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Editors' pick: 8 great global stories from 2022 you might have missed

Two of our favorite hidden gems feature goats who take no guff and an ice sculptor from Kenya who defied skeptics.
Forest P. Hayes; Michael Kaloki
Two of our favorite hidden gems feature goats who take no guff and an ice sculptor from Kenya who defied skeptics.

Dear readers, we are grateful that so many of you — millions of you — read our stories each year.

And of course we love it when a story gets a huge number of page views.

But page views aren't the only measure of a story's online success. There's also "time on page." Do readers click on a post for a nanosecond, then hop over to Amazon to buy some matcha tea? Or do they read all the way through?

So yes, it is deeply satisfying to know that readers found a story and stayed with it. But we can't help but wish there had been more dedicated readers.

So the editors of our blog are shining a spotlight on "high engagement" stories from 2022 that we think deserve more page views. Some of the posts are sobering. Some are inspiring. And some are just plain fun.

You'll read about a young man in Kenya who improbably decided to try his hand at ice sculpting — hoping to send a message about climate change. A nurse in Liberia who was frustrated that hospitals demanded pregnant women bring a costly bag of supplies for admission — and came up with a solution. And a deeply moving chance encounter that our visuals editor Pierre Kattar had on the streets of Rome with an Afghan schoolteacher.

Here are 8 of our favorite hidden gems from 2022 that we hope you'll click on as the year comes to a close.

Climate change gave a Kenyan youth a 'crazy' idea: Become a world-class ice sculptor

Ice sculpting and tropical heat don't usually go together, until Kenyan journalist Michael Kaloki decided to do something "crazy": form a team to represent Africa at the Quebec Winter Carnival. Published on November 26, 2022

Michael Kaloki of Kenya defied the doubters and took up ice sculpting and snow carving to send a message about climate change. He won a prize in Quebec and competed at the Helsinki Zoo International Ice Carving Festival.
/ Michael Kaloki
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Michael Kaloki
Michael Kaloki of Kenya defied the doubters and took up ice sculpting and snow carving to send a message about climate change. He won a prize in Quebec and competed at the Helsinki Zoo International Ice Carving Festival.

'Comfort Closet' helps Liberians overcome an obstacle to delivering in a hospital

Public hospitals in Liberia may require a bag of supplies to gain admission for delivery: bleach, baby clothes, diapers. The $100 price tag is too much for the poor. One nurse has a solution. Published on October 15, 2022.

Yassah Levelah, a nurse from Liberia, started the "Comfort Closet" to provide supplies that pregnant women must bring to a public hospital to gain admission for childbirth. Currently earning a master's degree in social work at Temple University in Philadephia, Lavelah is stocking up on supplies to bring home for her charity project. At right: Lavelah's Comfort Closet.
/ Joel R. Dennis (left), Maima Cooper
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Joel R. Dennis (left), Maima Cooper
Yassah Levelah, a nurse from Liberia, started the "Comfort Closet" to provide supplies that pregnant women must bring to a public hospital to gain admission for childbirth. Currently earning a master's degree in social work at Temple University in Philadephia, Lavelah is stocking up on supplies to bring home for her charity project. At right: Lavelah's Comfort Closet.

'I was their teacher': A chance encounter as Afghans protest after a suicide bombing

Pierre Kattar edited the pictures for an NPR story about two of the teenagers killed in the Sept. 30 attack. On Oct. 10, he went to a demonstration in Rome and made an unexpected connection. Published on November 1, 2022.

Mohammad Jan Azad (left) and Hamidullah Hussaini (right), hold a poster with faces of the girls killed in a suicide attack at the Kaaj Learning Center in an ethnic Hazara section of Kabul. I recognized the two young women in the upper left corner. A week before, I'd edited the photos for an NPR story about Marzia Mohammadi (left) and her cousin, Hajar Mohammadi. Hussaini was their math teacher.
/ Pierre Kattar
/
Pierre Kattar
Mohammad Jan Azad (left) and Hamidullah Hussaini (right), hold a poster with faces of the girls killed in a suicide attack at the Kaaj Learning Center in an ethnic Hazara section of Kabul. I recognized the two young women in the upper left corner. A week before, I'd edited the photos for an NPR story about Marzia Mohammadi (left) and her cousin, Hajar Mohammadi. Hussaini was their math teacher.

Food insecurity is driving women in Africa into sex work, increasing HIV risk

A study found that giving direct food support to women and girls in sub-Saharan Africa cut their risk of contracting HIV by 64%, because it alleviated the pressure to engage in high-risk sex. Published on November 11, 2022.

tk
/ Hanna Barczyk for NPR
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Hanna Barczyk for NPR

'Scream for Me, Africa!': How the continent is reinventing heavy metal music

Africa's metalheads have a bold vision. We talk to Edward Banchs, author of a new book about Africa's metal scene, and to a heavy metal singer in Botswana known as "Vulture." Published on August 7, 2022.

A screenshot from a music video depicting members of the Botswana heavy metal band, Overthrust. Tshomarelo "Vulture" Mosaka, the lead vocalist, bottom center, talks to NPR about why his country has been a powerhouse in the African heavy metal music scene.
/ Youtube
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Youtube
A screenshot from a music video depicting members of the Botswana heavy metal band, Overthrust. Tshomarelo "Vulture" Mosaka, the lead vocalist, bottom center, talks to NPR about why his country has been a powerhouse in the African heavy metal music scene.

A $2.5 million prize gives this humanitarian group more power to halt human suffering

Jan Egeland of the Norwegian Refugee Council, which has been awarded the Hilton Humanitarian Prize for helping millions in crisis, talks about unprecedented challenges and dreams of a better future. Published on October 20, 2022.

Iraqis displaced from the city of Fallujah collect aid distributed by the Norwegian Refugee Council, which has been awarded this year's $2.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize.
/ Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP via Getty Images
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Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP via Getty Images
Iraqis displaced from the city of Fallujah collect aid distributed by the Norwegian Refugee Council, which has been awarded this year's $2.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize.

This MacArthur 'genius' grantee says she isn't a drug price rebel but she kind of is

Health justice lawyer Priti Krishtel doesn't believe your ability to heal should depend on your ability to pay. Her mission is to reform the patent system that drug companies use to block competition. Published on October 13, 2022.

Priti Krishtel, a 2022 MacArthur fellowship winner, says of her work to create fair drug prices for the world: "I just don't think that people's ability to heal should depend on their ability to pay." Her father worked in the pharmaceutical industry and inspired in her a love of science and finding cures.
/ John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
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John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Priti Krishtel, a 2022 MacArthur fellowship winner, says of her work to create fair drug prices for the world: "I just don't think that people's ability to heal should depend on their ability to pay." Her father worked in the pharmaceutical industry and inspired in her a love of science and finding cures.

And because we can never resist a good goat tale:

High up in the mountains, goats and sheep faced off over salt. Guess who won

It was the unstoppable force versus the immovable object as goats and sheep locked horns over salt licks newly exposed in a warming climate in Montana. A new study reports on this cage match. Published on October 17, 2022.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

A female mountain goat in an alpine meadow in Montana's Glacier National Park. When goats competed with sheep for salt in the park, the goats won almost unanimously.
/ Forest P. Hayes
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Forest P. Hayes
A female mountain goat in an alpine meadow in Montana's Glacier National Park. When goats competed with sheep for salt in the park, the goats won almost unanimously.

Marc Silver, who edits NPR's global health blog, has been a reporter and editor for the Baltimore Jewish Times, U.S. News & World Report and National Geographic. He is the author of Breast Cancer Husband: How to Help Your Wife (and Yourself) During Diagnosis, Treatment and Beyond and co-author, with his daughter, Maya Silver, of My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks: Real-Life Advice From Real-Life Teens. The NPR story he co-wrote with Rebecca Davis and Viola Kosome -- 'No Sex For Fish' — won a Sigma Delta Chi award for online reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists.