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Though difficult for most of us to even imagine, it's a reality for tens of millions of impoverished kids around the world: living every day without shoes on your feet. In India, it's shockingly common to see shoeless infants and toddlers, an obvious health risk that can lead to infections like hookworm and even elephantiasis.

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Despite the fact that standards of life in the U.S. are generally far higher than those in Africa, social scientists puzzle over the fact that suicide rates in Africa are much lower than in the Americas–and nearly half those in Europe. In a culture that is objectively cleaner, safer and more orderly, what breeds this desperation?

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By any estimation, Twotone Grant had a difficult childhood. By the age of 12, Grant was living on the streets, and she spent nearly 8 years drifting in and out of homelessness. Her mother had severe issues with addiction and mental illness, and at times Grant felt like the streets of Los Angeles were the safest place for her to be.

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Growing up as one of six children in a single-parent household in Myanmar, Ma Khin learned a thing or two about poverty. So when she decided to open a restaurant that trains homeless street kids to be chefs and waiters, she knew she would be throwing herself into a tricky role. “The children on the streets have psychological issues,” the former tour guide says. “Sometimes we have children with criminal records. Sometimes we have thieves....on the streets, they steal in order to fill their stomachs.”

Still, Ma Khin's premise was sound; the restaurant, named LinkAge, has persevered. And Ma Khin is just one of twenty entrepreneurs being celebrated for working to uplift Asian communities, by Channel NewsAsia’s Ch...

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Here at Billions Rising, we've always been focused on self-reliance, so there are some organizations that will always hold a special place in our hearts. One of these is Bead For Life in Kampala, Uganda.

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Catherine Garcia Flowers came to Houston following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, a violent storm in which she and her parents both lost their homes. She soon met Pastor Rudy Rasmus, who saw her vast energy and potential as she quickly went to work feeding Houston's hungry and less fortunate.

After Rasmus founded Bread of Life, a nonprofit serving Houston's homeless, they stayed in touch. And when Flowers was considering a move to Honduras years later, he talked her out of it. His reason: Rasmus needed her to take the reins of his growing organization. She agreed–and within just weeks, Hurricane Harvey struck Houston. Her decision was seemingly meant to be, as Flowers was perfectly positioned to help after her experience with Katrina. P...

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temp-post-imageThese are tumultuous times, in America and around the world, and as we come up on election day one detects a sense of urgency–a refreshing change for a midterm season. But for those who might still be thinking of sitting the midterms out, consider this: there is actually a lot of good news to report around the world, as this article from Vox points out.

In the article, fully twenty-three separate metrics are cited by the publication to show that poverty, hunger and child labor are all on the decline around the world–and have been for many decades. And these are only a few of the positive trends that we've been seeing. Many eligible voters are unaware of these trends, and our news media doesn't always do the best job of highlig...

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