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Her parents died of Ebola. Less than a year later, she's thriving.

Her world is slowly but surely coming back.

Her parents died of Ebola. Less than a year later, she's thriving.
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Sallay's world was turned upside down when her parents died of Ebola in 2014.

She went to visit them at the treatment center, but it was too late. They had already passed away.

As the disease tore through her country, it disrupted life for hundreds of people, forcing schools and businesses to close and displacing an alarming number of children, including Sallay and her five siblings.


Now, eight months later, schools have finally reopened

And she's thriving.

GIF via UNICEF/YouTube.

In many ways, 2014 was a terrible year for West Africa.

Photo by UNICEF/YouTube.

The Ebola outbreak that most suspect began in December 2013 resulted in over 10,000 deaths in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, including Sallay's parents.

It was the worst outbreak of the disease of all time.

But — due to help coordinated locally and abroad – the worst is over.

Clip via UNICEF/YouTube.

Thanks to the efforts of UNICEF, USAID, International Medical Corps, local governments, and many others, communities like Sallay's are finally coming back from the brink.

One of the most effective programs was also one of the simplest and cheapest — making sure millions in affected areas had the resources to wash their hands with soap.

UNICEF delivered more than 1.5 million bars of soap to Sierra Leone and similar amounts to Liberia and Guinea. It goes a long way to preventing the spread of viral disease, even one as serious and deadly as Ebola.

Sallay wants to be a part of a healthy and sustainable future for her community.

She wants to be a nurse when she grows up, so she can take care of her friends when they get sick.


Image via UNICEF/YouTube.

Life isn't 100% back to normal yet. So much was lost that it might never be. And she'll undoubtedly have many more challenges to face along the way.

But a healthy future is real.

By providing education to displaced young people and improving local healthcare systems to prevent the next outbreak before it begins, they're beginning to make things better for those left behind, even though there's still a long way to go.

Albert Einstein

One of the strangest things about being human is that people of lesser intelligence tend to overestimate how smart they are and people who are highly intelligent tend to underestimate how smart they are.

This is called the Dunning-Kruger effect and it’s proven every time you log onto Facebook and see someone from high school who thinks they know more about vaccines than a doctor.

The interesting thing is that even though people are poor judges of their own smarts, we’ve evolved to be pretty good at judging the intelligence of others.

“Such findings imply that, in order to be adaptive, first impressions of personality or social characteristics should be accurate,” a study published in the journal Intelligence says. “There is accumulating evidence that this is indeed the case—at least to some extent—for traits such as intelligence extraversion, conscientiousness, openness, and narcissism, and even for characteristics such as sexual orientation, political ideology, or antigay prejudice.”

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'Merry Christmas' on YouTube.

The world must have been—mostly—good this year. Because Elton John and Ed Sheeran have teamed up to gift us all with a brand new Christmas single.

The song, aptly named “Merry Christmas,” is a perfect blend of silly and sweet that’s cheery, bright and just a touch bizarre.

Created with the holiday spirit in every way, it has whimsical snowball fights, snow angels (basically all the snow things), festive sweaters, iconic throwbacks and twinkling lights galore. Plus all profits from the tune are dedicated to two charities: the Ed Sheeran Suffolk Music Foundation and the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

I personally don’t know which is more of a highlight: Ed Sheeran channeling his inner-Mariah, performing a faux sexy dance in a leg revealing Santa outfit, or him flying through the air with a giant Frosty the Snowman … who seems to be sporting glasses similar to Elton’s. Are we meant to believe that Elton is the Snowman? This music video even has mystery.
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