We’ve been living under grey and rainy skies, minds are numbed and drained by the negatives of 2019 and cases of ‘The Mondays’ are lasting until Thursday. I know I need cheering up today so I thought I’d bring some joy to our little online community! I saw a post on Facebook, which highlighted some unsung positives that have happened in 2019,  and so I was inspired to do some research for my own blog post. So please, let’s take a look at some of the positives from this turbulent year rather than the negatives we all focus on!

For me, seeing the growing number of homeless people on my way to and from work every day is a real cause for concern. But someone is actually doing something about it! New Story is a non-profit with a goal to end global homelessness. 2019 is the year that the world’s first 3D printed community is underway in Mexico, these homes will be granted to local families living in extreme poverty. I can’t wait for this to be worldwide! 

Earlier this year, the world saw a really positive if slightly more uncommon legal victory and this was for an Amazonian tribe being able to protect half a million acres of land in the Amazon Forest. The Waorani have lived on this land for centuries and justly exercised their right to protest when it was earmarked for oil drilling! The battle had been going on for years but this year a court in Ecuador has officially prevented the government from selling land in the rainforest to oil companies. This is a victory for the tribe of over 2000, who call it home, but also for the World! 

Keeping on the oil drilling theme, Norway voted against drilling for oil in the Lofoten Islands to protect its ecosystem. To restore your faith in humanity even further, this would have been worth an estimated €53 billion. Thank you, Norway!

 

Brian Johnson, aka the frontman of the legendary band AC/DC, and his wife Brenda recently donated a large property in aid of helping to finish building a new housing campus (Campus of Caring) for foster kids in Florida. The All Star Children’s Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to making foster care better for children through innovation and compassion. Maybe they “wanted no applause, it’s just another cause”…! (Yes, that’s an AC/DC lyric).

Now for the comeback kid of 2019… A giant tortoise who was believed to be extinct for 100 years, last seen in 1906, showed her face in a remote patch of vegetation on the Galápogos island of Fernandina. She’s thought to be at least 100 years old and experts think there are potentially be more members of her squad hiding out too! 

Last May, the World Health Organisation declared Argentina and Algeria officially malaria-free after having zero transmission reports for more than 3 years. This now brings a total number of malaria-free countries to 38 – amazing!

 

A long-protested law was lifted in China in April and that was that animal testing on cosmetic products will no longer be required as of January! China’s beauty industry is huge and a really attractive one to crack, but for most brands, stamping out animal testing and cruelty had happened for them a while ago, causing a big problem. The beauty global market will certainly be a better place but also an exciting one to watch in 2020!

                               

Theresa Kachindamoto is a senior tribal chief of Malawi and after she came into power, annulled more than 1500 child marriages and made them illegal with no exceptions. Completely shocked to see girls as young as 12 with babies and teenaged husbands she ordered it to be banned along with sexual initiations of girls. All girls are to remain in school as well as the boys and get a full education, Theresa has faced a lot of backlash and even death threats but has kept strong and enforced her new laws.

An amazing step in the right direction came when an HIV positive man in London became the second person to be cleared of the virus after having stem cell transplant treatment. The prospect of curing the once incurable virus is incredible and makes our future brighter rather than bleaker! 

 

More people than ever before are surviving cancer in Australia since 1989 the mortality rate has been found to have dropped by 32% in men and 21% in women. It’s not just in our friends down under that we are seeing these improvements, between 1990 and 2019 mortality rate fell by 26% in Chile, 18% in Argentina, 17% in Mexico, 14% in Colombia and 13% in Venezuela!

If this final bit of good news doesn’t convince that it’s never too late to do what you love, then I don’t know what will. Alan Tripp, 102 years old, and his counterpart Marvin Weisbord, 88 years old, have released their first-ever studio album of jazz songs for seniors. The two friends are residents at a retirement home in Pennsylvania, USA, their career began two years ago after Tripp composed a poem about growing old for his 100th birthday. You can find them in action on YouTube

I hope my round-up of 2019’s good news did what it was intended for and brightened your day, even if a little. We are bombarded with distressing news so sometimes searching good news websites can be just what you need to be reminded that the world isn’t all terrible and humanity isn’t doomed to self-destruction.