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Schooling meets soccer in Mumbai’s slums

India is a country of cricket-lovers, so can soccer catch on?

Ashok Rathod is convinced that soccer is the best way to give kids growing up in the slums a second lease on life. Teamwork, leadership, respect and communication come out of the game for 22 players.

Having grown up in a Mumbai slum himself, Ashok knows exactly which problem the kids there face. Many start drinking and gambling as young as 10, he says, then get married early and drop out of school.

Committed to make a difference, Ashok founded the Oscar Foundation in 2006. The team organizes soccer practices and matches for young people – but also provides an education program aimed at giving school drop-outs basic literacy skills.

Listen to the report by Sanjay Fernandes in Mumbai:

It was a challenge convincing parents to let their girls play soccer (Photo: S. Fernandes)

It was a challenge convincing parents to let their girls play soccer (Photo: S. Fernandes)

Suraj (right) is Oscar's associate director and Kumar (left) participated in the Oscar program and now works as a coach (Photo: S. Fernandes)

Suraj (right) is Oscar’s associate director and Kumar (left) participated in the Oscar program and now works as a coach (Photo: S. Fernandes)

The Oscar Foundation focuses not only on soccer - but also on education programs (Photo: S. Fernandes)

The Oscar Foundation focuses not only on soccer – but also on education programs (Photo: S. Fernandes)

Ashok Rathod knows first-hand what it's like to grow up in a Mumbai slum (Photo: S. Fernandes)

Ashok Rathod knows first-hand what it’s like to grow up in a Mumbai slum (Photo: S. Fernandes)

 

First published on February 26, 2014.

Date

Tuesday 02.09.2014 | 12:10

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Selling Afghan stitchery in Germany

Afghanistan has seen violence for years and many of the women and children in the war-stricken country lack the education to get good jobs and put enough food on the table. That’s where Zhora Comes in, a young Afghan woman living in Germany. Her plan to help the women in her home country is making Germany’s fashion more colorful.

Listen to the report by Falk Steinborn in Siegen, Germany:

Many children in Afghanistan are working rather than going to school (Photo: Zohra Soori-Nurzad)

Many children in Afghanistan are working rather than going to school (Photo: Zohra Soori-Nurzad)

That's where Zohra comes in. She is selling colorful scarves in Germany that were stitched by Afghan women to send the revenues back to the Afghan families (Photo: Falk Steinborn)

That’s where Zohra comes in. She is selling colorful scarves in Germany that were stitched by Afghan women to send the revenues back to the Afghan families (Photo: Falk Steinborn)

Zohra also goes to German schools and talks to the children about the Kind of life women and their children in Afghanistan are facing (Photo: Falk Steinborn)

Zohra also goes to German schools and talks to the children about the kind of life women and their children in Afghanistan are facing (Photo: Falk Steinborn)

Date

Wednesday 09.07.2014 | 13:50

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Love first for Cameroonian charity founder

On a trip to South Africa a few years ago, Jesse Carlton Ndongo, 21-year-old student from Cameroon, was touched by the large number of children he met who’d been orphaned by HIV/AIDS. He saw first-hand the pain and anguish they  face, but also noticed that they seem to be neglected by the rest of society.  He felt that he had to do something about it. So three years ago, he founded the Carlton Smile Charity on Easter Sunday.

The charity is already active in five African countries – Cameroon, Nigeria, Gabon, South Africa and Zimbabwe – and has plans to expand even further. Carlton tries to stand out from other organizations in that he doesn’t focus first on giving the kids material goods. Instead, his first priority is to show them love.

Listen to the report by Ngala Killian Chimtom in Yaoundé, Cameroon:

Carlton says the kids he meets in orphanages are often closer to the things in life that really matter (Photo: N. Chimtom)

Carlton says the kids he meets in orphanages are often closer to the things in life that really matter (Photo: N. Chimtom)

Carlton has a team of volunteers who work in orphanages across five countries (Photo: N. Chimtom)

Carlton has a team of volunteers who work in orphanages across five countries (Photo: N. Chimtom)

 

 

 

 

Date

Tuesday 28.01.2014 | 14:22

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Educating Afghanistan’s orphans

Andeisha Farid knows how important it is for children to get an education. Born in 1983, she grew up as a refugee in Iran after her family was caught in the midst of war in Afghanistan.

Despite the odds, she managed to get an education in Pakistan. When she realized how fortunate she was, she made the decision to return to Afghanistan and set up orphanages there.

Through her organization, the Afghan Child Education and Care Organization (AFCECO), she is working to give some of the country’s estimated 1.6 million orphans a chance to succeed.

Listen to the report by Mischa Wilmers:

Educating Afghanistan’s orphans

Andeisha telling a story

Andeisha knows first-hand what it’s like to live as a refugee (Photo: AFCECO/Andeisha Farid)

Andeisha and children

Afghanistan is estimated to have 1.6 million orphans (Photo: AFCECO/Andeisha Farid)

Andeisha with children in a park

In 2010, President Barack Obama even mentioned Andeisha in a speech on social entrepreneurship

Date

Tuesday 01.10.2013 | 13:40

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Committed to non-violence in East Timor

Life in Timor Leste – Asia’s newest nation – has been hard for many. But the decades of violence hit the children hardest. Twenty-three year old Juliao Amaral Dos Santos knows that as well as anyone -that’s why he’s already spent more than half of his young life devoted to creating a safe place for other kids, working with the organization MAC Children United.

Just barley out of university now, he’s already one of the nation’s brightest young leaders.

Listen to the report by Emily Richmond in Dili, Timor Leste:

Committed to non-violence in East Timor

Santos

Santos organizes a number of classes for youth, including singing, radio production, dance, music, and capoeira (Photo: E. Richmond)

MAC Children United

The participating children range from 3 years old to early 20s (Photo: E. Richmond)

Date

Tuesday 24.09.2013 | 13:34

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Techno for the children

As the crisis in Syria continues, NGOs are calling an end to the conflict that has killed over a hundred thousand people and displaced millions.

Dan Cole co-founded a Berlin-based collective called It’s Bigger Than, which is doing its bit to raise awareness about the crisis and to raise money to help those in need. Their method? Putting on a party with some of the finest DJs and electronic producers around.

All the DJs play for free. The club donates the space and the party is being put on by a group of volunteers. Party number 2 raised money for Save the Children and featured the likes of Marcel Fengler, Nick Höppner, Iron Curtis, Deep Child and Barbara Preisinger.

The next It’s Bigger Than party will take place in Berlin on September 1, 2013 and this time the money is going to the Mercy Corps.

Listen to the report by Cinnamon Nippard in Berlin:

Techno for the children

Dan Cole

Dan Cole says raising awareness can make a difference – a little bit at a time (Photo. Katrina James)

Crowd at It's Bigger Than techno event

Berlin is a hotspot for techno (Photo: Michelle O’Brien)

DJ at It's Bigger Than Techno event

Some come for the DJs, others for the cause (Photo: Michelle O’Brien)

Zaatari Camp in Syria

Children are most affected by war, says Dan Cole. The last It’s Bigger Than event supported children in Syria through the Save the Children NGO (Photo: Save the Children)

It's Bigger Than even poster

The next It’s Bigger Than event takes place on September 1, 2013

Date

Tuesday 27.08.2013 | 12:11

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Laughter is the best medicine

Anete Baskevica, 22, dresses up as a clown – but not to perform at the circus. Instead she heads to a local children’s hospital where she volunteers her time with kids who are ill. Laughter, she says, is the very best medicine of all. She’s part of a Latvian organization of clowns who have just launched their hospital visits this month (July). They all wear different costumes, but have one very important thing in common: a big red nose.

Listen to Gederts Gelzis report from Riga, Latvia:

Laughter is the best medicine

Doctor clowns 'Musins'

Anete’s character name is ‘Musins’ (Photo: G. Gelzis)

Anete gets help with her costume

Anete gets help with her costume (Photo: G. Gelzis)

The clown doctors practice acting during a workshop in Riga

The clown doctors practice acting during a workshop in Riga (Photo: G. Gelzis)

Find more pictures on Anete’s blog.

Date

Tuesday 09.07.2013 | 11:39

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UK mentor brightens dying child’s world

What’s it like to know you’re going to die soon? If you’re 10 years old and terminally ill, what you probably need the most is a good friend. Shlomie, a youth orthodox Jew from northern England, is like a big brother to a terminally ill boy. Sharing the gift of quality time, says Shlomie, is a small sacrifice that makes him feel on top of the world.

Listen to the report by Andrew Edwards in Manchester:

UK mentor brightens dying child’s world

Shlomie Abenson

Shlomie Abenson wouldn’t miss his volunteer work for the world

Date

Tuesday 02.04.2013 | 13:14

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Magazine helps children escape brothel life

Children of prostitutes often end up working in the trade themselves. But some brothel children in India, who have launched a unique handwritten magazine, are making efforts to escape the trap.

 

Read the article here.

Date

Wednesday 02.01.2013 | 15:36

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Empowering Chinese kids with books

Mao Ju, 29, was concerned when she found out that many Chinese children don’t read for fun. She founded a free library in Beijing, for migrant children in particular, to help them discover the pleasure of reading. She involves the kids in the management of the library and encourages them to express their own opinions on the library blog.

Listen to the report by Gaia Manco in Beijing:

Empowering Chinese kids with books

Mao Ju

Mao Jugoes over the blog with a young helper

A young reader in Beijing

A young reader in Beijing

Mao Ju's library

A glimpse into the small library

Gaia Manco

The kids enjoyed reading with reporter Gaia Manco, too

Check out the blog that the kids at the library write every day.

Date

Tuesday 18.09.2012 | 11:58

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