March 19, 2016 |

Happiness personified: big goals and big smiles

There’s a direct correlation between health and happiness. On International Day of Happiness, here are some of our favorite happy photos.
Three children laughing, thanaka paste on their faces.
A trio of troublemakers with traditional thanaka paste on their faces, taken at the monastic school in Than Lyin, Myanmar. Photo: PATH/Minzayar.

Wherever PATH is working to bring health to the people and communities we serve, we try very hard to make smiles a regular part of every day. Smiles mean that people are happy. And a big guffaw? Well, that’s just priceless.

Another way we can generate even more smiles and happiness is by reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which call for the global community to end poverty and improve the quality of life for all people by 2030. Several of these goals directly align with PATH’s work to save lives and improve health, especially among women and children, in over 70 countries around the world.

Here, in no particular order, are five of our favorite smiles.

Laughing yoga

We took this photo of people practicing laughing yoga at 6:00 a.m. during a recent trip to Vietnam. And for those of you wondering how good laughing can be for your health, the benefits are a reduction of stress hormones, the release of endorphins, and an increase in infection-fighting antibodies. It’s free medicine!

Group of people doing laughing yoga.
Exercise and healthy behaviors align with SDG #3: ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. Photo: PATH/Matthew Dakin.

Happy students in Uganda

This photo of Veronica Nanyombi (left) and Sarah Kemirembe (right) was taken at Nakasongola Primary School in Uganda. The girls received the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine as a part of a PATH pilot study.

Our work in vaccines and immunization and women’s cancers addresses SDG #3: ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

Two adolscent girls in school uniforms smile as they pose for a photograph.
Photo: PATH/Will Boase.

An ounce of prevention creates more opportunities for happiness

We visited Quynh Van Nguyen in his home recently to see how a new program in Vietnam is encouraging people to get screened for hypertension and improving the quality of referral, treatment, and follow-up care.

Our work in noncommunicable diseases also addresses SDG #3: ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

Man in front of house smiling broadly while surrounded by garden plants.
Photo: PATH/Matthew Dakin.

Cleaning up with your friends

While testing early design prototypes for a hand-washing system, this young man not only washed his hands, but he delivered a sparkling smile that encouraged the rest of his friends to do the same.

Our work in system and service innovations addresses SDG #6: ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

Laughing little boy holds his hands out to receive soap and water.
Photo: PATH/Walter Thorn.

Empowered women

We took this photo of Winnie Navumbia during a recent presentation of family-planning options in the village of Kitalegerwa, Uganda.

Our work in reproductive health addresses SDG #5: achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Photo of a woman leaning on a wooden railing with a big smile on her face.
Photo: PATH/PATH/Will Boase.
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  • Portrait of Tracy Romoser. Photo: PATH/Patrick McKern.
    Tracy Romoser was formerly a communications officer and the blog editor at PATH.