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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.

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

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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