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Co-op La Maison Verte

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Often preoccupied with trying to do something big to save the world, we forget about the community we live in.

What can we do to preserve what is essential for our existence? While the question may imply a gigantic task covering the world, and can make us retreat scared of failing, there is so much that can be done in our homes and in our neighborhoods.

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Hope in post-tsunami India

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Every January, thousands of Hindu Indians make an arduous trek up Mount Sabarimala to witness a yearly miracle, risking injury and exposure. But what is there to do when the mountain is so far from any form of health care?

Bring the doctors to the pilgrims, says Dr. Kumara Menon, who is the telemedicine director at AIMS Hospital in Cochin, Kerala.

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Photographing for Operation Smile

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Since 1997 I’ve volunteered my time with two NGO’s; Operation Smile, documenting their facial reconstructive surgical missions, and AmeriCares, the international disaster relief and humanitarian aid agency.

I’ve traveled on 15 missions with Op Smile, including repeat missions to Kenya, Siberia, and Jordan, and last year on their inaugural missions to Ethiopia and South Africa. Two missions with Op Smile stand out for me. In Nairobi I first encountered Kenyan teen John Maina, a former orphaned street boy who showed up with his guardian Duncan Githaiga at Kenyatta National Hospital Nov.

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Communicating an Important Truth

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Media remind us daily of violence, suffering, and environmental abuse. Accordingly, I’m concerned that news of just commerce, sustainable stewardship and spiritually availing creativity also be heard.

Need Magazine’s editorial bent gives voice to this alternative social narrative. Beyond headlines boasting of uber-donors and their millions, NEED Magazine heralds the worth of our volunteering and individual giving.

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The place for Need

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I have been all over the world, traveling, photographing, and writing in an attempt to understand the role I can play in improving the lives of others.

I have seen some of the most hopeless cases and some of the most hope filled, both equally inspiring. However, most of us can’t leave our jobs and families and move to a remote location to help those with less opportunity than ourselves.

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Basurero

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A group called the Manna Project work in Managua, Nicaragua.

It was started by a group of recent graduates at Vanderbilt as a way for new college graduates to use their different passions and backgrounds for humanitarian projects, while gaining experience in their fields.

One of their projects is a sponsorship program for children living in the city dump.

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