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Seven positive stories to distract you from the UK General Election
Tired of divisive election coverage? We've got the perfect distraction.
Away from the political campaign trail, our teams have been working hard to deliver emergency medical care, campaign for access to medicines and speak out on behalf of the people we treat.
So, we've compiled a list of stories that are guaranteed to make you feel that 2019 hasn't been all bad. And, we promise there's no mention of Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn or Brexit.
- The woman who named her twins "Ocean" and "Viking" after the ship that rescued her
- The women's football team who transformed their pitch into a cholera treatment centre after Cyclone Idai
- The two men giving mental health support to Syrian Kurdish refugees
- Florence + The Machine fans raise almost £750,000 for MSF
- MSF celebrates 20 years since winning the Nobel Peace Prize
- The refugee children being protected against disease after MSF campaigned for fairer vaccine prices
- The young South Africans taking charge of their sexual health
1. The woman who named her twins "Ocean" and "Viking" after the ship that rescued her
Paar is 32-years-old and pregnant with twins. On 19 November, she was among 94 people rescued from a rubber boat in distress by MSF and SOS MEDITERRANEE's search and rescue ship, Ocean Viking, in the Central Mediterranean.
Paar plans to name her unborn twins after the ship that saved her.
As of 21 November 2019, Ocean Viking had conducted 16 rescue operations and rescued 1,150 people over four months.
2. The women's football team who transformed their pitch into a cholera treatment centre after Cyclone Idai
This story still makes us smile.
On 14 March 2019, tropical Cyclone Idai hit the coastal city of Beira in Mozambique, causing widespread devastation and flooding, leaving hundreds dead and many more injured.
In the wake of the disaster, a cholera outbreak was soon declared. MSF immediately dispatched emergency teams and more than 100 tonnes of supplies, including medical kits, water and sanitation equipment and logistical items.
When we urgently needed help to set up a cholera treatment centre, a women's football team decided to take matters into their own hands.
3. The two men giving mental health support to Syrian Kurdish refugees
It's easy for Jalal and Jamal to put themselves in the shoes of Syrian Kurdish refugees.
The two men, from the town of Sinuni in Sinjar District, Iraq, were forced from their own homes when their region was occupied by the Islamic State group (IS) in 2014.
Five years later, they're now on the frontline providing mental health support to other refugees.
When Bardarash Camp opened in October to shelter people fleeing Turkish military operations in northeast Syria, Jalal and Jamal were part of the first MSF medical team sent to the site.
In their roles as a medical translator and community health worker, they go from tent to tent, meeting families and identifying symptoms that may be related to psychological trauma.
"As former refugees, we know what they may be feeling in these moments that we ourselves have gone through," says Jamal.
"What’s more, the language that Syrian Kurds speak is close to that of our region, which makes it easier for us to understand each other and create a close bond.”
"People have as many questions to ask us as we have for them, and that's normal," adds Jalal.
"Even if we don't have all the answers, what's important to them is that they can share their stories, fears and doubts. This helps us identify people who may need more support."
4. Florence + The Machine fans raise almost £750,000 for MSF
MSF went on the road with Florence + The Machine when they kicked off their "High As Hope" world tour in 2018.
The British indie band donated £1 from every ticket sale to MSF as they travelled around the globe, wrapping up the tour this September.
Fans also gave generously, becoming donors and buying merchandise to raise just under £750,000 for MSF.
These vital funds will help us to continue our important work.
5. MSF celebrates 20 years since winning the Nobel Peace Prize
6. The refugee children being protected against disease after MSF campaigned for fairer vaccine prices
7. The young South Africans taking charge of their sexual health
MSF in South Africa has launched a web-based app designed to help young people fight HIV.
Young people often face the fastest growing rates of HIV infection, yet have very low rates of testing.
Khetha – which means "choice" in isiXhosa – was developed by MSF in partnership with Aviro Health to engage adolescents and young people in HIV testing and prevention by reaching them where they are – on their phones.
Amangile Nxiba, 17, is a youth ambassador for Khetha and was closely involved in the user-design process.
"Khetha is something we’ve been wanting as the youth," she says.
"There’s this stigma with young people about sexual health. You want the information, but you don’t want people looking at you in a certain way.
"Khetha is like a portable clinic, where you watch videos and ask questions.
"The videos show young people who are so comfortable talking about sexual health that it makes you comfortable. It opens up larger conversations, not just between you and the app, but also between you and your friends."