+
Most Shared

These 10 photos of a refugee school show what the media won't: hope.

This photographer found hope in a what she thought was a hopeless place.

When Karen Kasmauski, a photographer for National Geographic, visited a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan, she expected to see what we see in the news every day: chaos, fear, and trauma.

After all, millions of Syrians have been forced from their homes as a result of the Syrian civil war, and half of the refugees are children or teenagers.

But despite the awful circumstances of the Azarq Refugee Camp, Kasmauski also saw hope. At the center of that hope was a group of young students she met, all of whom were seeking an education. So she decided to take some pictures.



These students are studying English in the Syrian refugee camp supported by the Malala Fund. All photos by Karen Kasmauski of National Geographic and used with permission.

The students she met are all Syrians who found refuge in Jordan and now attend remedial classes at the Relief International MakaniPlus Centre through a program funded by the Malala Fund. Malala Yousafzai, the teenage education activist who survived an attempted assassination attempt by the Taliban, believes that education can make a big difference for refugee kids.

"When I was a refugee in Swat Valley, I also dreamed to continue my education," Malala said.

The Jordanian refugee camp currently houses about 30,000 refugees, but it is only one-third full, according to Kasmauski.

The Malala Fund is dedicated to ensuring that every girl has the opportunity to attend 12 years of safe, quality schooling. And according to the nonprofit's website, one-third of the children in the world who are not receiving education live in war zones like Syria.

The school's head teacher, Jamalat, is also a Syrian refugee.

She volunteers her time to make sure that her students attend classes so that they're not left behind in school. Sometimes her classes can be as large as 50 students.


Jamalat and other teachers provide remedial classes so the students can continue their education in Jordan once they leave the camp.

She also provides outdoor classes to keep the students active.

Here, Jalamat turns a jump rope for her students.

Most of the classes consist of girls in elementary and secondary school.

Some of them, like these two friends below, are studying to pass the Tawjihi.

This is the secondary school exam in Jordan that would help them get into a university.

"[The students'] enthusiasm for learning was obvious, their teachers inspirational," Kasmauski wrote in an essay about her visit to the camp.


"Life inside a refugee camp certainly isn’t easy," Kasmauski said. "The girls I met often spoke of home with fond memories. But the remedial support they receive through the MakaniPlus Centre offers them hope and a chance to successfully graduate from the Jordanian school system."

"I came away from this trip feeling inspired and enlightened. These young women have faced overwhelming hardships, yet their passion for learning has only become stronger!" she added.


Kasmauski's photos are eye-opening, not least of all because they show the inspiration and hope that education can spark, even in dire situations.

Seeing these photos really makes me appreciate my education in a way I never did before — and it also reminds me why it's so important to welcome refugees into our communities with open hearts.

A student at the refugee school that the Malala Fund supports. GIF via Malala Fund/Vimeo.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

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.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


Keep ReadingShow less
via LinkedIn

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


A dad from Portland, Oregon, has taken to LinkedIn to write an emotional plea to parents after he learned that his son had died during a conference call at work. J.R. Storment, of Portland, Oregon, encouraged parents to spend less time at work and more time with their kids after his son's death.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

Keep ReadingShow less