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This newborn baby gorilla has a lot to celebrate today (besides its stylish hair).

Isaro's baby is one of the 22 to be named in the Kwita Izina this year. Photo by Keiko Mori/Kwita Izina.

On Sept. 2, this little guy was one of 22 baby gorillas who was officially named in a Rwandan ceremony called Kwita Izina that will help conserve his endangered population.

The Kwita Izina naming ceremony helps officials monitor and track individuals and families in their habitat as well as raise awareness for conservation efforts. It also promotes awareness about the endangered species and helps conservation efforts to rehabilitate the population.


The mountain gorilla is currently listed as "critically endangered" by the World Wildlife Fund, but thanks to conservation efforts in the region, their numbers have been climbing. Each newborn gorilla is a critical part of the community, and this ceremony helps to solidify that.

Izuru's newborn baby gorilla. Photo by Keiko Mori/Kwita Izina.

2016 marks the 12th ceremony since its inception in 2005. The events and ceremony are staged in Kinigi, near the park where the gorillas live.

Half of the fewer than 900 surviving mountain gorillas live in the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and the Virunga National Park in Uganda.

A gorilla picks foliage to eat in a clearing on the slopes of Mount Mikeno in the Virunga National Park on Nov. 28, 2008. Photo by Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images.

The Virunga Mountains was a diverse and thriving refuge for the gorillas until the 20th century, when deforestation devastated the community.

Later in the century, when human developments moved closer to the gorillas' habitat, they were forced to go higher into the mountains and endure colder temperatures, which the species has not adapted to survive in.

Poaching, illegal charcoal harvesting, disease spread from human contact, and recent civil conflict have also negatively affected the mountain gorillas.

Amahoro's baby, one of the new mountain gorillas to be named in this year's ceremony. Photo by Keiko Mori/Kwita Izina.

The Kwita Izina ceremony has become an integral part of the mountain gorilla conservation efforts in Rwanda.

The naming ceremony is the culminating event of a weeklong fair that includes a gala dinner to raise money for conservation as well as lectures, activities for students, and a craft exhibition.

The ceremony, which is derived from a Rwandan tradition of naming babies soon after they are born, features speeches and performances.

Rwandan children perform in baby gorilla costumes for as part of the seventh annual Kwita Izina ceremony in 2011. Photo by Steve Terrill/AFP Getty Images.

Events like this are crucial to efforts for preventing these gorillas from disappearing. The fundraising involved with the ceremony helps support anti-poaching patrols and reforesting efforts, and one of the main components of the ceremony is the week of events leading up to it that raise money and awareness in the community.

Armed rangers patrolling in the Virunga National park in Rwanda to protect the habitat of Agashya family mountain gorillas. Photo by Aude Genet/AFP/Getty Images.

The number of mountain gorillas in the region grew from 380 in 2003 to 480 in 2010, according to the Rwandan Development Board.

A PLoS One study in 2011 revealed that in about 70% of the population was habituated for research and ecotourism in 2008. The study found that, "nearly 20,000 tourists visited habituated groups in Rwanda in 2008, generating approximately $8 million in revenue for the park service and providing local employment."  

These improvements and increase in awareness have helped in raising the gorilla population. But with the increased exposure of the gorillas to humans through tourism there is the risk that disease can spread and harm the gorilla community.

Gukina's baby gorilla, one of the 22 to be named this year. Photo by Keiko Mori/Kwita Izina.

The mountain gorilla isn't out of the woods yet — though it's bouncing back slowly — and it's all thanks to the conservation efforts in Rwanda and other countries the population is getting this chance to survive and thrive.

The Kwita Izina naming ceremony is a reminder that there is hope on the horizon for these baby gorillas to grow up in a safe and stable community.

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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Girls are bombarded with messages from a very young age telling them that they can’t, that is too big, this is too heavy, those are too much.

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via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

There are few things that feel more awful than being stranded at the altar by your spouse-to-be. That’s why people are cheering on Kayley Stead, 27, from the U.K. for turning a day of extreme disappointment into a party for her friends, family and most importantly, herself.

According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

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All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

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We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

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All-female flight crews known as 'Night Witches' bombed the crap out of Nazi targets in WWII

The Germans were terrified of these pilots whose silent planes swooped in like ghosts.

The Night Witches were feared by the Germans for their stealth bombing runs.

If you like stories of amazing women, buckle up, because this one is a wild ride.

During WWII, the Soviet Air Force's 588th Night Bomber Regiment flew incredibly harrowing missions, bombing Germans with rudimentary biplanes in the dead of night. The Germans called them Nachthexen—"Night Witches"—because the only warning they had before the bombs hit was an ominous whooshing sound akin to a witch's broom.

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This article originally appeared on July 2, 2019


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