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humansofnewyork:

"Let me tell you about my son. When Aditya was born, there was a very popular television show on the air, and the main character was named Lord Rama. Lord Rama was known as a revealer of truth. So I joked with my best friend that my son was going to be just like Lord Rama, and he was going to bring a great truth into the world. Sixteen years later, that very same friend called me while I was out of town on vacation. 
'Uptal!' he screamed. 'Uptal! Turn on the TV! Your son is on the TV! He's just like Lord Rama!'
'What channel?' I asked.
'Any channel!' he screamed. So I turned on the television. And there he was. I hadn't known it, but while I was gone, he had started a petition on the internet. He was only sixteen years old at the time, and he had started an online petition calling for the government to reopen an old rape case. The case was nearly ten years old, and it involved the son of a very powerful government official. The son had raped and murdered a girl, and even though the evidence was overwhelming, he was only given three years in prison because of his family's connections. So Aditya started this petition to reopen the case. And soon it had millions of signatures! A sixteen year old boy! I couldn't believe it! I called his mother, and she was very scared. The men he was challenging were very powerful, and had many powerful friends. 
Soon Aditya was on the cover of every newspaper: ‘Young Boy Challenges Mafia,” the newspapers said. TV cameras were lining up in front of our house. His mother and I were very scared for him, and wanted him to lay low, but he insisted on doing every interview. He went on all the TV shows. Soon he started a protest right here at India Gate. He announced: ‘I am going to sit here until the case is reopened.’ Thousands of people joined him. All the famous musicians and Bollywood stars came to join him. The largest magazine in India called him ‘the country’s youngest icon.’ Soon after the protest began, the chief judge of the Supreme Court announced he was reopening the case. When the new trial was finished, the man had been given a life sentence!”

(New Delhi, India)

humansofnewyork:

This may be the happiest I’ve ever been to write a post. Last year, as many of you probably remember, we held a crowdfunding campaign to help a family with adoption fees. The Watkins family had already adopted an eight year old daughter from Ethiopia. They were so happy with their new family, they decided to adopt a ten year old boy named Rabuma, who they had discovered in an orphanage. They knew that Rabuma was destined to be their new son, but were heartbroken because they didn’t have the money to bring him home yet. 4,000 of you donated to help make this family a reality. Over the past year, the Watkins have been sending me periodic updates, but I didn’t want to share them because I didn’t want to jeopardize the process. But everything just finalized. By a beautiful coincidence, the Watkins happened to pick up Rabuma while I was in Africa. So between destinations, I took a two hour detour to Ethiopia to photograph the occasion. It was such an honor for me to be present at the birth of this new family. The love that had already developed between them just filled the room.

humansofnewyork:

"Do you remember the happiest moment of your life?"
"One day, I was sent home from my final exams because my mother had not been able to pay the registration fees. On the way home, a man came up to me and asked what was wrong. ‘Nothing,’ I told him. He asked me again. So I told him that I’d been sent home from school. He then gave me the money I needed to take my exams. I’d never seen him before, and I’ve never seen him again."

(Entebbe, Uganda)

humansofnewyork:

"We don’t like pictures like this. It is not good to deduce an entire country to the image of a person reaching out for food. It is not good for people to see us like this, and it is not good for us to see ourselves like this. This gives us no dignity. We don’t want to be shown as a country of people waiting for someone to bring us food. Congo has an incredible amount of farmland. An incredible amount of resources. Yes, we have a lot of problems. But food is not what we are reaching for. We need investment. We need the means to develop ourselves." 

(Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo)

humansofnewyork:

"When I got accepted into the Master’s program at the University of Damascus, it felt like the whole world was in my hands. For the last three weeks before the exam, I studied for 20 hours every day. My eyes got so tired and swollen that I could not see the letters anymore. So when I heard that I passed, I felt that nothing was impossible. All my friends and family were surrounding me and kissing me."
"How did you celebrate?"
"Well, we were poor. So I bought a Pepsi to share with my friends." 
(Erbil, Iraq)

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