Making a Difference
September 2, 2010 8:51 AM   Subscribe

"Sure, Bono and Richard Branson can change the world. But there are millions of individuals making a difference who are not rich or famous." The Christian Science Monitor's ongoing Making a Difference section focuses on "that unheralded community – 'to honor the decency and courage and selflessness that surround us.'”

Some highlights:

* "No friend to the puu yai (big shots) of organized crime, militant groups, or government, colorful forensic pathologist Porntip Rojanansunan solves human rights cases."

* 'The Aftermath Project': Photographers go back after the war. (Gallery) "An experience in Bosnia led Sara Terry to create an organization to explore and document the consequences of conflict long after the world’s attention has turned elsewhere."

* Packing 400 lunches - and love - to serve the homeless: "Kansas City's 'mother of the streets' rises at 4:30 each morning, packs 400 decorated bags, and then seeks out the homeless."

* How do you teach third grade math? "Reconciling diverse languages, experiences, and the playfulness common to all 9-year-olds, Ann Griffith’s job is to get her students to the right answers."

* In Pakistan, women's rights activist Sheema Kermani stages plays that stir controversy – and thought.

* When scholars face threats, global networker Robert Quinn finds them safer places to do their work. He's the founder and executive director of Scholars at Risk, in New York.

* Finnish teacher unlocks music for special-needs students: "Markku Kaikkonen helps Marko Koivu and other students become skilled musicians, even though they don't read conventional musical notation."

* Protecting women and girls in China, where one child per family is the rule – and a boy the preference. "Chai Ling was a leader of the 1989 student uprising at Tiananmen Square. Now she wants to help women and girls in her native China."

* Saving cultural treasures in war-torn lands: "Stuart Gibson of UNESCO circles the globe to help endangered museums undergo rebirth."

* After seeing Mumbai's slums bulldozed, he now works to save and restore them: "Crews once bulldozed thousands of slum homes in Mumbai, a metropolitan region of about 16 million people in India. Santosh Thorat sees a better way: Help residents fix them up."

* Teaching others how to give money: 'Born into wealth, Marion Rockefeller Weber uses her Flow Fund Circle to teach philanthropists how to give money wisely.'

Also see:
Little Bill Clinton: A school year in the life of a new American. (A separate year-long special report, some of which shows up in the Making a Difference section.)

Background on the CSM from their 100th anniversary in 2008.
posted by zarq (4 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I should totally be on that list...ME!
posted by sexyrobot at 8:55 AM on September 2, 2010

Thanks for this zarq. I especially liked One Farmer Acts to Save Environment from Factory Farms

as for the "teaches philanthropy one" - I'm really meh on philanthropy right now. I always think, "just pay your goddamn taxes!"
posted by toodleydoodley at 9:52 AM on September 2, 2010

I should totally be on that list...ME!

For bringing the sexy (robot) back?
posted by davejay at 10:24 AM on September 2, 2010

toodleydoodley, You're welcome!

I must admit, I like Weber's concept because it allows people to distribute the money who are a little more hands-on and knowledgeable. Hopefully they would have a better idea than the donor of how it could be allocated in order to make more of a difference.
posted by zarq at 7:34 AM on September 3, 2010

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