The political battles in the U.S. rage on, but there are plenty of good things going on in the world, as well. Here are just a few uplifting bits of news from this week:
Rebecca Gibney has always wanted to meet Adele. The 12-year-old from Belfast, Ireland, suffers from cerebral palsy and epilepsy and is blind. Last year, doctors gave Rebecca six months to live, but she has defied odds, and her mom says Adele’s music helps put Rebecca in a good mood. Rebecca’s mom started a campaign on social media trying to get Adele to visit. This week, Adele stopped into Belfast on a tour and took time out to visit Rebecca and family. “It’s amazing. I’ll never forget it. And I do know that when Rebecca passes away she did get her dream come true,” Rebecca’s mom told the BBC. “It’s made me feel like I’m the best mummy in the world which I never felt. Adele told me I was the best mummy in the world too.”
A total of 43 athletes have been selected to potentially be a part of a team of Refugee Olympic Athletes (ROA) to compete under the Olympic flag this summer in Rio. “By welcoming ROA to the Olympic Games in Rio, we want to send a message of hope to all the refugees of the world,” said International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach. The team could contain between five and 10 athletes depending on “sporting qualifications,” according to Bach. As well as sporting ability, athletes will be selected based on personal circumstances and United Nations-verified refugee status. The athletes selected will receive financial support for training.
On Sunday night, while hundreds of celebrities gathered to celebrate their own achievements at the Oscars, some of Hollywood’s most acclaimed young talents came together to help the people of Flint, Michigan. Creed filmmaker Ryan Coogler, Selma director Ava DuVerney, comedian Hannibal Buress, musicians Stevie Wonder and Janelle Monáe and several others hosted an event in Flint to raise money for the community that has been effected by a horrific crisis, in which thousands of residents—including large numbers of children—have been exposed to contaminated city water. The evening featured live musical performances, spoken-word poetry and speeches from activists. After the event, DuVerney tweeted that it had raised more than $133,000 for Flint.
Instead of using her big wish to go to Disney World or meet a celebrity, Amelia Meyer, an 8-year-old with brain cancer, asked for help picking up trash in a park in Kansas City. The Make-A-Wish Foundation brought together hundreds of volunteers along with the city’s parks and recreation, fire and police departments to help with the cleanup. Amelia’s wish inspired groups of volunteers around the world to clean up parks in their towns, which they documented with the hashtag #AmeliasWish.
Your favorite New Zealand-based musical comedy duo is getting back together. Flight of the Conchords—aka Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement—have announced that they are embarking on a reunion tour this summer, hitting more than two dozen cities across the country. And, don’t expect it to be all nostalgia. They wrote on Facebook, “We’ve got new material, which we’ll be showcasing on the road.” You can go here to see the full rundown of dates.