In a tumultuous news cycle, a little good news can be a welcome change of pace. We collected some good news stories, from efforts to help war widows in Libya earn a living, to a pilot in South Africa who is teaching girls to soar.
1. Charity helps women in war-scarred Libya learn to sew
Many women in Benghazi, Libya, were widowed when their husbands died in the fight against Islamic State militants. A local foundation called Amal, or “hope” in Arabic, established a workshop with donated sewing machines to train women to become seamstresses. “I heard of this idea and I came for work to earn money,” said one trainee, Reuters reported.
2. South Africa’s first black female helicopter pilot teaches girls to fly
Refilwe Ledwaba, South Africa’s first black woman to fly for the police service and to fly a helicopter, now has another mission in life: inspiring girls to take her place. In addition to aviation, the Girl Fly Program in Africa Foundation, or GFPA, teaches robotics and computer coding. “I want the girls to be successful,” said Ledwaba, according to the BBC. “Not necessarily to choose to become pilots but to become confident young women who can contribute to society, our economy and give back to our communities.”
3. In India, girls are taking charge to get things done
Two U.N. agencies have joined forces with local organizations in India to start “kishoris,” or adolescent girls clubs, in some of the country’s most remote areas. The members of one such club in the southern village of Thennamadevi in Tamil Nadu state have started a 150-book library and successfully spurred local authorities to build a bus stop with the goal of reducing the amount of time – and making safer – the girls’ and boys’ route to school. “After going to our club, I know my rights as a child and as a girl, but it seems what’s different about our village is that we didn’t stop there,” said high school student and Thennamadevi girls club president Kousalya Radakrishnan. “We now understand our role in our community, and we are acting on that.”
4. Giving travelers a chance to do something good
In the growing field of “sustainable travel” — travel that has a positive impact on the environment, culture and economy of the destination point — GivingWay aims to link volunteers with charities by cutting out the often costly intermediaries. “Volunteering should be accessible to everyone, not just a rich man’s privilege,” said the organization’s founder Orit Strauss.
5. In Nigeria, an app sends food to where it’s needed most
The motivation for Oscar Ekponimo to create an app called Chowberry came from his own experiences of hunger as a child in Nigeria. (When his father couldn’t work, the family went hungry.) His app records retailer information about products that are about to expire. Local charities can then purchase the food at a discounted price and distribute it to the community — and save the food from being tossed into a landfill.