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Feel-good stories of humanity

Give yourself a lift with these heart-warming tales from around the globe.

Every day, people around the world are helping each other. It’s an instinct that shines through humanity time and time again. If you need a little reminder about the good in the world, check out these feel-good stories. You can also submit your own.

Non-verbal student delivers his class graduation speech

Photo: Minneapolis Public Schools

Ahmed Ali told his graduating classmates to keep running life’s relay race in his commencement speech. “Each stage of your life you are passing [the baton] to a new you,” he said. “It’s not the end of the line for you but it’s a new you in our beautiful world.” Ahmed is non-verbal, and delivered his address using a speech synthesiser he developed at school with a speech pathologist. He and his classmates graduated from Minneapolis Public Schools’ Transition Plus program, which aims to help students with educational difficulties transition from high school into adult life. Ahmed’s now planning on going to university. Principal Jason Backes is proud of everything he’s achieved: “Ahmed is just an amazing young man who has really captured the hearts of everyone he has come into contact with. When he came to us we just knew that he had something special…he’s a very intelligent young man who we believe didn’t have a chance to have a voice in the past.” See more »

Indigenous music program helps preserve culture and foster community spirit

Photo: ABC Riverland/Anita Butcher

“Music is life and it has always been a part of who I am and who we are,” says Tosh Kelly, a local resident of South Australia’s Riverland region. He’s one of the first participants in a new music program that aims to help preserve and promote Indigenous culture and language for future generations. The program encompasses a wide variety of experiences, from teaching traditional instruments, like the didgeridoo, to incorporating traditional music into new mediums through digital music production and song writing. The program is also helping foster community spirit, by providing a safe space and mental health support. Teacher Grayson Rotumah says “We know that there is a lot of toxic environments around our community…one positive thing is when we have community, and people from our community, embrace something that is so intricate to their culture, like music, they’ve always got somewhat of a safe haven.” See more »

Soccer kick starts a new life for Rohingya refugees

Photo: ABC Radio Brisbane/Jasmine Hines

Robi Alam spent the first nine years of his life in the Nayapara refugee camp, in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. There, he and other children played soccer using a ball made out of bunched up plastic bags. Today, he’s the team captain of Rohingya United, a Brisbane soccer team taking part in the Kicking Goals Together league. The league is part of a program run by the Australian Catholic University, supporting refugees, migrants and international students. Before each match, players participate in hour-long ‘skill-up’ sessions, where they learn important off-field skills like job seeking, job keeping and insights into Australian culture. Program founder Dr. Matthew Pink says that the program has been inspiring and beneficial for all involved: “There have been plenty of occasions when the deep respect everyone has shown for each other, with everything that's going on in the world around us right now, is something quite profound and something we all believe in.” See more »

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Entire school learns sign language to welcome their first deaf student

Photo: Shannon Belanger

Morey Belanger is an inquisitive 6-year-old who loves art and performing. She’s also the first deaf student to attend Dayton Consolidated School, located in regional Maine in the USA. Principal Kimberly Sampietro was determined to make sure Morey felt welcome. Sign language posters were put up around the school, a hearing assistive system was installed and teachers received training on incorporating sign language into lessons. Principal Sampietro also said that many teachers used their free time to watch sign language videos and read books on special education. Every student at Dayton Consolidated School now knows how to sign at least 20 words, including colours, letters and school-related words. Morey’s mother Shannon was blown away by the school’s support, saying, “I absolutely feel like it makes her feel welcomed. I think all the kids feel excited that they know another language and I think they think it’s fun.” See more »

Taxi drivers band together to make sure student affected by cancer gets to school

Photo: AP

Han Li is a senior high-school student in China’s Hunan Province. In 2014, she had her leg amputated due to bone cancer. She now uses crutches to walk, but the 2km distance between her house and school was too far for her to walk every day. With no public transport, and Han’s parents not able to afford constant taxis, it was looking like she would have to miss finishing her education. When taxi driver Xu Bin saw her story on the internet, he decided to help, and promised to take Han to and from school for free. Xu has now put together a team of eight drivers who work on a roster to make sure Han gets to and from school safely. Their last mission is to get her to her college entrance exams on time. “Every time, he [Xu] opens the door for me when I get in and out of the car,” said Han. “Sometimes, he drops me off very close to my classroom. When it’s raining, he holds an umbrella. I’m very touched.” See more »

Maths teacher fosters student who needed a stable home to be eligible for a kidney transplant

Photo: CNN

Finn Lanning, a maths teacher from Aurora, Colorado, first met 13-year-old Damien at the beginning of the school year in August 2018. He describes him as a “well-mannered, polite and exceptionally smart” student. Damien, who has been in the foster care system since he was young, requires daily dialysis treatment for his failing kidneys. He needs a transplant, but a lack of a stable home has prevented him from being eligible. Damien was bouncing between living in foster homes and the hospital. When Finn learned that Damien’s most recent foster carer was no longer able to take care of him, he decided to take it on himself. Finn trained and upgraded his home to meet Damien’s special needs. They now live together, bonding over a shared love of food and cooking. With a stable home, Damien should now be able to get the transplant he needs, and Finn is hoping to eventually adopt him. See more »

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