I just learned about World Challenge this morning and I've just spent quite some time reading through almost their entire website. If you are despairing of the world, your government or your circumstances, then I suggest you spend some time there too. The stories are uplifting but I also found them personally challenging. There are so many ways to make a difference—and what am I doing?
While you're there, and if you read about all the projects, please vote for the one you like best. This is a competition and the winner will receive US$20,000 to plow back into the project. That's a lot. Voting will end on Sunday, November 22. I've summarized the twelve finalists below—a teaser to encourage you to go to the site.
All images and information are from the World Challenge website.
A global competition aimed at finding projects or small businesses from around the world that have shown enterprise and innovation at a grass roots level.
Keeping the ancient and sustainable tradition of the Adivasi people of Southern India, who collect honey from wild bee colonies on cliffs, alive by creating markets for wild honey
The Leakey Collection
Gives Maasai women a sustainable income, making jewelry from an abundant native grass, without interrupting their traditional way of life
Processes, packages and sells the honey of women beekeepers in Gilgit, one of the poorest and most isolated regions in Pakistan, to high-end shops and hotels of Islamabad
UniquEco Designs Ltd.
Cleaning the coast of East Africa from the thousands of flip-flops which wash up on shore and providing an alternative source of income for coastal communities
Producing gold without harming the rainforests of Chocó, a treasure house of biodiversity, and paying the miners fairly
Carrying classrooms on horses and donkeys to follow the children of Kyrgyz herders and give them the chance of education
Banding together to give the small-scale farmers of Koysan a fair price for their organic, caffeine-free Roobios tea
Shanti Sewa Griha
Building self-sufficient communities with workshops, a school and a free health clinic for leprosy victims and other social outcasts
She Hope Society
Bringing dignity and independence to the disabled in war-torn Kashmir through physiotherapy, corrective surgery, basic education and micro-loans
Educating the smallholder-farmers of Paraguay, one of the poorest countries in Latin America where two-thirds of the land belongs to two percent of the population, about the latest organic techniques and general life skills such as literacy, numeracy, sexual health and saving money
Hawkers Market Girl Centre
Providing education and income-generating skills to girls from Nairobi's slums
A film academy which gives the young people in the slums of Santos have a shot at a better future