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Macallan Durkin 17, USA Basic need(s): Food, Water, Education, Environment Project: Goody Goodies For three years, Macallan lived in Botswana, donating her free time to an animal sanctuary. Saddened by the sight of local children scrounging through the garbage, Macallan questioned why there were establishments for homeless and orphaned animals, but not for children. She founded Goody Goodies to work toward a solution. Through the sale of fair trade products and Macallan's various speaking engagements, Goody Goodies raises money to fund projects to better the lives of those in need. Goody Goodies has made many contributions to the global community, not least of which is Macallan's donation of a year's funding to Safe Passage, a community center in a severely impoverished community in Guatemala City, which offers after-school programs to children in need, and reading and writing classes to their parents.
Ziyad El Mourniri 18, Morocco Basic need(s): Education, Environment Project: Women Empowerment: Walk Across the Borders While Ziyad was working as a home tutor, one of his students, a young girl, shocked him with her lack of academic knowledge. When Ziyad inquired about her level of schooling, the young girl explained that her parents did not let her go to school every day, and that her father planned on marrying her off prior to her graduating high school. Ziyad, aware that education for all is a prerequisite for peace, got together with eight other activists to form "Women Empowerment: Walk Across the Borders." Through various events, Women Empowerment seeks to inspire women to demand their education, and prove to the world why this is important. Thus far, Women Empowerment has organized a leadership camp in Cameroon, a tutoring class in Pakistan, a march in Indonesia, a Concert in Moldova and an awareness class in the United States.
Kendall Ciesemier 19, USA Basic need(s): Food, Water, Health, Shelter, Education Project: Kids Caring 4 Kids When Kendall underwent two liver transplants in one summer, she asked that her friends and family, in lieu of gifts and flowers, send money to World Vision to benefit impoverished children in Africa. Kendall raised over $15,000, enough to sponsor the entire village of Musele, Zambia. Inspired by the overwhelming results, Kendall organized her efforts into the founding of Kids Caring 4 Kids, which has grown to support eight projects through a wide range of organizations in five different African countries. Kids Caring 4 Kids has built two community centers and a dormitory, provided over 300 specially built bikes, food, school supplies, medical care, and clean water. Kids Caring 4 Kids has raised over $875,000 and attracted the attention of Oprah and U. S. President Bill Clinton.
Daniel Fine 18, USA Basic need(s): Health, Education Project: Team Brotherly Love When Daniel found out that his younger brother had been diagnosed with Type I Juvenile Diabetes, he sprung into action. He created a foundation called "Team Brotherly Love" that creates awareness of Type I Juvenile Diabetes and works toward finding a cure through funding research. Among its projects are fundraising endeavors such as Dollars for Diabetes, Lacrosse Against Diabetes, Fine's Friends, and Kicks for Ca$h. Daniel has raised upwards of $1.2 Million dollars for the fight against the disease, but this is not Daniel's only source of pride. While supporting his brother and raising money, Daniel is also providing his hundreds of volunteers and thousands of event attendees with a sense of service, camaraderie, philanthropy and the spirit of Brotherly Love.
Slater Jewell-Kemker 19, Canada Basic need(s): Food, Water, Shelter, Safety, Education, Environment Project: An Inconvenient Youth Even before she was making films, Slater had a passion for preventing climate change. After a less-than-encouraging experience at an international environmental summit, Slater decided to take a more visible approach to make sure her message would be received. Slater's film, "An Inconvenient Youth" is a documentary featuring kids living on the front lines of climate change and the global youth climate movement, which is creating a green and sustainable future. Although "An Inconvenient Youth" is yet to be completed, in the interest of spreading her message in the meantime, Slater has released a number of short films along the way, which have been screened in classrooms and at film festivals around the world. Slater also teaches filmmaking workshops in-person and online to empower kids to take action and make their voices heard. Between the short films and her workshops, to date, Slater's environmental message has reached more than 10,000 youths.
Jessica Markowitz 16, USA Basic need(s): Education Project: Richard's Rwanda IMPUHWE When Richard, a Rwandan human rights activist, stayed with Jessica's family, he told her stories of the genocide that had ravaged his home country. Jessica was shocked to hear how pervasive and long-term the problems left in its wake were, especially the number of orphaned girls left unable to attend school. In her storyteller's name, Jessica began the Richard's Rwanda IMPUHWE. Through her organization, Jessica supports educational opportunities through financial support to the low-income girls of Nyamata, Rwanda, a rural village greatly affected by the war. Jessica has set up chapters across the United States with hundreds of participating students, but no chapter of IMPUHWE is more noteworthy than that of the Forum of African Women Educationalist Girls School (FAWE). Jessica had visited the FAWE School on one of her trips to Rwanda and made several friends among the students. When she returned to the school a year later, her friends surprised her with the first Rwandan chapter of Richard's Rwanda IMPUHWE, through which the students developed a mentoring project to help less fortunate Rwandans.
Katie Stagliano 13, USA Basic need(s): Food, Health, Education, Environment Project: Katie's Krops In 2008, Katie brought home a cabbage seedling from school as part of the Bonnie Plants 3rd Grade Cabbage Program. Caring for the seedling, Katie was able to grow it into a whopping 40 pound cabbage, which ultimately fed over 275 people at a local soup kitchen. In awe of the number of people who benefited from just one cabbage, Katie started "Katie's Krops" with the mission to start and maintain vegetable gardens and donate the harvest to feed people in need. Through Katie's Krops, Katie donates fresh produce to soup kitchens, food banks and to families directly. She also cooks and serves meals in her community, serving between 50 to 75 people, purchasing what she cannot grow using funds the organization has raised. Katie's Krops offers grants to other kids in the United States to start vegetable gardens of their own to feed those in need within their communities. The grant program is responsible for Katie's Krop gardens in 11 states, impacting over 5,000 people.
Italo Ribeiro Alves 19, Brazil Basic need(s): Health, Safety, Education Project: React & Change Growing up, Italo bore witness to much hardship within his community and faced adversity even within his own family. After a validating win in his student council election, Italo felt ready to turn around and face some of the socials issues he had come to know throughout his childhood. Italo founded React & Change, an online-driven, youth-led non-governmental organization committed to motivating youth to combat gender inequality and its ramifications. Aside from the network of relationships it provides for Brazilian activists, social entrepreneurs, students and professionals through its online forums, React & Change holds a diverse collection of events. Gathering young people from all 26 states of Brazil, React & Change engages them in high-level training and information sessions to share practices and approaches to fight gender inequality. The organization is also responsible for the Youth for Empowerment Forum Campaign in Brazil. Since the project's creation in 2009, Italo has reached over 30,000 young people in Brazil and beyond.
Meet the 2012 Three Dot Dash Global Teen Leaders threedotdash.org
Shafaet Ashif Hossain 19, Bangladesh Basic need(s): Health, Shelter, Safety, Education Project: Project Sohay Devastated by the loss of his friend Moied, Shafaet co-founded Project Sohay (which means "to help" in Bengali) to fulfill Moied's unfulfilled dreams of peace. Project Sohay aims to aid disadvantaged people in Bangladesh by providing materials to improve health, education and other basic needs through an event-based volunteer program. Shafaet's work is very hands-on. On New Year's Eve, Shafaet and his group of volunteers took to the streets of Rajshahi City and distributed vital clothes and blankets that they had gathered to over 4,000 homeless and slum-dwellers. Other projects include providing healthcare education and materials to the Korail slum in Dhaka and gathering educational materials for underprivileged children in Bangladesh's more rural regions. Shafaet attributes all of his work to Moied's memory.
Namgyal Wangchuk (Trichen) Lhagyari 19, Tibet Basic need(s): Food, Water, Health, Shelter, Safety Education, Environment Project: My Country Is Tibet Trichen is the exiled descendant of the great kings of Tibet, coronated in 2004 by the Dalai Lama. Trichen also happens to be a talented filmmaker. He made his first film in collaboration with BYkids, an organization that pairs youth from around the world with master filmmakers such as Albert Maysles and Ric Burns to create short documentary films about their lives and distributes the films for American audiences. Trichen took this as an opportunity to educate the world of his family's strife. His movie, "My Country Is Tibet" personally illuminates the plight of the Tibetan people. Trichen has screened the film for over 3,000 American students, speaking at each screening. It has been featured in The New York Times and premiered at several prestigious film festivals. The film is being distributed by Discovery Education to schools in America. Trichen will undoubtedly see an increase in American awareness of Tibet, hopefully garnering support for his call for peace.
Yara Al-Wazir 19, Palestine Basic need(s): Safety, Education, Environment Project: The Green Initiative As a refugee of war, Yara has never seen her own country. Deeply saddened by this, when Yara heard about climate change and the danger that rising sea levels may pose to island nations such as Tuvalu and Kiribati, she knew she had to do something to prevent a generation of climate refugees, similarly displaced from their home country. Yara founded "The Green Initiative" to do just that. The Green Initiative is an environmental organization that uses the arts to raise awareness about climate change in young people, particularly refugees. By empowering youth through photography sand volunteer work, The Green Initiative looks to create peace in its communities and the world today, while working toward a better future. Through a number of art exhibitions, walkathons, scavenger hunts and beach clean ups, The Green Initiative has touched over 12,000 young people. This number is sure to increase with The Green Initiative's launch their magazine, the world's first Arabic-language environmental magazine.
Mariam Sargsyan 19, Armenia Basic need(s): Education, Food, Water Project: - Mariam began her career in social activism at 12 years old, working with disabled children through the non-government organization “Bridge of Hope.” It was at Bridge of Hope that Mariam got her first certificate in journalism, taking classes at the NGO's magazine. Working at the magazine for 3 years, Mariam spent most of her time writing articles about child rights, but Mariam’s activism did not stop there. Devoted to her involvement, Mariam moved on to produce various television and radio programs for youth education, host a number of charity events, and write songs dedicated to the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger. Mariam was selected as a Global Changemaker by the British Council in 2010, and participated in Global Youth Summits in 2010 and 2011. Mariam and her fellow changemakers started “Hopeland,” a global action project under the British Council Global Changemakers program. Hopeland ( www.joinhopeland.org ) is a virtual country, which aims to spread hope, peace, and equality by raising poverty awareness and mobilizing young people around the world to take action in their communities. Hopeland "citizens" are from all around the world. Hopeland is a space for any young person passionate about the fight against poverty and hunger; it is a place for them to find inspiration among their peers, designed to facilitate new projects in the interest of bettering our future.
Dylan Vecchione 13, USA Basic need(s): Education, Environment Project: ReefQuest As an avid sailor and scuba diver in California and Maui, Hawaii, Dylan has seen entire coral reefs die off from global warming and water pollution. From his research aimed at solving the problem, Dylan learned that the issues threatening coral reefs are global and that scientists don't have the manpower to monitor a great deal of the ocean. In response to these troubling findings, Dylan founded "ReefQuest" which empowers kids to make a difference in marine environmental stewardship through citizen science. It is designed to inspire an appreciation for marine ecosystems, introduce the world of science and its methods of problem solving, while simultaneously providing professional reef managers, oceanographers and marine biologists with citizen scientists that can collect useful, otherwise unattainable data. Schools and communities throughout the world, including in California and Hawaii, and many island nations throughout the Pacific Rim are beginning to adopt Dylan's programs. Currently more than 6,000 kids in 28 countries are participating in ReefQuest classroom activities.
Ben Hirschfeld 18, USA Basic need(s): Health, Safety, Education, Environment Project: LIT! Project "The technologies which have had the most profound effects on human life are usually simple." This idea from physicist Freeman Dyson is not lost on Ben. Ben's "LIT! Project" donates and distributes solar lanterns to schools in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya. Their education hindered by a lack of electric light, students are forced to use kerosene lanterns to study at night. Ben's solar lanterns alleviate the problems this creates. Not only do the lanterns provide light to study by, they are better for the environment, prevent exposure to toxic fumes, cut costs on kerosene refills, and remove the danger of house fires altogether. LIT! Project has affected the lives of more than 10,000 people.
Lulu Cerone 13, USA Basic need(s): Food, Water Project: LemonAID Warriors Lulu began volunteering from a very young age. At only nine years old, she was a campaign volunteer for Senator Barack Obama in the 2008 U.S. Presidential election. She took the effectiveness of his grassroots movement to heart. When an earthquake hit Haiti, Lulu opened her first classroom LemonAID stand. The idea caught on, inspiring LemonAID stands across the country and raising a collective $4,000 in two weeks. Shortly thereafter, Lulu created LemonAID Warriors, an organization that unites young people in her community to put into action their desires to make positive change of any kind. Members are invited to tackle any issue. So far, LemonAID Warriors has raised over $12,000 and helped various organizations including the North Hollywood Food Pantry, the Red Cross, Hollywood Unites for Haiti, and UNICEF. Lulu's project of choice is addressing the lack of clean water in parts of Africa. To that end, Lulu and her Warriors have built a well that will serve 400 villagers for 20 years.
Sophie Mvurya 17, Kenya Basic need(s): Education Project: Hope Inspire Transform (HIT) During the 2007 post-election violence in Kenya, Sophie was almost killed by three men who mistakenly thought she was from an enemy tribe due to her light skin. So frightened and disgusted by the blind hatred exhibited by these men, Sophie knew she had to open the lines of communication across cultural boundaries and promote understanding. Sophie created Hope Inspire Transform (HIT), a music development program in conjunction with a sports education development initiative, founded by We Are Family Foundation's 2011 Global Teen Leader Brian Waweru, at their local school. Through music, Sophie provides local youth with a safe place to express and implement their ideas, celebrate their differences, and enrich the school's cultural diversity. The program has garnered attention from sponsors such as Brookside Milk Limited and Ken-Afric bakeries, which now provide them with dairy products and bread respectively. Sophie has already seen a decrease in violence among students, and has noticed the development of communal responsibility for their donated instruments.
Jarrod Sheehan 16, USA Basic need(s): Health, Safety, Education Project: Health Disparities Teen Project Interestingly enough, Jarrod's project shares its inspiration with that of Three Dot Dash. Upon reading Mattie J. T. Stepanek's book, "Just Peace: A Message of Hope," in which Mattie explains that peace is possible if people's basic human needs are met, Jarrod was motivated to do what he could to see that these needs were indeed met. After much consideration, Jarrod decided his focus would best be placed on healthcare education, and so he formed the Health Disparities Teen Project. Through a teen-to-teen education network, the Health Disparities Teen Project seeks to generate awareness regarding health inequality that will promote and enable families to become literate in healthcare and adopt behaviors that will improve overall health. Through its various health fairs, its presentations to the U.S. state of Maryland's School Board and the Maryland Senate, and its series of multimedia presentations, the Health Disparities Teen Project estimates itself to have reached hundreds of people nationwide.
Vigi Hari 14, Japan Basic need(s): Health, Shelter, Education, Environment Project: Kodomo MDGs Vigi always felt a desire to help the less fortunate, but it was a We Are Family Foundation 2008 Global Teen Leader, Dylan Mahalingam, and his initiative "Little MDGs (Millennium Development Goals)" that inspired him to take action. Witnessing Dylan's tangible progress gave Vigi hope. He began "Kodomo MDGs" ("kodomo" meaning "little" in Japanese) to bring Dylan's cause, to meet the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals, back to Japan. For his first awareness event in Tokyo, Vigi managed to inspire the community's young people to donate their time, their clothes, and their shoes to help the disadvantaged. From their generous donations, Vigi provided shoes to 600 people who would otherwise have none. Beyond the clothing drive, Kodomo MDGs works on a variety of issues. Vigi has engaged more than 3,000 youth in various projects, including park restoration, environmental appreciation and overall MDG awareness.
Adeline Suwana 15, Indonesia Basic need(s): Water, Education, Environment Project: Sahabat Alam When Adeline was 11 years old, her hometown was evacuated due to a devastating flood. The event piqued Adeline's interest. In her efforts to satisfy a lingering curiosity, Adeline soon learned that flooding and other natural disasters are often caused by widespread environmental problems. To do her part, Adeline began the non-governmental organization, "Sahabat Alam" (or "Friends of Nature"). Sahabat Alam tackles environmental projects including reforestation, coral reef conservation, and sustainable energy development. Adeline believes creating youth "environment ambassadors" is key to the success of these projects and to ensure that a sense of respect for our planet is passed along to future generations. Sahabat Alam has touched the lives of over 15,000 youths nationwide in Indonesia with plans to reach even more young people internationally in the near future.
Gary Bencheghib 17, Indonesia Basic need(s): Environment Project: Make A Change Bali Gary's home in Bali, Indonesia is a beautiful place. Known as "The Island of the Gods," it is no wonder Bali is a major tourist destination. This has its benefits to the community, but it also takes its toll. Bali is seeing a major increase in waste and it is being disposed of irresponsibly. Gary, an avid surfer and scuba diver, witnesses the degradation to the once-pristine beaches of Bali every day. Gary founded "Make A Change Bali" to do just that: make a change. The organization aims to protect and preserve Bali's beaches and environment by educating and engaging the local Balinese community through environmentally focused activities. Collaborating with local businesses and schools, Make A Change Bali organizes weekly beach clean ups and other events. Not least of which took place on May 1st, 2010, Make A Change Bali's first Bali Environmental Day Concert. In an effort to raise awareness in the surfing community, the event featured local Balinese non-governmental organizations and some of Indonesia's most well-known musicians, all of whom publicly committed to playing a role in preserving Bali's beaches. Over 5,000 people attended, inspiring Make A Change Bali to host the concert bi-annually.
Brigitte Berman 18, USA Basic need(s): Health, Safety, Education Project: Dorie Witt: A Guide to Surviving Bullies Brigitte was a victim of bullying in grade school. Motivated by the thought that she couldn't let the bullies win, Brigitte stayed true to herself and persevered. However, while some kids may be satisfied preventing their own bullies from winning, Brigitte isn't satisfied until no bullies are winning... anywhere. Brigitte's book "Dorie Witt: A Guide to Surviving Bullies," currently distributed in over 16 school districts, is one of her contributions to the fight against bullying. Due to the book's success, Brigitte is invited to speak at numerous schools and community groups around the country. As an anti-bullying spokesperson and role model, Brigitte is often spreading her message on radio and television, as well as the political arena. She worked closely with the Juvenile Police Association of Massachusetts and the Anti-Defamation League to successfully pass anti-bullying legislation in U.S. state of Massachusetts.
Selin Jessa 16, Canada Basic need(s): Health, Shelter, Education Project: Animation for Action Since seeing coverage of Hurricane Katrina at a young age, Selin has been keenly aware of humanitarian crises around the globe and motivated to do her part. A self-taught animator, Selin turned to her artistic talents to promote change within her community, creating Animation for Action. Animation for Action is Selin's personal project, through which she creates short videos, each with a call to action over a social issue of her choosing. So far, Selin's animations have tackled issues such as the educational needs of 21st century kids, the need for a better business standard and child poverty in British Columbia. The films have been shown at a number of fundraisers, galas, and conferences to audiences that now number tens of thousands. Seminars in China, India, Italy, and across the U.S. have all hosted Selin's work. By uploading her video to a YouTube channel, where each view donates money to a support organization of her choosing, Selin is able to fund the causes directly.
Emily-Anne Rigal 18, USA Basic need(s): Health, Safety, Education Project: WeStopHate Emily-Anne was bullied throughout elementary school. As she got older, her self-confidence increased. It took some time, but Emily-Anne learned that happiness comes with self-acceptance. She founded WeStopHate to spread that notion, because as she sees it, overall self-esteem and bullying are inversely related. WeStopHate is a social media movement to connect teens through two-way communication, building confidence to prevent hate. Teens are invited to create videos that share their experiences, advice, or anything else that may help build confidence in others and create a positive global support group. As a result, WeStopHate's YouTube Channel is the 27th Most Subscribed Non-Profit Channel with over 500,000 video views from approximately 100,000 teens who have sent a message, posted a video, or left a comment. The numbers are great, Emily-Anne admits, but it's the qualitative return that is the greatest reward. WeStopHate has received notes and emails from teens who have admitted that the program saved their lives.
Peshwas Farik Saadon 18, Iraq Basic need(s): Education Project: Institute of Ideological Thought During a research trip to Northern Iraq for an academic paper, Peshwas engaged a few young Iraqi intellectuals in a friendly political discussion. Peshwas was taken aback by their hesitation to express their opinions. Understanding Iraq's culture is still recovering from 30 years of tyranny, but recognizing the importance of a respectful environment where ideas can be shared without fear of persecution, especially to a budding democracy, Peshwas started the Institute of Ideological Thought. The Institute is a non-governmental organization in Northern Iraq operating as a non-academic think-tank for young people. Funded privately, the goal of the organization is to create a more peaceful, understanding, and free Iraq by allowing people to exchange ideas safely. With over 200 current members, Peshwas hopes to develop the Institute of Ideological Thought into a think-tank with its own publications and research in the future.
Aishvarya (Govil) Gupta 19, USA Basic need(s): Health, Education, Environment Project: Wonder Writers Govil's family moved from India to the United States just as he began kindergarten. As if adapting to an entirely new culture wasn't enough for young Govil, he moved six more times before graduating elementary school. With so much change, Govil found a constant in his writing. Pleased to have found a means of personal expression, but frustrated without an outlet to share his work with peers, Govil founded "Wonder Writers." Through Wonder Writers, Govil promotes a literate and peaceful society by organizing creative writing contests and workshops globally, creating opportunities for students to collaborate on an international scale. Students submit their work online, it is then evaluated by professionals, and, in some cases, published in books. The books are sold with all proceeds given to charity. Wonder Writers has published six books, with inspiring themes such as "Power of Youth," and has raised over $10,000 for charity.
Joseph Machado 15, USA Basic need(s): Food, Health, Shelter, Education, Environment Project: Biking For America When Joseph was 13, he decided he was going to bike across the United States to raise money for disabled children, and so began Biking For America. Suffering himself from Traumatic Brain Injury, Joseph was no stranger to the problems facing the disabled. Aside from raising money, Joseph hoped to serve as a beacon of hope to the disabled, to show them that they can always make a difference and to inspire others to see the disabled as the equals they are. Although his bike journey is now over, after a grueling 39-day ride, Joseph continues to host and sponsor fundraisers through Biking For America. Proceeds go to providing medical treatment, scholarships, and psychosocial support to disabled children. Through his fundraising efforts and his public appearances, Joseph has reached thousands with his inspiring message.
Anna Safranova 19, Russia Basic need(s): Safety, Education Project: MyDreamCity During her year as an exchange student in the United States, Anna donated much of her time to community service. The experience inspired Anna to start her own organization back home. Upon her return, Anna founded MyDreamCity â€“ a program dedicated to providing a positive environment for inner-city orphans. Through its website, the program invites communities all over the world to organize drawing sessions in their local orphanages and children's hospitals, in which young kids are tasked with drawing their dream city. MyDreamCity publicizes each event through a comprehensive PR strategy to raise social awareness and shares the drawings between participating groups to provide a sense of community and belonging among the children. The program is currently running in over a dozen Russian communities and has spread to its surrounding countries as well.
Alec Urbach 16, USA Basic need(s): Health, Education Project: Giving From the Ground Up Through the 501 (c ) 3, Giving from the Ground Up, that Alec founded and directs, he has created, and is presently expanding, a revolutionary animated science, math & healthcare FILM curriculum for elementary schools in developing nations--serving 40,000 children to date in Ghana, & 80,000 by spring, 2012. He is presently working with cartoonists in London to enliven both the hard copy lesson plans and the unit by unit animated lessons with colorful characters and voices doing the teaching—to change the way elementary school children in the third world are educated. Alec is opening the first Science Elementary School in Lipke Bakue; and is planning the second Science School to open in Atikpui. He has raised $20,000 for wells in both villages, so the children can remain healthy as they learn; and GFGU's growing national chapters have collected and shipped medical, dental and school supplies to 40,000. GFGU is presently developing Spanish translations to the curriculum so that children in Central and South America can also receive this fun and disarming 'film' education in Math and Science.
Yap Zi Xuan 18, Singapore Basic need(s): Education, Environment Project: IT Empowering Niger! (ITEM N!) While watching a particularly moving YouTube video during a seminar, Yap was troubled by the disparity between superpower countries and developing nations, the focus of the film. Inspired to do something to help close the gap, Yap started "IT Empowering Niger," or "ITEM N!" ITEM N!'s goal is to provide rural villages in Niger with computers and appropriate IT literacy lessons, including search engine skills and setting up online businesses such as blog-shops as a possible source of income for the community. Although it is still a work in progress, ITEM N! has its sights set on three communities in rural Niger. As if ITEM N! were not enough for one peacemaker, Yap also began "Environmental Week" at her school in Singapore, successfully engaging over 2,500 students and faculty to analyze their individual carbon footprints.
Avni Parikh 17, USA Basic need(s): Water, Education Project: Let's Hope International In 2007, Avni visited the Nairobi Children's Home in Kenya. Victims of abuse, sex trafficking and abandonment, the children humbled Avni with their positivity, their gratitude for what little they had and their hunger for education. Avni left the orphanage determined to do what she could to help the most neglected and underprivileged youth to attain the basic needs and education they deserve. To that end, Avni founded "Let's Hope International." Through a series of projects, fundraisers and collaborations with other organizations, Let's Hope International supports a number of orphanages and schools in India and Kenya, providing clean water, lab equipment, and educational scholarships currently impacting over 700 children. Avni is proud to have seen volunteers at Let's Hope International go on to start their own initiatives, tackling other issues such as poverty-stricken families.