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Successful Refugees and Immigrants Leading the Way, Part 19 of a Multi-part Series: Supermodel Adut Akech

13:40

Successful Refugees and Immigrants Leading the Way, Part 19 of a Multi-part Series: Supermodel Adut Akech

Today, we are going to introduce to you a beautiful South Sudanese-Australian supermodel, Adut Akech, who was born in what is now South Sudan, grew up in a refugee camp in Kenya, and immigrated with her family to Australia when she was eight years old. Now, Ms. Akech, only 22 years old, is a well-known fashion model worldwide. As a prominent member of the fashion world who cares for others, Adut has participated in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)’s #EveryoneCounts social media campaign to support refugees worldwide. Her refugee background has made her achievements incredible and inspiring. Hunger and fear were the norm in the camp. However, those years also taught her the power of gratitude and developed her inner strength. In Adelaide, thanks to the Australian government, Ms. Akech had the opportunity to receive an education. She said, “I was this tall, super-shy, awkward kid. I had a weird name, and a gap tooth.” She told Allure magazine that one day, the mindset of “I don’t care” entered into her mind, and “I told myself I was beautiful.” Ms. Akech started her professional modeling career at the age of 15. In December 2018, Adut Akech was named Model of the Year by those in the fashion industry. Ms. Akech was honored the following year with the Model of the Year title from the British Fashion Council. Growing up in a refugee camp, Adut has accomplished remarkable success in five years. Within that timeframe, she has made an impact in the modeling industry by speaking out for refugees and against racism. “I want to help people to understand that refugees are normal people, just like everybody else,” she said during a British Vogue cover shoot in New York, USA, in 2019. “You know I come from nothing. I'm a refugee, and I'm very proud of that. That's just… it's a part of my story. That's who I am, and it's something that I'll never ever be ashamed of.” She said to i-D magazine, “I don’t want to be known as just a model - I want to be remembered as someone who did something, someone who made a big impact.”
Good People, Good Work
2022-01-10   186 Views
Good People, Good Work
2022-01-10

Sisu Refuge - A Safe Sanctuary for Saved Pig-people

16:18

Sisu Refuge - A Safe Sanctuary for Saved Pig-people

The Sisu Refuge, also known as Sisu, was established by two beautiful souls, Erika Lovato and her husband Joseph Purington, in North Carolina, United States. Since its establishment, Sisu has directly rescued or helped to rescue over 350 animal-persons. Sisu’s story started on September 14, 2018, when Hurricane Florence hit the East Coast of the United States. The heavy rain and strong winds not only forced people to flee from their homes, but millions of animal-kingdom persons were also left behind and could only count on themselves to overcome the floodwaters. The kind animal-people lovers and vegans, Erika and Joseph, although at the time not animal-people activists, took immediate action to respond to the urgent calls to save the pig-persons. However, just when they thought things would be back to normal, they were notified that 42 piglet-people, all just 3-months old, were to be culled by a pig-person raising operation because they were either too sick or weighed less than 22 kilograms. After taking in the 42 pig-persons, Erika and Joseph worked to find permanent homes for them. In 2019, the compassionate couple were able to secure a 19-hectare property, a pastured farmland with fencing. With this permanent home, they were confident to launch the Sisu Refuge, a non-profit sanctuary dedicated to rescuing animal-persons from animal-people factories and elsewhere. With the outpouring of endless love, these people from the animal kingdom can finally live free and happy lives. They also make friends with each other. Everyone has their own incredible tale. Marley was a piglet-person found after being in an accident. She fell from a pig-people factory truck. When Erika and Joseph heard the news about the poor piglet-person, they immediately rushed to the local animal-people shelter where Marley had been brought to. The compassionate couple took Marley home and gave her tireless care and endless love. Supreme Master Ching Hai: “Gratefully present the Sisu Refuge the Shining World Compassion Award, plus US$10,000 to humbly further its love-filled mission, with much appreciation and admiration. May God forever shield you and the sweet animal residents.”
Good People, Good Work
2022-01-03   208 Views
Good People, Good Work
2022-01-03

Dr. Kwane Stewart – The Street Vet

14:47

Dr. Kwane Stewart – The Street Vet

Dr. Kwane Stewart, who goes by Dr. Kwane, is an American veterinarian, compassionate animal-people lover, and a Shining World Compassion Award recipient. He received a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Colorado State University in 1997 and has been a practicing veterinarian for 24 years. The non-profit American Humane (AH), through its No Animals Were Harmed program, supervises productions to ensure the humane treatment of animal-people actors in filmed media. In 2013, Dr. Kwane joined AH as Chief Veterinary Officer and National Director of the No Animals Were Harmed program, protecting around 100,000 animal-persons acting in movie productions every year. Out of love and compassion, Dr. Kwane decided to further help the most vulnerable and relieve the pain of their furry friends. He started his undertaking by providing free veterinary care to those on the streets. He traveled around with his medical supplies in California’s cities to look for homeless people who might need veterinary care for their animal-person buddy. To help change misconceptions of homelessness, Dr. Kwane decided to make the TV series, “Dr. Kwane: The Street Vet” in 2017. It is a program about Dr. Kwane’s basic care and, in some cases, life-saving assistance to the animal-people companions of some of the most disadvantaged groups in society. It is an international show and has been aired in 30 countries. In April 2020, along with presenting Dr. Kwane Stewart the Shining World Compassion Award to recognize his benevolent work, Supreme Master Ching Hai also made a humble contribution of US$15,000, “in support of your noble efforts, with all love, gratitude and praises. May Heavens shine on you and all those you help with forever blessings and protection.” Additionally, Supreme Master Ching Hai also offered US$3,000 for the treatment of the blind homeless dog-person under his medical care.
Good People, Good Work
2021-12-27   217 Views
Good People, Good Work
2021-12-27

Successful Refugees and Immigrants Leading the Way, Part 18 of a Multi-part Series: Zimbabwean Actress Chipo Chung

15:23

Successful Refugees and Immigrants Leading the Way, Part 18 of a Multi-part Series: Zimbabwean Actress Chipo Chung

She is an actress who trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London, United Kingdom and graduated from Yale University in the United States. She has had an excellent acting career on stage, television, and the big screen. You might have seen her in various television roles such as on the popular British science fiction series “Doctor Who,” and in the 2015 TV series “A.D. The Bible Continues.” She was also selected as one of the BBC’s 100 Most Fascinating Women of 2013. Ms. Chipo Chung was born as a refugee in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in 1977. In the year 2015, her captivating character in the TV series “A.D. The Bible Continues” was Saint Mary Magdalene, a prominent disciple of Lord Jesus Christ. This series was widely praised for its cast of international and multi-racial actors. Being of an unusual mixed race, where she isn’t fair like many Chinese or very dark like some Africans, Ms. Chung said that she failed to get some roles because of the way she looked or even her skin tone. However, as she developed this awareness, she became an activist supporting The Act for Change Campaign. Founded by British actor Danny Lee Wynter, the campaign is a movement to increase diversity in Britain’s live and recorded arts. Chipo Chung also co-founded a UK-based charity of her own with British actor Nick Reding. S.A.F.E KENYA focuses on HIV/AIDS education and Female Genital Cutting (FGC) Abandonment, among other areas. Furthermore, Ms. Chung helped launch S.A.F.E. Maa in order to intervene in the barbaric ritual of female genital mutilation among a community of the Maasai people in southwestern Kenya. The project uses traditional songs and poems to change the culture in the community towards accepting alternative, non-harmful rites of passage. Chipo Chung is also active with the international charity Peace Direct in its support of Envision Zimbabwe Women’s Trust (EZWT). Ms. Chung said, “My mission is to help the arts to enact positive social change. It is my belief that true social change happens through culture, the creative communication of ideas, inspiration and vision – this is how hearts and minds are changed.”
Good People, Good Work
2021-12-20   411 Views
Good People, Good Work
2021-12-20

Palomacy Pigeon & Dove Adoptions: A Haven for Rescued Bird-people, Part 2 of 2

13:35

Palomacy Pigeon & Dove Adoptions: A Haven for Rescued Bird-people, Part 2 of 2

Today, we will continue our interview with Jill McMurchy, a vegan and the Bird Care Coordinator at Palomacy, and discuss how pigeon-people have been exploited by humanity.Jill is against the use of homing pigeon friends for events as the exploitative practices of the businesses offering this service put the pigeon beings in harm’s way. “As soon as they're released into the wild skies, they're at risk, and they are in danger. Like I said earlier, these guys are homebodies. They don't want to be away from home. They're not migratory birds. These are domestic birds that don't stand a chance in our wild skies. They don't know how to forage for themselves. They don't have the genes to know how to survive and look for food.”“Often the racers say that the races cull for themselves, meaning that the pigeons who don't make it home will die, and that's OK. They'll often kill a pigeon when it makes it back late because they don't want that. They don't want those bloodlines within their flock. They want winners; they don't want losers.”Dove-people are a symbol of peace. In different cultures, they represent innocence, gentleness, devotion, hope, and faith. “They're also very affectionate and demonstrative with each other. So you can bond very nicely with a pigeon. Young pigeons especially are very, very apt to bond with a human being. They're loyal; they're loving; they're funny.”Jill and the charity’s founder, Elizabeth Young, are vegans. Jill feels that she should not cause any pain or suffering to animal-people now that she works with them and sees their true nature. “I would be a vegetarian for a while, and I've been vegan for 2 years now. Once you get into any sort of animal rescue, animals aren't commodities anymore, and you can't separate out the cats and the dogs from the cows and the chickens. They're all the same. They all have feelings.”
Good People, Good Work
2021-12-06   251 Views
Good People, Good Work
2021-12-06

Palomacy Pigeon & Dove Adoptions: A Haven for Rescued Bird-people, Part 1 of 2

14:14

Palomacy Pigeon & Dove Adoptions: A Haven for Rescued Bird-people, Part 1 of 2

We are excited to share with you the story of this noble pigeon-people rescue organization in Northern California’s San Francisco Bay Area that has true love for our feathered friends! This non-profit organization rescues abandoned, displaced, and wounded bird-persons. It kindly offers foster care, avian vet treatment, and adoption services in Northern California.We had the honor to interview Jill McMurchy, a vegan, and the Bird Care Coordinator of Palomacy Pigeon & Dove Adoptions. “Elizabeth Young, our founder, was volunteering at the San Francisco Animal Care and Control in the Smalls department. At the time, pigeons had no advocates. They had no rescue groups. Every other animal has a rescue group. Reptiles, bunnies, guinea pigs, every other animal; pigeons did not.”The organization primarily takes care of domestic pigeon-people that would otherwise be killed in shelters due to the lack of adopters. There are several points to note when rescuing a wild pigeon being. “If a pigeon or dove can live in the wild, we want them to live in the wild. We really ask people, if you find a wild bird, please get it to a rehabber. Don't try to raise that bird yourself. You can do a lot of damage if you don't know what you're doing or what to feed them. So wild birds should live wild; domestic birds need our help.”Palomacy conducts numerous compassionate outreach programs to raise the public’s awareness about pigeon and dove beings. “We want to erase the stigma that people have regarding pigeons. They're just so amazing. We just want everybody to know. I feel like we're in on the biggest secret that these are such amazing pets, and they really do require so little. They're not high maintenance birds.”Supreme Master Ching Hai: “Thankfully present the Shining World Compassion Award to Palomacy Pigeon & Dove Adoptions, plus a humble, loving contribution of US$10,000 to support its benevolent work, with all love, gratitude and best wishes, in Heaven’s grace.”
Good People, Good Work
2021-11-29   550 Views
Good People, Good Work
2021-11-29

Successful Refugees and Immigrants Leading the Way, Part 17 of a Multi-part Series: Shabana Basij-Rasikh – Bringing Afghan Girls the Treasure of Education

16:54

Successful Refugees and Immigrants Leading the Way, Part 17 of a Multi-part Series: Shabana Basij-Rasikh – Bringing Afghan Girls the Treasure of Education

Today, we would like to share with you a story about a brave and exceptional Afghan lady, Ms. Shabana Basij-Rasikh, who is an educator and philanthropist. She co-founded the School of Leadership Afghanistan (SOLA), the first boarding school for girls in Afghanistan. She is also the founder of HELA, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering Afghan women through education. While studying at Middlebury College in Vermont, USA, she was awarded a Davis Peace Prize and received US$10,000, which she used to build nine wells to supply clean drinking water to communities in Kabul. After Shabana graduated from college, her achievements were further broadly recognized. She was named one of CNN International's Leading Women of 2014 and one of National Geographic's 2014 Emerging Explorers. In 2018, she was awarded the Malalai Medal by the Afghan government to honor her work in promoting girls’ education. In 2019, she was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list in the social entrepreneurship sector. Shabana was born in 1990 in Kabul, Afghanistan. When she was six, the Taliban came to power. Due to the ban by the Taliban, Shabana and other girls had no choice but to risk their lives to attend secret schools. Her early experiences around schooling have profoundly influenced her life. Being one of the lucky ones to have had schooling, Shabana feels privileged and obligated to make a positive difference in the lives of Afghan girls and women. In 2008, during her second year of studying at Middlebury College, she co-founded the School of Leadership Afghanistan (SOLA) in Kabul when she was just 18 years old. The reputation of SOLA is growing, and throughout its history, it has provided a secure learning environment for girls. “If there’s one thing I ask of the world, it is this: do not avert your eyes from Afghanistan. My commitment to the women and girls of my country, just like my commitment to my students, is unwavering. They are the fires that will never go out. Finally, I want to thank you all for the outpouring of love and support.”
Good People, Good Work
2021-11-26   241 Views
Good People, Good Work
2021-11-26

YouCare: The “Good Deeds” Search Engine, Part 2 of 2

12:17

YouCare: The “Good Deeds” Search Engine, Part 2 of 2

YouCare is an innovative internet search engine that transforms users’ searches into good deeds. When users “surf the net” through the YouCare browser, revenue is generated from advertisers. After a specified number of searches, users can use this revenue for a “good deed,” such as providing meals for the animal-people in shelters, planting trees, drilling water wells in Africa, or cleaning up the ocean. “In the humanitarian field, we offer drinking water to disadvantaged populations. We have already started in Benin with two wells which have already been inaugurated. We have two wells also in Benin, which are under construction and we will be able to publish the photos before the summer. When you bring a well with drinking water within a short distance, the children, instead of going back and forth all day to get water, will be able to go to school and thus increase the level of knowledge of the village, and therefore the wealth of the village.” “We have launched a second one where we are helping the children's schooling. We have exceeded 4,000 hours of funded schooling for children in Kenya. Also, we will carry out several similar programs in various places in the world to help children in developing countries who need financial help to educate their population. As a last good deed, we have the coral. We finance the replanting of square centimeters of coral in coral reefs.”Thomas frequently uses the YouCare platform to promote compassion towards the people of the animal kingdom. “Whenever a member of the team has a dog, they can bring their dog to the office. We're a dog-friendly company. Pets are welcome.” Our most gracious Supreme Master Ching Hai explains that technology helps to improve our world in a spiritual way, too, because improved communications make it easier for people to meet an enlightened Master and thus to know God. “Due to God's grace, the spiritual atmosphere, the spiritual blessing, has been bestowed upon our planet, and we have become more and more advanced in all kinds of aspects of life, and our life has become more and more comfortable, more and more elevated.”
Good People, Good Work
2021-11-22   190 Views
Good People, Good Work
2021-11-22

Cruelty Free International: Paving the Way for Compassionate Shopping

16:04

Cruelty Free International: Paving the Way for Compassionate Shopping

Every year, millions of beings suffer and die in laboratories all over the world from chemical, drug, food, and cosmetic testing. One of the leading organizations working with a singular focus to end animal-people experimentation worldwide, the UK-based Cruelty Free International, is helping to create a planet where no one considers that testing on persons of the animal kingdom is ever an option. Cruelty Free International came to life in the United Kingdom on June 14, 1898, at a public meeting in Bristol, under the leadership of Frances Power Cobbe, who among other things, was a great champion for women’s rights, philanthropist, and caring supporter of people of the animal kingdom’s rights. Let us take a look at some of the strategies this benevolent organization has used to help in ending the suffering of our animal friends. First, it has disclosed and publicized the real life and suffering of animal kingdom persons in laboratories by investigations and organized campaigns worldwide to end experimentation. Also, it has worked with governments around the world, prepared constructive proposals, and connected with politicians, decision-makers, and compassionate people to build support and gain public awareness to make policy changes on testing. In addition, Cruelty Free International has utilized legal challenges to enforce animal kingdom people’s rights laws. Lastly, through research and spreading the latest scientific knowledge, the group is promoting humane alternatives to replace animal tests, and supporting companies and retailers who have adopted a cruelty-free system in developing and selling their products. Michelle Thew, chief executive of Cruelty Free International, has talked about why we should forever be against testing. “You don’t need the animal tests. We’ve replaced all of the really archaic cruel tests that we used to do on animals, and we can do them more effectively now without using animals.” The Leaping Bunny logo of Cruelty Free International has become a trusted symbol of authentic cruelty-free products that consumers can rely on, and manufacturers can use, to show that their products have not been tested on animals. The Leaping Bunny program certifies cruelty-free cosmetics, personal care and household products and is regarded as the global gold standard.
Good People, Good Work
2021-11-18   349 Views
Good People, Good Work
2021-11-18

YouCare: The “Good Deeds” Search Engine, Part 1 of 2

13:37

YouCare: The “Good Deeds” Search Engine, Part 1 of 2

On today’s program we’ll meet Thomas Moreau from Levallois-Perret, France, the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of YouCare. “We specialize in doing good deeds around the world thanks to our charitable search engine. We were only two partners in the beginning and today we are a team of five that run the project. Youcare was conceived with a very simple mission -- the goal of the company is to make the world a better place.” “There are seven different good deeds in Youcare, which have different themes. One of the good deeds is, for example, offering meals to animals in shelters, in order to defend the animal cause. After 45 searches on Youcare, you will be able to offer one meal to animals in shelters. Today, it’s been two years and we have managed to give more than 900,000 meals to animals in shelters. There are over 100,000 people who use Youcare on a daily basis, about 70% of the community will be involved in this good deed.” “Among the other good actions that exist on Youcare, there is the fact that we can remove plastic from the oceans. So, we’re going to help associations that will carry out missions to collect plastic waste, especially on the beaches.” “We also work with nurseries that will replant trees throughout the world, that will reforest entire parcels of land that have been deforested. For example, we have a French partner association called Forest Calling, with whom we work and who buys forests to make sanctuaries, to be sure that they will never be deforested again. At the same time, we will help them to reforest the whole area that was deforested.” Our beloved Supreme Master Ching Hai also uses internet technology as a vehicle to uplift the world. “But things are different today. There are Internet, e-mail, Skype, telephone, and other ways to communicate so the whole world knows. The whole world knows if you’re a tyrant or an inept leader. Not only does your country know, the whole world also knows if you’re an incompetent bureaucrat or official. So, you’d better check yourself. Our time is different from the olden times. It’s wonderful and I’m very happy about it.”
Good People, Good Work
2021-11-15   466 Views
Good People, Good Work
2021-11-15

Successful Refugees and Immigrants Leading the Way, Part 16 of a Multi-part Series: Youth Football Coach Rozma Ghafouri

15:24

Successful Refugees and Immigrants Leading the Way, Part 16 of a Multi-part Series: Youth Football Coach Rozma Ghafouri

Today, we would like to share with you an encouraging story about a young Afghan refugee in Iran – Ms. Rozma Ghafouri, who is a football coach dedicated to helping to inform Afghan refugee children and their parents about the importance of school through sports. She is also the winner of the 2020 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Nansen Refugee Award in Asia.For Rozma, football was not just a sport, but it also meant happiness in her childhood. Since that time, Rozma has vowed to help people like her to be happy, smile and forget about the tough challenges in life. Having seen what sports can bring to a person’s life, Rozma understands the importance of helping children to engage in football. In 2015, with the help of the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants’ Affairs of the Iranian Ministry of Interior and UNHCR, Rozma, at the age of 24, established the Youth Initiative Fund (YIF) in Iran's southern city of Shiraz, her adopted city. The YIF aims to use sports as one way to help Afghan children stay in school. It also provides emotional support, and encourages children to access literary and numeracy classes and counseling. Since being established, the YIF has offered support to around 400 youth yearly, including Iranian children.The YIF has made a great impact on the lives of Afghan refugee children, especially girls. What the YIF team has done is to open the doors to different paths where girls may decide their future rather than giving in to the societal norm imposed on them. Through these activities, they have a chance to learn, relax, communicate, acquire knowledge about the world and be whoever they want to be.With tireless efforts, the YIF’s work has slowly changed cultural norms in some Afghan communities about girls playing sports, including football. It is also making positive changes in the Afghan community around the world by positively reshaping people’s conceptions. Bravo, Rozma Ghafouri, for your incredible and amazing work.
Good People, Good Work
2021-10-18   517 Views
Good People, Good Work
2021-10-18

Unsung Heroes - Frontline Workers

13:43

Unsung Heroes - Frontline Workers

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have become aware of the importance of frontline workers. Frontline essential workers now include grocery cashiers and other supermarket employees, bus drivers, farmworkers, childcare providers, and many others. Their dedication and courage have enabled nations to continue functioning during this unusual time. A large percentage of frontline workers are immigrants and migrants. In Europe, a shortage of medical staff has led many nations to turn to immigrants from the Middle East and Africa to fill healthcare jobs. Dr. Mohamed Alfalasi, an Emirati neurosurgeon, stated, “I decided to stay in France simply to honor my job as a doctor.” Supreme Master Ching Hai has worked tirelessly on behalf of refugees. She spoke about the contributions of immigrants and refugees in a conference with Supreme Master TV team members in January 2019: “They do anything; they really work hard to earn money, to take care of themselves and their families. They are motivated. They are not born spoiled. So, this will be a very good workforce for any country. Any smart country would take in migrants, and give them citizenship and all that, so their children can also have a good education and then contribute to the country. The whole world is a global village anyway. The whole world is a home.” In the case of Covid-19, the coronavirus vaccine breakthrough came from two married German scientists – one an immigrant from Turkey and the other a child of Turkish immigrants! Their extraordinary research provided the world with the vaccine needed to control the epidemic. The work of this amazing couple has saved countless lives. One shining story has been of a Malian immigrant to France named Mamoudou Gassama, who the French call “Le Spiderman.” When he saw a 4-year-old child hanging off a 4th floor balcony in northern Paris, he immediately began climbing the building to save the child. Mr. Gassama was hailed as a hero and met with the French President, His Excellency Emmanuel Macron, who gave him French citizenship.
Good People, Good Work
2021-10-11   355 Views
Good People, Good Work
2021-10-11

Successful Refugees and Immigrants Leading the Way, Part 15 of a Multi-part Series: Australian Top Science Communicator Dr Karl Kruszelnicki

15:04

Successful Refugees and Immigrants Leading the Way, Part 15 of a Multi-part Series: Australian Top Science Communicator Dr Karl Kruszelnicki

Today, we will introduce another outstanding refugee, Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki, who has been a professional in many fields and holds degrees in physics, mathematics, biomedical engineering, medicine and surgery. His professions have included being a scientist, an engineer, and a doctor, but he is now a renowned author and science communicator in a variety of media, particularly TV and radio, in Australia.After the event in the children’s hospital, Dr. Karl’s media career began to flourish, including forays into TV, radio, newspapers, film, magazines, books, etc. In TV, Dr. Karl presented the first series ofQuantum, a science and tech show, in 1985. He then became a science reporter for the“Midday Show” and “Good Morning Australia” and was also a science communicator and presenter on ABC TV. In radio, his science talk back program on ABC radio station Triple J has been ongoing since 1981 when he was still in medical school, and has up to 300,000 listeners.Dr. Karl is a prolific and well-known writer. He writes for magazines such as “Australian Geographic,” “Overlander” and “National Geographic Kids,” and newspapers such as the “Daily Mirror” and “Sydney Morning Herald.” Regarding film, Dr. Karl is a narrator for the epic documentary, “Living Universe,” about the search for life on planets outside our solar system. He is also an author of best-selling science books, having written more than 47 books to date.His enthusiasm for science, coupled with his fun-loving personality and brightly colored stage clothes, make him exceptionally captivating and allows him to effectively spread the excitement and wonder of science. During his career, Dr. Karl has earned a number of awards and honors. In 2006, Dr. Karl was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his service to the community through improving a deeper understanding of the application of science in daily life. In 2019, Dr. Karl was awarded the UNESCO Kalinga Prize for Popularization of Science in recognition of his long-term commitment to and outstanding contributions in spreading science and inspiring people's curiosity about science.
Good People, Good Work
2021-09-20   884 Views
Good People, Good Work
2021-09-20

Being Guardian Angels for Each Other, Part 2 of 2

13:25

Being Guardian Angels for Each Other, Part 2 of 2

Your small, kind actions may save a person’s life. Such is the case for our first story from Texas, USA. Since 1984, Mr. Marcos Perez, a Shining World Compassionate Hero Award laureate, has been donating platelets every two weeks. As of March 2021, he has donated 962 times, totaling more than 450 liters, and saved about 3,000 lives, according to Ms. Ashley Frolick, the communications specialist at South Texas Blood & Tissue Center. Initially, his action was inspired by Tony Aguilar, a coworker of Mr. Perez’s father. In the 1960s, there was no blood bank. Mr. Aguilar was the one who rolled up his sleeves for a transfusion to save Mr. Perez’s life when he was born prematurely. When Mr. Perez reached the age that allowed him to donate platelets, he started his good deeds to pay it forward.In a January 2, 2006, lecture in the UK, Supreme Master Ching Hai elaborated on how we can make miracles for others. The following is an excerpt. “Just think good for others, do good to others, and that’s the miracle that you are making every day. You are the miracles. You are the miracles for other people, for yourselves, for the less fortunate. That’s what Heaven is made of. We comfort them with our thoughts, with our speech, with our loving kindness. So, we have a chance to do that every day. Maybe just 50 cents to a homeless for a warm tea, maybe one pound for someone else who is sick and couldn’t work. Something like that.”Being of service to those in need is in the heart of Mr. Jim McIngvale, the founder of Gallery Furniture in Texas, USA. This February, an unusual winter storm hit Texas. The severe weather event forced the state to adopt a rotation of power outages. This caused thousands of Houston residents to stay home without electricity for long periods of time. The outside temperature was minus 5 degrees Celsius. Without hesitation, Mr. Jim McIngvale opened his mattress showrooms to shelter hundreds of people in Houston and offered them hot food.
Good People, Good Work
2021-09-14   1017 Views
Good People, Good Work
2021-09-14

Being Guardian Angels for Each Other, Part 1 of 2

12:36

Being Guardian Angels for Each Other, Part 1 of 2

Today, we are going to introduce a few heart-warming stories that show how people give unconditionally in tough times. Ms. Donna LaMonaca is a supervisory officer working in the Johnstown-Cambria County Airport for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in Pennsylvania, USA. She has worked for the federal agency for 18 years and been recognized by her employer for helping the elderly to make COVID-19 vaccine appointments. Ms. LaMonaca volunteered her time to help the elderly book vaccine appointments by sacrificing her sleep. She has also used her off days to take the elderly to get vaccinated, with her 13-year-old son Geno tagging along to help fill out the required forms. The following story shows that we should always do whatever we can to help each other. Mitchell Couch is a resident of Lemoore, California, USA. When the pandemic forced schools to shift to distance learning, he noticed that many kids, including his own four, were using the kitchen table for online learning, which interfered with family time due to the learning materials being scattered all over. As an experienced carpenter for 20 years, he decided to build desks for his kids so that they each had their own place to study and store their books and supplies. After a few hours, he made two desks and posted them on social media. He then started to get feedback and questions from the community about those desks, so much so that he made a short video on YouTube with step-by-step instructions to teach people how to build the desk themselves. His small action inspired more people.It is often said that we’re blessed more when we give rather than when we receive. Supreme Master Ching Hai teaches Her disciples to follow this principle. “When you give to people who are truly needy, you'll feel so good, and it will be just like receiving a gift yourself. You will feel the happiness of that person. So his happiness becomes yours. But I'm even happier than he is. Do you know why? It's because I can feel his happiness, plus I can feel my own happiness in giving. So I have two kinds of happiness. So I'm happier than him. The one who gives is happier than the one who receives. It's just like this.”
Good People, Good Work
2021-09-06   538 Views
Good People, Good Work
2021-09-06

Nemonte Nenquimo: Amazonian Environmental Hero

13:24

Nemonte Nenquimo: Amazonian Environmental Hero

Nemonte Nenquimo is an Indigenous Waorani woman and champion of the environment. She was named as one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020, one of the first Amazonians ever to be featured on the list and the only Indigenous woman nominated that year. In the same year, Ms. Nenquimo also appeared on the BBC 100 Women 2020 list, was given the Goldman Environmental Prize, and was honored with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)’s “Champions of the Earth” award for Inspiration and Action. Oil companies have released waste into the Ecuadorian waterways and polluted the land, causing Indigenous Peoples to be displaced. Witnessing such devastating effects from the oil companies’ activities, Ms. Nenquimo has dedicated her life to defending her ancestral land, ecosystem, culture, and way of life. The same year, Ecuador decided to hold an auction for oil extraction rights spread over 2.8 million hectares of primary Amazon forest. Ms. Nenquimo, serving as the plaintiff, co-filed a lawsuit against the Ecuadorian government for violating the Waorani’s right to free, prior, and informed consent as it did not seek permission to auction the oil rights of their land. In April 2019, the judges ruled in favor of the Waorani people. Indigenous Peoples own or manage one-quarter of the world’s land, and their land rights should be respected and recognized. The oil projects in the Amazon not only threaten the lives of Indigenous Peoples but also destroy wildlife, biodiversity, and thousands of unique plants in “the lungs of the Earth.” Ms. Nenquimo asks the world to stand with native inhabitants to defend their rainforest from oil drilling. “If we don’t do that, life will be cut short for future generations. There will be no more trees, clean water, or air left. We, the Indigenous People who live connected to the forests, will disappear first, and then the planet as well.” Ms. Nenquimo also helped her people stay away from oil company subsidies by installing a rainwater harvesting system and solar panels. Similarly, she has supported women-led organic cacao and chocolate businesses to help the Waorani maintain independence from the oil industry.
Good People, Good Work
2021-09-03   532 Views
Good People, Good Work
2021-09-03

Backpacks For The Street: Bringing Hope to the Homeless

12:30

Backpacks For The Street: Bringing Hope to the Homeless

In today’s episode, we will travel to New York City in the United States of America, where we will meet a couple who has been giving out backpacks filled with hope and care to thousands of homeless people. In December 2020, there were 56,849 homeless men, women and children in New York City; this is about 14% of all homeless people in America. Many are using the municipal shelter system, but thousands still live on the streets without adequate protection from the elements. Thankfully, there are many goodhearted people and charitable organizations whose mission is to comfort these souls, help them to feel noticed and bring them love and happiness through material and emotional help. Backpacks For The Street was founded in February 2018 by the couple Jeffrey Newman and Jayson Conner. Jeffrey says: “This is about hope. This is about showing people who feel invisible and forgotten about that they matter and that someone cares.” The first Backpacks For The Street event took place in March 2018. This outreach effort, which was funded within 72 hours, resulted in the distribution of 75 backpacks filled with daily necessities. Initially, the plan was to distribute the backpacks on a quarterly basis, but it was so clear that the project was making a difference in many lives that the couple decided to do it daily throughout the year. Mr. Newman shared, "We’re very happy to be doing it; it’s a labor of love." On one day, the group walked nearly 130 kilometers over the span of 16 hours to find those in need.Mr. Newman, Mr. Conner and the volunteer team bring not only physical comfort to the homeless, but they also touch their hearts by showing them that they are acknowledged, cared for and loved. Supreme Master Ching Hai: “Thankfully present the Shining World Compassion Award to Backpacks For The Street, plus a humble, loving contribution of US$10,000 to support this benevolent endeavor, with all love, gratitude and best wishes, in Heaven’s grace.”
Good People, Good Work
2021-08-26   784 Views
Good People, Good Work
2021-08-26

Successful Refugees and Immigrants Leading the Way, Part 14 of a Multi-part Series: From Syrian Refugee to Olympic Athlete – Yusra Mardinii

16:46

Successful Refugees and Immigrants Leading the Way, Part 14 of a Multi-part Series: From Syrian Refugee to Olympic Athlete – Yusra Mardinii

Today, we will introduce another remarkable refugee, Yusra Mardini. She bravely saved her companions during an extremely dangerous escape from Syria in 2015 and became an Olympic swimmer a year later. Now she is also a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, dedicating her voice to speaking up for millions of refugees around the world.In 2015, an unexploded bomb pierced through the roof of the swimming pool where she trained. This was the turning point when she realized she had to leave Syria to live a life beyond strife and swim again. When the Mardini sisters arrived in Berlin, Germany, they stayed in an overcrowded refugee camp at first, and Yusra felt the negative connotations of the word refugee. However, she was determined to pursue her dream to become an Olympic swimmer.In early 2016, the International Olympic Committee announced that a first-ever Refugee Olympic Team would join the Summer Olympic Games held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the same year. Ms. Mardini was identified as one of the 43 candidates to potentially qualify for the team, but she initially hesitated as she wanted to compete in the Olympics on merit, not out of pity. Yet, she agreed to race after her parents convinced her that she earned and deserved the nomination. She realized that it’s not just about herself and thought, “It’s about the community that I’m fighting for. It’s about refugees. It’s about athletes. It’s about swimmers. It’s about being a voice for people who don’t have a voice.”Since her participation with the 2016 Refugee Olympic Team, Yusra Mardini has become a powerhouse for refugee rights. She has spoken on the topic during her meetings with His Holiness Pope Francis, the then-President of the United States, His Excellency Barack Obama, as well as other world leaders. In September 2016, she advocated for refugees to have access to safe shelter, education, livelihoods and training opportunities at the Leaders’ Summit on the Global Refugee Crisis held at the United Nations. “I want to help change people’s perceptions of what a refugee is. For everyone to understand, it is not a choice to flee from your home. Refugees are normal people who can achieve great things if given the opportunity.”
Good People, Good Work
2021-08-16   820 Views
Good People, Good Work
2021-08-16

Woodfield Animal Sanctuary: Retired Angel Couple’s Endeavor of Love

14:49

Woodfield Animal Sanctuary: Retired Angel Couple’s Endeavor of Love

David Wallis and Robbie Bartington are a married couple who dreamed of retiring with their animal companions in Gower, South Wales in the United Kingdom, which is known for its wonderful beaches and scenery. At the time, they already had several horses, 11 dogs rescued from Spain, and 20 cats! One night, 20 ponies came in together! Some had encountered road accidents, others were orphaned foals, and yet others were colts and stallions. The event led them to set up their home as Woodfield Animal Sanctuary, a Shining World Compassion Award laureate, to house these sweet beings. The sanctuary’s mission is to rehabilitate the physical and mental well-being of rescued animals and to restore the trust they have lost in humans. In a January 2021 interview with Mumble Nub News, Mrs. Bartington commented, “We’ve had over 300 rescued horses from South Wales through our door.” Now they are renting 28 hectares from a neighboring farm to house over 70 horses and ponies, many sheep and countless cats and dogs. In a January 2020 interview with BBC News, David Wallis stated, “When we see there is a problem with whatever animal it is, then we just can’t turn our backs on it…” Because Covid-19 has resulted in an economic crisis for many horse caregivers, the sanctuary has received more requests to take care of abandoned horses than at any time in the past eight years. Now they turn to social media for help. They also created an Amazon wish list, the Woodfield Animal Sanctuary Wish List, where people buy supplies that the sanctuary uses daily. Mrs. Bartington expressed, “Even the poorest of the poor have helped with dog food or cat food. They’ve given more than they ever had before.” In March 2020, along with giving the Woodfield Animal Sanctuary the Shining World Compassion Award to recognize its noble work, Supreme Master Ching Hai also made a loving contribution of US$15,000 “in humble support of your caring work, with many thanks and lots of love, in God’s mercy. May you and your adored residents be abundantly blessed by the Divine.”
Good People, Good Work
2021-08-09   492 Views
Good People, Good Work
2021-08-09

Protectors of Colombia’s Elderly: Albeiro Vargas and the Guardian Angels Foundation

12:08

Protectors of Colombia’s Elderly: Albeiro Vargas and the Guardian Angels Foundation

Today, we are excited to present the inspiring, special and wonderful work of the Albeiro Vargas and the Guardian Angels Foundation. It is located in the city of Bucaramanga, that is part of Colombia’s department of Santander. Albeiro Vargas is a gerontologist well known for his life-long dedication to transforming the lives of seniors in Colombia. Albeiro was born in a large, humble family, the seventh of eight children where he was raised and educated with much love and respect. With the help of his mother, he slowly started to realize a dream that was born in his heart: to provide love and care to other elderly people in his neighborhood. Living in such a marginalized neighborhood and being such a young child, it was challenging to receive the help needed to assist the grandparents of his community. However, thanks to the journalist Euclides Ardila of the “Vanguardia Liberal” newspaper, who interviewed him in 1988 when Albeiro was only 10 years old, his work became well known in the city of Bucaramanga and in other countries. As a result of Euclides Ardila’s interview, a journalist traveled from France to Bucaramanga to make a documentary about the daily life of Albeiro Vargas. He titled it “Little Angel of Colombia.” Thanks to the exposure from the film, Albeiro obtained financial assistance from people in France for his project. With the support of his charitable and affectionate mother, he began working on this selfless, generous path. Discovering that he alone could not carry out all the tasks required, he approached his peers, motivating them, in turn, to help out with those so desperately in need of caring hands and hearts. Gradually, an affectionate and dedicated group was assembled. The Guardian Angels then began to enthusiastically support his objective of providing basic care infused with love, safety and respect to the elders of the area. Perseverance and great effort resulted in Mr. Vargas’s dream coming true: a suitable space affording the elderly with comforts where they can remain active, perform different cultural, artistic and recreational activities was established.
Good People, Good Work
2021-08-02   440 Views
Good People, Good Work
2021-08-02
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