The week's good news: Jan. 26, 2023
It wasn't all bad!
These women are changing the face of journalism in Somalia
When she was 10 years old, living in a camp for Somalian refugees in Kenya, Kiin Hasan Fakat would listen to her uncle's battery-operated radio, enthralled by the work of Voice of America Somali correspondent Asha Ibrahim Aden. "I used to say, 'Maybe I can be like this female journalist. I like her reports,'" Fakat told The Christian Science Monitor. She is now living her dream, working at Bilan, Somalia's first all-women news outlet. Fakat and five other women are reporting on "powerful human stories often overlooked by Somalia's male-dominated media," the Monitor writes, serving as inspiration to the next generation. "A lot of Somali girls who are journalists contact us to join us, and we support them," Fakat said. "Everything we write, they say, 'You did a great job.'" Bilan launched in April 2022, and their stories focus on the people of Somalia — one recent article was about the only woman taxi driver in the city of Bosaso — and issues like a lack of medical facilities at camps near Mogadishu for displaced people. After that article was printed, a small hospital went up at the site, proof that "we see some progress," chief editor Fathi Mohamed Ahmed told the Monitor.
6-year-old is climbing some of the UK's highest mountains for charity
He can't go to Mount Everest quite yet, so until then, 6-year-old adventurer Oscar Burrow will reach the top of as many mountains as he can near his home in Lancaster, England. His dad, Matt, told BBC News after Oscar learned about Sir Edmund Hillary and his Everest climb, he "decided that he wanted to be the youngest to ever conquer it. I explained to him why this might be a little tricky, but I didn't want to dash his dreams, so we came up with a plan to climb the highest mountains in Great Britain." Oscar aims to climb the equivalent height of Mount Everest, and along the way is raising money for Derian House, a hospice for children. Since he started in October, Oscar has raised £1,400, with the goal of £8,849, the height of Mount Everest in meters. He climbs on the weekends with his parents, grandfather, and sister, and told BBC News the "walks don't scare me, but sometimes my fingers get a bit cold." Matt said his son's determination "truly amazes me," and it "wouldn't surprise me if one day he actually goes and climbs Mount Everest for real."
Daughter completes 54 items on her father's bucket list
A piece of paper tucked away in a forgotten pouch reconnected Laura Carney with her late father, Mick. In 2016, Carney and her brother found the paper, titled, "Things I would like to do in my lifetime!" It was their father's bucket list, which he put together in 1978. Mick was killed by a distracted driver in 2003, and Carney told The Washington Post as soon as she saw the list, she knew "I needed to finish it. This is what I'm supposed to do." Mick wrote down 60 things he wanted to do, and had crossed off five of them and marked one "failed." It took Carney, a writer living in New Jersey, nearly six years to complete the rest of the list, finishing the final task — record five songs in a studio — on Dec. 27. Some of the items were easy, like "grow a watermelon," while others, including "talk with the president," took some more planning. She flew with her husband to Georgia to meet Jimmy Carter at his church, and also traveled to several destinations her father had wanted to see, including Vienna and Las Vegas. Carney told the Post she "knew my dad was with me," and she now has a better understanding of him — and herself. "Until I found the list, I thought I was more like my mom," she said. "As I did the list, these parts of me would emerge that were very much like him."
Teen sends seniors across the U.S. fun socks to brighten their day
The bright, colorful socks on their feet are a reminder to thousands of seniors across the United States that Elle Gianelli is thinking about them. The 16-year-old from Stockton, California, launched Socks4Seniors in 2020, after deciding she wanted to do something to lift the spirits of people in assisted living facilities who were unable to have visitors because of COVID-19. She set a goal of getting fun patterned socks to people in all 50 states, and so far, has connected with facilities in 40 states. "For such a small investment of her time, the impact is overwhelming," her mom, Rachelle, told People. "She wants to put a smile on the faces of these seniors, one pair of socks at a time." Gianelli, who raises money on GoFundMe for her project, is now receiving requests from other countries, and has formed friendships with some of the seniors she's met. "Elle has always been the giving type," Rachelle said. "It's just something in her nature. I'm so proud."
Maryland girl makes a 'once-in-a-lifetime' fossil find
Less than 30 minutes after declaring she was going to find a megalodon tooth, Molly Sampson ended up doing just that. The 9-year-old was out in Chesapeake Bay on Christmas morning with her sister, Natalie, and dad Bruce. The girls received waders and fossil sifters as gifts, and were excited to test them out. When Molly, who wants to be a paleontologist, spotted the 5-inch-long tooth in the water, "I reached in and grabbed it, and dad said I was shrieking," she told NPR. The family brought the tooth to the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons, Maryland, where it was confirmed to be a Otodus megalodon tooth. "It's a spectacular specimen," Stephen Godfrey, the museum's curator of paleontology, said. "It's one of the larger ones that's probably ever been found along Calvert Cliffs," and could be a "once-in-a-lifetime kind of find." It came from the upper left jaw of a megalodon, which was likely 45 to 50 feet long and lived roughly 15 million years ago, Godfrey explained. Since the discovery, Molly's mom Alicia said her family has received several emails from other young fossil hunters. "It's kind of cool that she was motivating other kids to get outside and explore," she told NPR.