook more vegetables when she gets home. Followers of the planetary health diet need not abandon animal products altogether. The guidelines, which were proposed by 37 experts from the EAT-Lancet Commission in 2019, translate to eating meat once a week and fish twice a week, along with more wholegrains, nuts and legumes.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Penguin Becomes ‘Guide Bird' Companion For Zoo Pal Suffering with Cataracts: Waddle I do Without You?
2024-02-10, Good News Network
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/penguin-becomes-guide-bird-companion-for-his-...

A penguin has become a ‘guide-bird' for a fellow African Penguin with poor eyesight, escorting her around their enclosure to get food and build confidence. The animal helper named ‘Penguin' has bonded with ‘Squid' the three-year-old that suffers from cataracts, a debilitating condition that clouds the lens of the eye. Squid is often disoriented during busy feeding times and relies on Penguin's "unwavering calmness". Penguin has become Squid's beacon, guiding her around the enclosure and acting as her ‘eyes'. The hand-reared birds are now inseparable–to the delight of their human keepers at Birdworld who are sharing their remarkable relationship. "The intuitive behavior observed between Penguin and Squid has revealed a remarkable level of empathy and understanding, showcasing the profound connections that can form within the animal kingdom," said Polly Branham a spokesperson for the aviary in Surrey, England. Having been nurtured within the colony, Squid honed her skills alongside her peers–learning the essence of being a penguin–but she used to be quite anxious about approaching the fish bucket at feeding time. "The excitement of the other penguins created a more unpredictable environment, and she would shy away from this for fear of getting caught in the crossfire of beaks," explained Branham. "That is how Penguin has been such an enormous help to her. "His stability was something she could rely on."

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Need to track animals around the world? Tap into the 'spider-verse,' scientists say
2024-02-01, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2024/02/01/1228141523/track-animals-edna-spiderweb

The rich tapestry of life on Earth is fraying, due in large part to human-caused habitat loss and climate change. As more species disappear, researchers are racing to track this global decline in biodiversity to understand its consequences and counteract it through conservation initiatives. Those efforts rely on accurate animal monitoring, which can be difficult, time-consuming and costly. Now, in new research published in the journal iScience, researchers present evidence for a new low-cost, noninvasive tool that can be used to monitor animals: spiderwebs. They're using environmental DNA, or eDNA, which is simply different creatures' DNA just lying around in the environment. Previous work showed that webs are good sources of insect DNA, including what spiders are gorging on. But [evolutionary biologist Morton] Allentoft and [student Josh] Newton wanted to see whether the webs were also trapping DNA from vertebrate animals. So Newton ... collected spiderwebs. Back in the lab, Newton amplified the small amounts of DNA from the webs. They were filled with genetic material from animals. "It was wonderful," says Allentoft. "We could see these kangaroos [and] wallabies." There were nine other mammals, 13 species of birds, the motorbike frog and the snake-eyed skink. In other words, the technique worked. It represents a new way of tracking animal biodiversity and alerting us when we should intervene to conserve native species.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


A Guantanamo Guard And His Detainee Reunite
2018-08-12, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2018/08/12/637932193/a-guantanamo-guard-and-a-detainee-re...

Mohamedou Ould Slahi and Steve Wood met in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2004. At the time, Slahi had been in captivity for two years, accused of acts of terrorism. Wood, then a member of the National Guard, was assigned to watch the Mauritania native. For nine months, they spent their days together. After more than a decade, the two saw each other once again this spring, when Wood traveled to Slahi's home in Mauritania to see his old friend. The two became fast friends. They bonded over the movie The Big Lebowski. Slahi related to the main character, "The Dude," a victim of mistaken identity. The U.S. government detained Slahi in Guantanamo for 14 years, but never charged him with an offense. In 2010, a federal judge ruled that Mohamedou should be released from Guantanamo. Wood reached out to Slahi's legal team, telling them that he'd like to help in any way he could. He wrote a letter supporting Slahi's release. While Slahi was still in prison, his 2015 memoir, Guantanamo Diary, became a bestseller. The next year, the Department of Defense finally allowed Slahi to return to his home. Wood ... flew there in May to see the man he once guarded. "We never believed in this war," Slahi said. "There is no war between Muslims and Americans. There is no war between Americans and the poor people in the world. There is only a war between people on the top who have their own agenda. People are people no matter what ... When we die it doesn't matter what passport we hold."

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


In Brazil, prisons without guards offer inmates path to recovery
2023-05-16, AlJazeera
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/5/16/in-brazil-prisons-without-guards-off...

APAC, a Brazilian non-profit that advocates for better treatment of prisoners, has a unique model in the dozens of facilities it manages across the country. Inmates oversee security and discipline, make their own food and wear their own clothes. Referred to as "recovering persons", prisoners are called by their name rather than by a number. The more than 400 inmates in the Sao Joao del-Rei APAC facility have the keys to their own cells - and unlike in a typical prison, there are no armed guards monitoring their movements. This is a far cry from the norm in Brazil, where the total prison population exceeds 800,000. The country's human rights ministry has cited inhumane conditions, including rotten food and torture, inside prisons in the state of Rio Grande do Norte. In 2021, a report from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights said that across Brazil, inmates were "often held in overcrowded and structurally deficient prisons, maltreated, and frequently subjected to torture". In APAC prisons, cells appear clean, food is fresh and education is part of the rehabilitation programme. In terms of recidivism, while the Brazilian state reports its national average at 39 percent after five years - a number much lower than the 80 percent cited by international observers - APAC says its facilities have a rate of around 14 percent. New inmates entering the Sao Joao del-Rei facility are greeted by a sign bearing the words: "Here the man enters, the crime stays outside."

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


How Self-Compassion Can Help People Achieve Weight Loss Goals Despite Setbacks–and Resume Dieting Faster
2024-03-10, Good News Network
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/how-self-compassion-can-help-people-achieve-w...

A study of 140 overweight or obese adults enrolled in a weight loss program found that higher levels of self-compassion, particularly self-kindness, were linked to reduced negative feelings following a dietary lapse. Individuals who practiced self-kindness tended to feel less guilty and more positive about themselves despite the setback. Afterward, they reported feeling more in command of their eating habits, suggesting that self-compassion can help people regain a sense of agency after a lapse. The research from the Center for Weight, Eating and Lifestyle Sciences (WELL Center) at Drexel University, published in Appetite, found that when study participants had more self-compassionate responses to their lapse, they reported better mood and self-control over their eating and exercise behavior in the hours following the lapse. "Many people worry that self-compassion will cause complacency and lead them to settle for inadequacy, but this study is a great example of how self-compassion can help people be more successful in meeting their goals," said [lead author] Charlotte Hagerman, PhD. "The next time you feel the urge to criticize yourself for your eating behavior, instead try speaking to yourself with the kindness that you would speak to a friend or loved one." For example, instead of a person saying to his or herself, "You have no willpower," reframe it to a kinder – and truer – statement: "You're trying your best in a world that makes it very difficult to lose weight."

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Eve by Cat Bohannon review – long overdue evolutionary account of women and their bodies
2023-10-10, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2023/oct/10/eve-how-female-body-drove-200-m...

Over hundreds of thousands of years, women have developed more sensitive noses (particularly around ovulation and pregnancy), finer hearing at high frequencies, extended colour vision, and longer life expectancy than men by an impressive half decade. Forget plasma exchange and supplementation – entrepreneurs trying to extend human life should be studying women, who comprise around 80% of today's centenarians. American academic and author Cat Bohannon asks how this came to be, tracing defining female features back to our "presumed true ancestors", our Eves as she calls them. Bohannon calls on her astounding disciplinary range to tell this epic tale. Her writing ripples with references from literature, film studies, biochemistry, cognitive science and anthropology. Evolution, as Bohannon emphasises, doesn't care about our contemporary preferences or sensitivities. This emboldens her to confront uncomfortable stereotypes, like whether women's brains have evolved to be inferior to men's (in fact, the sexes have strikingly similar cerebral equipment). The author's parting plea is that we learn more about women and girls. In the UK, unlike the US, there is still no regulation that insists women are included in medical research. Not everyone agrees with the ethical good of extending participation. Might they acknowledge that being specific about people's sex and gender leads to more rigorous and reproducible scientific results?

Note: Read more about author Cat Bohannon's fascinating take on a wide range of discoveries and differences between the male and female body.


Legally blind Texas student defies the odds, gets accepted into veterinarian school: ‘Anything is possible'
2024-03-06, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2024/03/06/lifestyle/legally-blind-texas-student-defies-th...

Faith Snapp has never let her blindness get in the way of pursuing her dreams. A 22-year-old Texas native who is legally blind, Snapp was accepted into the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine. "My entire life, my family has raised horses and goats for as long as I can remember," Snapp shared. "I always loved animals." Snapp and her twin brother were both born prematurely – and with very limited vision. Snapp has had a guide dog since high school, but she has never let her disability come across as a limitation. She was in several clubs in high school and even worked at local animal clinics. While her blindness may have been a challenge at first, she "needed" people to come alongside her and support her dreams. "I just needed to find the people and the accommodations and the places that would be willing to help me," the 22-year-old student [said]. "That was a little bit challenging because I think oftentimes people place limitations on somebody with a disability because they assume that they are limited." Snapp will begin classes in August, and hopes to pursue a career as a mixed-animal veterinarian, working with both large and small animals. It doesn't matter what challenges a person may be facing, Snapp said; people should not give up on their dreams. "No matter who you are or what your circumstances… anything is possible," she said. "I just hope my story can help others realize that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to."

Note: Read more inspiring news articles on incredible people with disabilities.


In Holland People With Dementia Can Work on a Farm
2022-03-07, Reasons to be Cheerful
https://reasonstobecheerful.world/netherlands-care-farms-aging-dementia-work/

On Dutch ‘care farms,' aging folks tend to livestock, harvest vegetables and make their own decisions. Boerderij Op Aarde is one of hundreds of Dutch "care farms" operated by people facing an array of illnesses or challenges, either physical or mental. Today, there are roughly 1,350 care farms in the Netherlands. They provide meaningful work in agricultural settings with a simple philosophy: rather than design care around what people are no longer able to do, design it to leverage and emphasize what they can accomplish. Studies in Norway and the Netherlands found that people with dementia at care farms tended to move more and participate in higher-intensity activities than those in traditional care, which can help with mobility in daily life and have a positive impact on cognition. Dementia is often linked to social isolation, and care farms were found to boost social involvement. In traditional dementia care settings ... the focus tends to be on preventing risk. There's often a fixed schedule of simple activities, like games or movies, and the only choice attendees are given is whether to participate or not. In the course of his research, [Jan] Hassink has spoken to countless people with dementia. Common to many of them is a desire to not only participate in society, but contribute to it. "We don't focus on what's missing, but what is still left," says Arjan Monteny, cofounder of Boerderij Op Aarde, "what is still possible to develop in everybody."

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


How to Integrate Gift Circles into Any Community
2014-02-26, Shareable
https://www.shareable.net/how-to-integrate-gift-circles-into-any-community/

What if there was a way to create more community, instill a deeper sense of belonging, and begin bringing healing to the vast sense of isolation experienced in modern Western culture? The Gift Circle, as founded by Alpha Lo and spread by Charles Eisenstein, is a group facilitation format that holds great possibility as a way to match resources with needs, create community and inspire gratitude and generosity. The goals of a Gift Circle are simply to provide a warm, free, and welcoming space for community to gather and share Gifts and Needs, most often while literally sitting in a circle. The Gift Circle format [provides] a sense of psycho-spiritual belonging and connection to ameliorate the vast sense of alienation and scarcity experienced by so many. We would eat and socialize a bit, then gather sitting in a circle, and go around the circle with each person speaking what gift they'd enjoy sharing with the community. For instance someone might offer giving a massage, making a custom mix CD, giving a life coaching session, dance class, or a home-cooked meal – the gifts were generally more service-oriented, though there was an occasional item gifted as well, like a futon or pair of headphones. Most importantly, there would be a time at the end where we'd leave 20-30 min for givers and receivers to connect with one another directly and coordinate a time to meet up later to give or receive whatever it was. It was highly encouraged to schedule the gift or need session during that meeting, while the energy was still fresh.

Note: Read the full article to see how you can start a gift circle in your community! Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Jane Goodall Champions Pragmatism For Progress In National Geographic Documentary ‘Jane Goodall: The Hope'
2020-04-30, Forbes
https://www.forbes.com/sites/francesbridges/2020/04/30/jane-goodall-champions...

In 1986, [Dr. Jane Goodall] attended a conference in Chicago with researchers studying chimps in six areas of Africa, and the reports of environmental devastation shocked Goodall. After listening to the reports at the conference, Goodall felt obligated to speak. Her activism evolved quickly, from chimps, to their habitat to human welfare, and how animal rights and the future of the planet are inherently interconnected. Some of her decisions have been deemed controversial: her friendship with for US Secretary of State James Baker, her work with Conoco ... oil company to build a chimpanzee sanctuary, hard conversations with the National Institutes of Health regarding their medical research and testing practices on chimpanzees and visiting their labs. "I lost a lot of friends because of going into the labs, sitting down and talking to the people, organizing a conference to bring in the lab people, the scientists and also the animal welfare people ..."There were a lot of animal rights people who refused to speak to me – they said, 'Wow can you sit down with these evil people and have a cup of tea with them?' I was totally and completely flabbergasted. If you don't talk to people, how can expect them to change?" When speaking to the NIH, "I didn't stand there and accuse them of being cruel monsters. I showed slides and some film of the Gombe chimpanzees and talked about their lives, and then showed some slides of the chimps in the small cages and said, ‘You know, it's like putting a person in a prison like that,'" said Goodall. "Many of the scientists said, ‘We really have never thought about this in this way' a lot of them were actually crying." She stands by all of it because it produces results. It took decades, but the NIH phased out medical testing and research on chimpanzees. Conoco built the chimpanzee sanctuary, the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center, saving all of the starving chimpanzees in the Brazzaville Zoo in the Republic of Congo.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


The School Day When No One Eats Alone
2024-02-12, Reasons to be Cheerful
https://reasonstobecheerful.world/no-one-eats-alone-day-2024/

Laura Talmus felt helpless when her then-11-year-old daughter Lili kept calling her from school in tears. After her daughter passed away from medical complications in her sleep at age 15 in 2009, Talmus put together a video celebrating her life. When she showed the video, Lili's classmates were shocked to realize how isolated Lili had felt. The next year, Talmus ... and her husband channeled their grief into forming Beyond Differences, a nonprofit that focuses on raising awareness about social isolation in youth and providing solutions. Talmus believes the social isolation her daughter experienced is affecting students all over the country and contributing to serious health issues, mental health problems, suicide and school violence. Beyond Differences ... has now grown to reach over one million students in all 50 states. On February 16, 2,500 schools [participated] in No One Eats Alone Day, a day of action ... that encourages fifth through eighth graders to mingle, make new friends and become more aware and proactive about social isolation, especially at lunch. "No One Eats Alone is completely rooted in the experience Lili had," Talmus explains. "For many children, the lunch break or recess are the worst parts, so we started with that." Beyond Differences sends backpacks or "Belonging Boxes" with a lesson plan, games, toys, art projects, stickers and conversation starters to participating educators, at no cost to the schools.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Guy Cycles Across Africa Hoping to be Accepted at Prestigious University in Egypt–Gets Full Scholarship
2024-01-09, Good News Network
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/guy-cycles-across-africa-hoping-to-be-accepte...

Our moms and dads used to tell us about their mile-long walk to school. But if we're talking about peda-powered travel to school, this man has set a new standard. Leaving his home in Conakry, Guinea, on a bike, Mamadou Safayou Barry traveled across the whole of West Africa and the Sahara Desert's road network–2,500 miles–and across 5 countries in the mere hopes he'd be accepted into an Egyptian university. Along the way, the husband and father of one crossed Benin, southern Mali, Togo, and Chad, as well as some of the most bandit-filled areas on Earth, including parts of Burkina Faso and Niger. He was detained without cause or charge on three separate occasions, twice in Burkina Faso and once in Togo. It was in Chad, nearly four months after he left home, that he caught an auspicious wind. A local journalist reported on his efforts which led to a local philanthropist getting the man a flight to Cairo. Once there, the prestigious Al-Azhar University offered him a full scholarship, first for Islamic studies, then for engineering. Will Smith heard about Barry's successful voyage, and gave a surprise congratulations to the man. He video-called the Guinean in Cairo to gift him a new bicycle and a laptop for his studies. "When I saw him, I was confused in my head, because I had seen that man before," Barry told the BBC from Cairo. "Then I remember–it's Will Smith! Wow ... I used to watch his films. I was sat on a chair in front of Will Smith!"

Note: Don't miss the deeply inspiring video of Mamadou Safayou Barry's interview with Will Smith about his fascinating journey across Africa. Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


When a Preschool Was Opened Inside a Dementia Care Home, All Heaven Broke Loose
2024-02-20, Good News Network
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/when-a-preschool-was-opened-inside-a-dementia...

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Centered on that concept of communal flourishing, a dementia care village in England has incorporated a day nursery for small children–bringing together young and old for learning and sharing. Stimulation, learning, and fun–these are all activities that are known to delay the progression of dementia, and what better way to add these critical elements of life to a daily regimen than to let a flock of preschoolers do it? Belong is a nonprofit operator of senior homes, specializing in dementia care. This is the first to integrate children. The pioneering facility supports older people to live their lives independently, with access to several shops and services on site. The UK charity Ready Generations partnered with Belong to run the village's day nursery. Children feature in the daily life of residents and tenants, enjoying experiences together including shared mealtimes, stories, arts and crafts, and exercise. Centered around a vibrant hub of amenities, including a bistro, hair salon, and specialist exercise studio, the site is open to the public, creating a bustling environment with customers from the local community. Similar projects have been pioneered in America as well. The Intergenerational Learning Center at Mount St. Vincent nursing home in Seattle opened its doors to the oldest–and the youngest–in 2015. The 400 adults in that assisted-living center join the kids in daily activities from music and dancing to storytelling and just plain visiting.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Death and redemption in an American prison
2024-02-19, NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2024/02/19/1231119824/prison-hospic...

When Garner entered the gates at Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana, he didn't know what to expect. The maximum security facility has been dubbed "America's Bloodiest Prison" and its brutal conditions have made headlines for decades. It wasn't until five years later that Garner would get his chance to show everyone he wasn't the hardened criminal they thought he was. When the prison warden, Burl Cain, decided to start the nation's first prison hospice program, Garner volunteered. In helping dying inmates, Garner believed he could claw back some meaning to the life he had nearly squandered. For the next 25 years, he cared for his fellow inmates, prisoners in need of help and compassion at the end of their lives. The Angola program started by Cain, with the help of Garner and others, has since become a model. Today at least 75 of the more than 1,200 state and federal penal institutions nationwide have implemented formal hospice programs. The volunteers [in Angola] were issued hospice T-shirts that allowed them free movement through the prison. The primary rule of the hospice program was that no one would die alone. When death was imminent, the hospice volunteers conducted a vigil round-the-clock. The program used medications ... for the palliative care of patients, though the inmate volunteers were not allowed to administer them. The hospice volunteers ... functioned as confidants, giving dying inmates a last chance to get something off their chest.

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