Things can sometimes look a little grim, making it hard for us to believe that a bright side still exists.

But it does, because there are people working extra hard to make things better. 

Their stories will make your day and hopefully also put a smile on your face. 

1. Yellow for Positivity: Al Nowair/Kuwait

Al Nowair is an initiative that aims to spread positivity all around Kuwait.

According to their website, they help transform the latest scientific research on mental health into "engaging and enlightening campaigns and events that trigger people to embrace happiness."

Their campaigns, which are mostly in yellow, reach most public spaces, including malls and universities, all with one goal: to make people smile and feel better. 

2. Food for all: Cafe Bon Heur Du Ciel/Lebanon

Millions of Syrian refugees have fled the ongoing war in their country, with many arriving in neighboring Lebanon and Jordan.

Most refugees living in Lebanon face dire conditions, but amidst devastation there are always people who spread hope. In Beirut they are the people behind a cafe that offers free meals to those who desperately need them.

"Cafe Bonheur Du Ciel," is run by a charity whose volunteers cook and serve daily meals to over 200 needy people.

3. Pay as much as you can: The Honest Bakery/Saudi Arabia

This bakery in Mecca, Saudi Arabia has been named The Honest Bakery.

Why? Its owner, Ghazi Hassan Tass does not put a price on his products, leaving it up to his customers to decide how much they can afford to pay. 

Customers can place the amount they see fit in the "trust box," which replaces the cashier. And if someone can't afford bread? They simply don't pay for it.

Enough trust and goodness to put a smile on any face.

4. Defiance and books: English Library/Palestine

Mosab Abu Toha is a young Palestinian who is currently receiving book donations from all around the world as he prepares to open the first English library in Palestine's Gaza strip.

His aim?

To provide a space for people who love to read and open up a platform for the exchange of ideas and experiences.

5. Happiness is a serious job - Ministry of Happiness/Dubai

In 2016, Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, appointed a Minister of State for Happiness.

Ohood Al Roumi, who was chosen for the role, takes her job very seriously, and believes that "the role of the government is to create an environment where people can flourish, reach their potential – and choose to be happy."

What's not to smile about here?

6. An hour of giving back: Kebda w Shawarma/Egypt

This past year Egyptians have been suffering from an extreme economic crisis in the country.

Many families are struggling to put food on the table. This is why Kebda and Shawarma's owners in Cairo decided to launch their initiative:  an hour a day where people can come and enjoy a free meal.

Feeding hundreds daily, the restaurant is giving back and setting an example for others to follow.

7. Doll with a dream: The Ana Collection/Syria, Lebanon

Melina and Marianne Moussalli create dolls inspired by the hopes, dreams and stories of child refugees and their families.     

"Letters and drawings are gathered from refugee children; their stories inspire the illustrations on our dolls. By giving them the chance to draw and express their dreams we also aspire to help heal their invisible pain through art and self-expression." 

Part of the proceeds of all sold dolls goes back to refugees and each doll is given the name of the refugee who inspired its story.

8. Syria's own Malala - Muzzon Al-Mellehan/Syria

In 2015, Muzzon Al Mellehan had been living in the Zaatari camp in Jordan for two years. She refused to drop out of school after she fled Syria and worked hard to keep other female Syrian refugees in the camp's makeshift school.

She is often dubbed as Syria's Malala (in reference to Pakistani education advocate Malala Yousafzai), who she eventually met at the camp.

As of 2016, the Syrian refugee and her family have been re-settled in Newcastle, England, where she continues to pursue her education and dreams of becoming a journalist.