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This Crowded School Lets Refugee Students Bring Chairs From Home

Jordan is home to over 635,000 Syrian refugees, many of whom are school-aged children. Even when schools are open to accepting refugee students, sometimes there just aren't enough seats to fit the number of kids looking to enroll. This was the case at the Khawla Bint Tha'alba Elementary School for Girls in the suburbs of Amman, Jordan, and according to Mashable, Principal Maha Salim Al-Ashqar came up with a simple solution: have students provide chairs of their own.

Today, Ms. Maha ensures that no young girl is denied an education at her institution as long as they have a place to sit. About 65 members of the student body of 356 are now young Syrians. According to UNICEF, children make up over 51 percent of the refugee population, which makes finding a place for them in a country's already strained education system a growing concern. Programs like the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) are currently working to provide extra training and support to schools like these that need it most. You can watch Principal Maha Salim Al-Ashqar's full story in the video from USAID above. 

Header/banner images via Mashable.

[h/t Mashable]

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Paris is Selling Its Love Locks, and Donating the Proceeds to Refugee Organizations
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Paris officials have turned an urban problem into a public service: They’re selling the city’s “love locks” as souvenirs and donating the proceeds to refugee groups. The Guardian first reported the news back in December, and now—beginning on Saturday, May 13—the locks will be auctioned off online.

For traveling couples, the padlocks they affixed to the iron grills of the French city’s bridges, initials scrawled on the surface, were a symbol of romance. But to Parisian officials, they were a civil danger. Fearing that the locks would weaken overpasses like the Pont des Arts, the city began dismantling the metal trinkets in 2015.

Left with 1 million padlocks (which totaled 65 metric tons of scrap metal), authorities needed a creative way to repurpose the waste. So they decided to sell 10 metric tons of locks to members of the public, marketing them as relics of the city’s bygone history.

“Members of the public can buy five or 10 locks, or even clusters of them, all at an affordable price,” Bruno Julliard, first deputy mayor of Paris, said in a statement quoted by The Guardian in 2016. “All of the proceeds will be given to those who work in support and in solidarity of the refugees in Paris.”

The locks will be sold in a variety of lots, some of them just as a single souvenir, others in groups. Smaller lots are expected to sell for anywhere from $100 to $200, while pieces of the padlocked railings could go for as much as $5000 to $9000 apiece. Proceeds will benefit the Salvation Army, Emmaus Solidarity, and Solipam.

99-Year-Old Woman Checks "Spending Time in Jail" Off Her Bucket List

When a senior looks back on his or her life to assess their triumphs and regrets, “not getting arrested” typically falls into the former category. But according to the BBC, a 99-year-old woman in the Netherlands wished she had spent time in the slammer. To help her achieve this unconventional bucket list dream, law officers let the woman, named Annie, hang out in a jail cell—with handcuffs on—at the police station in the eastern Dutch town of Nijmegen-Zuid.

Annie has her family to thank for the experience. "Her niece came to us with this request," a police officer told the BBC. "When she was reporting a crime, she told the police officer about Annie's 'bucket list.'"

"You get many unusual requests with this profession," he added. "We thought it would be nice to do something special for Annie."

Politie Nijmegen-Zuid/Facebook

As you can see in the photos above, Annie’s brush with the law was a blast. However, she isn’t the only senior who has wondered what life is like behind bars. Last year, a 102-year-old woman named Edie Simms from St. Louis, Missouri was faux-arrested per her own bucket list request. Police teamed up with a local senior center to make Simms’s dream come true. "She was so excited that she can ride in a police car and she said, 'Do you think you could put those handcuffs on me?'" Michael Howard, executive director of Five Star Senior Center, told KPLR. Talk about centenarians gone wild!

[h/t BBC]

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