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July 12th, 2009
12:30 PM ET

Would You Buy Back Your Garbage?

Would you buy your garbage back? Recycling waste is not only good for the environment, it also provides jobs.

That's the motive behind one woman's effort to combat her community's growing trash problem.

To learn more about her project and learn about other groups working for a cleaner, safer world, please visit our Impact Your World page.

Filed under: Anchors • Fredricka Whitfield • Impact Your World
July 9th, 2009
10:10 AM ET

Helping the Trash Pickers help the world

According to the XSProject statistics, in the Indonesia capital of Jakarta there are between 350,000 to 450,000 estimated trash pickers. These workers are not hired sanitation workers, with uniforms, salaries and recognition. Rather, this population are undocumented families, looking for items that can be sold for recycling, most making an income of about 30-35 US dollars per family per month.

Visual artist Ann Wizer started to use trash as the primary material in her art, in both costumes and installations. The first ‘trash’ tote bags were part of the costumes used in her performances. This led to the creation of XSProject which focused on recycling the consumer waste into new products. It also worked to help the poor trash picking communities in two ways. First, by offering a higher wage for recycled materials, these workers earn a greater income for their families. Second, the non-profit XSProject Foundation helps the trash pickers by providing scholarships and offering assistance for health and daily needs.

An innovative solution to help both Indonesia’s poor and the trash clogged landfills and waterways. Ann Wizer has started something great for the environment and the families recycling it.

If you would like to learn more about the XSProject, and other efforts for our Environment, please visit our Impact Your World page.

Filed under: Impact Your World • Tony Harris
July 1st, 2009
12:55 PM ET

America's Military: Where to get and give help

Today in the CNN NewsRoom Kyra Phillips focused on health care and help for America's veterans.

We found several sites set up by the military and private groups to help military members, their families and veterans.

Click on these links for help:
New Directions Inc.
Swords To Plowshares
Coalition For Veterans

The Army's site for suicide prevention
Defense Department site for psychological health and traumatic brain injury
TAPS private charity that helps military and families in trauma
Community of Veterans aiding vets of Iraq and Afghanistan
Coalition for Veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs has set up a national suicide prevention hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Also if you want to help groups who help veterans you can go to our Impact Your World page to see how you can donate.

Filed under: Impact Your World • Kyra Phillips
June 25th, 2009
10:35 AM ET

Impact Your World: Harlem Children's Zone

New York (CNN) - Students at the Harlem Children's Zone are no strangers to challenges. The teenagers at the renowned not-for-profit school have grown up in some of New York's toughest neighborhoods – neighborhoods troubled by crime, poverty, and disease. But they've been fortunate recipients of help from their community. And now, they want to give back by reaching out to youngsters facing extreme difficulties of their own a continent away in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

120 students joined U.S. U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and members of UNICEF (The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund) this Monday to kick off President Obama's "United to Serve," a program encouraging Americans to give back to the less fortunate.

Rice told the students that their generation "will have more to do with people in other countries than any other generation in our history." She went on to tell them, "Your success…will depend to a great extent on your ability to work with kids and people in other parts of the world."

The students at the Harlem Children's Zone are doing their part by assisting in the donation of material items to students displaced in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) while learning specifically about the struggles their counterparts face. Tempestt Tucker, a student at the Harlem school, expressed that she and her fellow students wanted "to help them... get rid of diseases and not be hungry."

Ambassador Rice gave the children a rudimentary course on the work done at the United Nations, and explained the current conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where ethnic Hutu and Tutsis have been warring over natural resources and territory. Tens of thousands have been killed and left homeless.

The students were able to sit in an "interactive classroom" to learn about different emergency need items they could select on behalf of their school as donations to refugees in the DRC by UNICEF. The items the students were allowed to vote on include basic family water kits, vaccines, first aid kits, protein biscuits, anti-malaria mosquito nets, and sporting equipment.

Students at the school expressed concern for the situation in the DRC after learning about the death and destruction in the region. lists 47 percent of deaths in the DRC have been children.

"I'll do whatever it takes to help those people because they need help," said Catherine Pabon, said a student at the school.

UNICEF says that it has helped to distribute tens of thousands of plastic sheets, bucket and blankets, and more than one million water purification tablets to displaced people from the DRC.

Harlem's Children Zone began in 1970 as Rheedlen, as the city's first truancy-prevention program. According to the website, Harlem Children's Zone offers innovative efficiently run programs that are aimed at breaking the cycle of generational poverty.

CNN’s Terence Burke and Elisabeth Brubaker

If you would like to choose your own UNICEF inspired gift and learn more about the numerous organizations working to help children in the Democratic Republic of Congo and around the world, please visit Impact Your World.

Filed under: Impact Your World • Tony Harris
June 18th, 2009
09:11 AM ET


World Refugee Day brings attention and focus to the 42 million people who are forcibly displaced by natural disasters, armed conflict and persecution.

Although the number of uprooted people across the world dropped slightly last year, displacement in the conflict zones in Sri Lanka and Pakistan and the ongoing crisis in Somalia this year have "already more than offset the decline," the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees says.

CNN's David McKenzie recently reported from the Hagadera camp in Daadab Kenya, what could be described as the epicenter of the refugee crisis. Swelled by fleeing Somalis, this camp built to handle 90,000 now holds over 274,000, making this the world's largest refugee camp.

To learn more about World Refugee Day, and the numerous organizations working to ease the plight of refugees, please visit our Impact Your World page.

Filed under: Impact Your World • Tony Harris
June 11th, 2009
07:55 AM ET

One Hour to make a difference

At the 'Olcott School' in Chennai, India, disadvantaged children are given a chance at an education. They also find a refuge from a difficult life, and chance to believe they are worthy. This belief is instilled each morning, as the Principal leads the full school in a song about equality.

This is partly made possible through the support of a unique fundraising effort called Work An Hour. Each summer, this online fundraising campaign by Asha For Education, asks participants to donate an hour's worth of their salary.

This helps the  'Olcott School' afford the qualified instructors it needs. For the children, this provides more than just the uniform and other supplies that many of the struggling families cannot afford. It also offers them a sense a pride in themselves and their education.

To learn more about Asha for Education and other organizations that are helping children, please visit our Impact Your World page.

Filed under: Impact Your World • Tony Harris
May 28th, 2009
09:56 AM ET

Making a Brighter Connection

In 1993, John & Maggie Davis moved to Hanian Island China in 1993 to work with a hotel management organization. Then they were introduced to an 8-month old Chinese baby girl named Qiong Jian who would show them a greater purpose. Qiong Jian had autism and cerebral palsy, and she was abandoned. John and Maggie were allowed to take her into their home and eventually allowed to adopt her. The in-home program they designed with doctors to help develop Qiong Jian was the blueprint for the Bright Connection Center, a school now filled to capacity with children that are developmentally delayed, hearing impaired or have cerebral palsy or autism. Some of these children are orphans that live full time at the center. For John and Maggie, they knew this was the right thing, when their daughter Qiong Jian for the first time was able to walk by herself, a few months after the Center’s opening.

To learn more about this and other organizations that are helping children, please visit our Impact Your World page.

Filed under: Impact Your World • Tony Harris
May 22nd, 2009
03:20 PM ET

Fighting poverty with music

Martin and Anna Smith had an idea – create a music album with the proceeds going to assist very poor communities. They were joined by 11 other songwriters, from which 22 songs were produced. However more than just this album was the result. The charity CompassionArt was born.

You can also preview tracks from their album here, although you do not need to buy the album to support this charity, as they also accept donations.


And to learn more about CompassionArt and other organizations that are making a difference, please visit our Impact Your World page.

May 21st, 2009
08:00 AM ET

Impact Your World- Pakistan Refugee Crisis

The refugee crisis in Pakistan continues to worsen, as the number of people displaced by the fighting in Pakistan's Swat valley has risen to more than 1.4 million.

CNN's Reza Sayah reports on the hundreds of thousands of children who have fled the battle zone of Swat Valley.

On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced humanitarian aid of $110 million for Pakistani refugees. She also announced a system that gives you an easy way to donate to the U.N. refugee effort, by texting on your mobile phone.

Text SWAT to 20222 to donate $5 for Pakistan relief.

This gives a whole new emphasis to phrase: “Call to Action”!

Read more about the mobile texting donations.

And be sure to visit Impact Your World to learn more about the Refugee Crisis in Pakistan and how you can make a difference.

Filed under: Impact Your World • Tony Harris
May 16th, 2009
06:12 PM ET

50 people living in two rooms

Pakistan civilians in the crossfire between government troops and Taliban fighters have been fleeing the Northwest region, crowding refugee camps and packed communities, creating a humanitarian crisis.

CNN's Reza Sayah visits a home in Pakistan where more than 50 displaced family members have found refuge.


If you would like to get involved, please visit our Impact Your World page.

Filed under: Anchors • Fredricka Whitfield • Impact Your World
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