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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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When Cheryl Gray initially heard about the new program, she thought it must be too good to be true. A nonprofit organization was planning on awarding 20 African American single mothers $1,000 each month for a year, provided they lived in public housing. The women would be allowed to use the money however they wanted.

Gray immediately signed on to the program, called Springboard to Opportunities, planning on using the money to pay for graduate school. But she quickly learned it wasn't quite that simple. Like the other women in the program, Gray had little to no experience with managing savings. She could stretch a minimum-wage paycheck, but had little experience with discretionary income.

It se...

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Unless you work in the world of NGOs, you've probably never heard of Bangladesh's BRAC. But don't let that mislead you: the organization has close to 100,000 full-time staff, 8,000 working outside of of their home country. And in the last year alone, BRAC worked to educate more than a million children, and lent money to nearly eight million striving people.

One of the world's most highly rated charities, BRAC works across a host of categories: they've invested in a university, a bank, a seed company--even a chain of boutiques. And as a hybrid of charitable programs and businesses, BRAC uses their profitable operations to subsidize the remainder of the org. But as Afghanistan changes, their go...

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As a youngster growing up in California's Salinas Valley, Fabiola Moreno Ruelas dealt with more than her share of hardship. She saw her father deported, and her family routinely struggled with housing and basic needs, at one point facing eviction.

Fortune is fickle however, and Fabiola received $29,000 on her 18th birthday as part of an injury settlement. But when the young student started to thinking of how to spend the money, she realized it shouldn't be on herself. Fabiola set up a scholarship program instead, naming it after her mother: the Ruelas Family Scholarship. Once Fabiola had ironed out the details, applications poured in, and Fabiola awarded her first scholarships to four student...

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When Annabelle Gurwitch decided to open her house to a homeless couple as part of her work with Safe Place for Youth, she didn't know what to expect. The author had been intrigued when she initially heard about their Host Home Program, which focuses on providing short-term “interventions” for young homeless adults. Wanting to "walk the walk" of her principles, she took the plunge--and the reality of opening her living space to strangers was both enervating and eye-opening.

In the end, Gurwitch's experience was an overwhelmingly positive one. And the Host Home model has shown great promise, both for curbing youth homelessness and changing public attitudes about the problem. And ...

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When Ali Takata and her husband moved to Austin from the San Francisco Bay Area three and a half years ago, she was immediately struck by the lack of diversity. "I was surprised by how white Austin felt," she says. But Takata soon realized that Austin wasn't particularly white--it was just very segregated.

Two years ago, the couple decided to move their daughters from the mostly white, affluent school they had been attending to a more diverse school in East Austin. It's a higher poverty district, and the new school doesn't have the same resources as the other school. But since learning about the history of segregation in Austin, Takata feels they made the right choice.

“I felt like I was...

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Here at Billions Rising we have always emphasized self-reliance, and solutions that empower those in poverty to better themselves and their communities. One organization that is doing great work in this area is Street Business School, a non-profit that works with other orgs to provide next-level entrepreneurial training for women.

For the past fifteen years, SBS has worked to help women become small-scale entrepreneurs--and their track record is remarkable. On average, women who graduate from the SBS program go from making $1.35/day to $4.19/day two years after graduation. Even better, 89% of their graduates have businesses of their own.

The organization has tested and evaluated their methods ...

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