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Of all the trends that have transformed business in the last couple of decades, the importance of data certainly tops the list. Major companies live or die by their data these days, so much so that it's now hard to imagine them doing business any other way.

Now the power of data aggregation is being used to address the exigencies and decision-making of the poorest members of society, rather than the most powerful. Poverty Stoplight is a self-evaluation tool that allows families to rank their economic state based on objective indicators, assigning each a value of red, yellow or green. This simple tool gives families the insight to help themselves--and perhaps just as importantly, it also give...

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In today's America, it can often seem like our biggest problems have become part of our way of life, and that they are simply here to stay. The woes of the American family top this list: for years divorce rates have climbed, and the family institution has at times appeared to be critically, and chronically, endangered.

But there's good news on the horizon. According to the most recent figures, the American family is on the rebound. And this is especially good news for our most valuable resource--our children.

As outlined in the recent article in USA Today, the past decade has shown promising signs of a resurgence in childbearing, along with a marked decline in divorce rates and an increase in ...

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As a volunteer working with the Peace Corps in Rwanda, Markey Culver typically ate just one meal per day, common practice among Rwandan families. One day, Culver did something that seemed simple at the time--but it would change her life, and the lives of scores of East Africans.

To increase the calories she was taking in, Culver baked a loaf of yeast bread.

When her baking caught the interest of local women, Culver began to teach those in her community to bake bread for themselves. And when the women began giving the bread to their children, she began to realize the potential of her work to impact malnutrition. Culver was inspired, and when the women began to sell the bread at local markets, s...

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Despite the rush of media coverage after the terrible tsunami in Sri Lanka in 2004, the nation faded from the public's view as the months and years passed. It is one one of the salient flaws in our news media: it's fickle, of-the-moment narrative often omits the denouement–and the people and organizations who stay around to pick up the pieces can be forgotten about.

When Kushil Gunasekera returned to Sri Lanka after the disaster, the conditions he faced were truly horrific: bodies floated in the water, buildings had collapsed, and the tsunami had killed more than 230,000 people across the region. Though casualties were most severe in Indonesia, Sri Lanka was hit hard, with approximately...

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An eighth grader from Minneapolis, MN, Sanya Pirani has a slightly different take on Christmas than most kids her age. Pirani created the non-profit Sanya’s Hope For Children several years ago, when she was just eight years old.

With the help of volunteers--Sanya's helpers--Pirani packages and sews hundreds of gift bags for homeless children at Christmastime. The gift bags, full of toys, clothing, books and school supplies, are given to homeless kids in the Minneapolis Metro area just before Christmas.

“We get to....hand donate these bags to the children and it’s really an amazing sight to see,” says Pirani. To hear more about this remarkable youngster and the progress ...

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On October 11, the world observed the International Day of Girls: a day dedicated to raising awareness of the serious issues facing the world's 1.1 billion girls, and promoting their empowerment. It's an enormous issue–one that requires our attention far beyond that single day.

Each year, about 246 million children are harassed and abused either at or on their way to school. Girls are disproportionately affected, a reality that curbs their academic lives and makes it more likely they will drop out. But things are slowly changing: fully twenty-five million child marriages have been prevented, just in the past ten years.

These two things–ending child marriage, and working to make sur...

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Opportunities for education in many areas of sub-Saharan Africa are scarce, and more than one-fifth of primary-school-age kids do not attend school throughout the region. Not content to sit on the sidelines, an organization called Street Child is acting to provide solutions for sub-Saharan children.

And they haven't been slow to the task. In the last decade, the org has helped to educate more than 250,000 children, and helped over 25,000 families start their own businesses. Now they've even enlisted the help of the royal family: Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, became a Patron Ambassador of Street Child when the organization joined forces with Children in Crisis.

For more about this impres...

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Born in a small fishing village in Senegal, Magatte Wade left her home country as a girl to live with her parents in France. Just old enough to see the differences between Senegal and France, Wade found herself puzzled.

As Wade got older, she began to notice a pattern: in wealthier nations, it was much easier for people to start a business than it was in poorer nations like Senegal. Since more business means more opportunities for everyone, she asked herself: could the key be encouragement of entrepreneurship?

Wade knew that in her hometown, there were few opportunities to break out of poverty. She came to see that the best way for her to change the situation at home would be to do it herself&...

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We all face adversity in life, and it's often said that the way one deals with these challenges is what truly defines a person. Colin Kaepernick is a good example of this: the pro quarterback has been sidelined now for three seasons, after controversy surrounding his decision to "take a knee" during the national anthem to protest police violence. But Kaepernick isn't letting the NFL slow him down–far from it.

Along with his Know Your Rights Camp Foundation, this past Sunday, Kap spent his 32nd birthday helping to feed the homeless in Oakland, CA. He and his group handed out backpacks filled with snacks, along with personal items like socks and soap. And this isn't the first time the foo...

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In a nation of just under 50 million, fully 3 million Kenyan kids are classified as orphans, and many of those are street children. It's a crisis of daunting proportions–but one crafty and compassionate organization has struck on what may be the perfect solution.

The people who run Agape Children’s Ministry started with one fundamental observation: the majority of Kenyan orphans actually have living relatives. Armed with that insight, the org's mission became to reunite as many of those kids with their families as possible. To date they have helped over 2,300 kids rejoin their families, and they've begun sharing their model with other outfits that hope to employ it elsewhere.

To he...

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