As long as I can scrape together good news, this will be a semi-regular feature as we remind ourselves of little and big victories.
Staying up-to-date on the news can mean a steady stream of depressing tidbits all day long. But occasionally there is a needle of good in the haystack of horrible. First there was the big news that Malala Youstafzi, who championed education for girls in her native Pakistan, returned to school in the United Kingdom today. More quietly, but no less good for the people requiring the services, New Mexico has developed a system that allows veterans to receive free mental health care in the state.
First for Malala. If you don’t remember, Ms. Youstafzi was shot in the head by the members of the Taliban because she dared to advocate for education for girls. She was flown to the United Kingdom, where she was treated and has made a ridiculous amount of progress, in a testament of the sheer amount of will displayed by Malala, her physicians and the human brain itself. Since being flown to the U.K. for treatment, her father received a position in the country, so the family is remaining there for the time period. And today, Malala returned to school for the first time since the whole ordeal.
To the BBC, the Nobel Peace Prize nominee said, “I think it is the happiest moment that I’m going back to school, this is what I dreamed, that all children should be able to go to school because it is their basic right. I am so proud to wear the uniform because it proves I am a student and that I am living my life and learning.” Let that statement shame your niece whose ambivalence about school is only overpowered by her desire to see her friends on a daily basis.
My awkward attempt to make two wonderful stories fit into one continues, as the Land of Enchantment (I hope you don’t feel like you oversold yourself there) has just announced the New Mexico Veterans Counseling and Therapy Project. The system will allow veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to receive pro-bono mental health services. The program will help 500 veterans, although there’s no explanation of what happens if demand outstrips that.