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She can't study or start a family all because of what happened at 15.

She's lived in two different places but never really belonged.

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The Atlantic Philanthropies

Sarah was only 15 years old when her sense of normalcy was flipped upside down.

"I was born in Congo ... . My mom is from Congo, and my Dad is Rwandan. We had an ordinary life. But at 15, both of my parents got arrested on allegations of spying."

Whoa ... Sarah quickly went into hiding, but that obviously wasn't the safest way to live.


"Feeling threatened everyday I fled to Holland. My asylum application was rejected ... . My only option was to try to apply for a Dutch temporary residence permit. During this process, I realized I'd lost both my Congolese and Rwanda nationality."

Belgian Congo postage stamp

The Congo rejected her based on her dual nationality. Rwanda also didn't recognize her as a citizen because she hadn't lived or been born there.

So, Sarah was stateless.

This means that she's not a citizen of any country. Instead, she's treated as a "legal anomaly" and could be denied basic civil and economic rights.

"12 years later, I am stuck in the same situation. There's no solution in sight. I can't study or move my life forward. I wish I could start a family. Instead, I feel isolated and confused."

Sarah may feel isolated, but her situation isn't unique. There are 600,000 people in Europe — and 10 million worldwide, who are also in limbo.

"These individuals remain vulnerable to human rights abuses every day: destitution to detention." — The European Network on Statelessness

But wait, there is a sunny side!

A bunch of folks from The European Network on Statelessness (yep, that's a real agency) are putting pressure on lawmakers to help Sarah get some normalcy back. One idea: creating a better process to identify stateless folks. To learn more about Sarah's story and how you can help, watch the video below.

Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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TikTok about '80s childhood is a total Gen X flashback.

As a Gen X parent, it's weird to try to describe my childhood to my kids. We're the generation that didn't grow up with the internet or cell phones, yet are raising kids who have never known a world without them. That difference alone is enough to make our 1980s childhoods feel like a completely different planet, but there are other differences too that often get overlooked.

How do you explain the transition from the brown and orange aesthetic of the '70s to the dusty rose and forest green carpeting of the '80s if you didn't experience it? When I tell my kids there were smoking sections in restaurants and airplanes and ashtrays everywhere, they look horrified (and rightfully so—what were we thinking?!). The fact that we went places with our friends with no quick way to get ahold of our parents? Unbelievable.

One day I described the process of listening to the radio, waiting for my favorite song to come on so I could record it on my tape recorder, and how mad I would get when the deejay talked through the intro of the song until the lyrics started. My Spotify-spoiled kids didn't even understand half of the words I said.

And '80s hair? With the feathered bangs and the terrible perms and the crunchy hair spray? What, why and how?

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