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When Joelle Eyeson and her organization Hive Earth set out to address housing problems in Ghana, their goal was to provide structures that were both eco-friendly and affordable. For instance, building with cement is especially bad for air quality in Ghana's hot climate, so they came up with an alternative: their "rammed earth" technique combines laterite, clay and granite chips for a cheaper, more sustainable material that eliminates 95% of the toxic cement.

This is just one of the innovations they are incorporating into their homes to make them not just more sustainable, but more livable as well. They've also come up with a ventilation method that utilizes a solar pump, an arrangement that costs $300 to install–and nothing to opera...

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Growing up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Aisha Bowe was the child of divorce, and dealt with many of the issues that come with the territory. She had a lack of self-esteem and scholastic problems that led to less-than-stellar grades, excluding her from consideration at a top school. But she soldiered on at community college, and there she met a teacher who challenged her to reconsider her gifts.

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When she began putting together Surf Girls Jamaica, Imani Wilmot wanted to do more than just start a surf club. By creating a women-only club, her aim was to empower local women through their common love of the sport. Now she is the subject of a new documentary, also titled “Surf Girls Jamaica,” which examines the important role that Imani’s camp has played in these women’s lives.

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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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In 2014, Subhajit Roy and Gargi Mazumdar competed in the Global Learning XPRIZE competition to promote learning using technology. They were shortlisted, and after the competition, they decided to quit their full-time jobs to create an enterprise version of their software that would benefit underprivileged students in rural India.

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Papua, New Guinea is a country of more than 8 million people, but most would be hard-pressed to point it out on a map. That isolation, caused by years of colonialism and exploitation, makes it very difficult for citizens to find markets for their products.

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When Bob Charland learned he had a cyst in his brain as well as a tumor in his frontal lobe, it didn't come as a complete surprise. He already suffered from memory loss, tremors and severe headaches. But when the doctors told him the illness would eventually kill him, the surprise was how he reacted to the news.

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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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How does one go from a successful modeling career to working as a social entrepreneur learning high-end mobile development–all the while attending medical school?

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