#Changemaker of the Week

Every week, TPP will feature one of our incredible #Changemakers–individuals who are making a big difference in their communities and the world. Read on to learn about their work to create a kinder, more compassionate world for all.

Raoul & Jali: Keepers of Memory

A story of brotherhood. Raoul Vecchio is an architect and engineer. One day in his native Italy, Raoul had a chance encounter with an artist named Jali Diabate. As they talked, a synergy emerged that would meaningfully shape both their lives. Raoul and Jali recently received seed funding from The Pollination Project to build a volunteer-led cultural center in Senegal, in the ancient tradition of the Griots, to preserve the traditions, art, and stories of the over 11 different ethnic groups who live harmoniously in the area.

2020-10-17T06:32:28-07:00October 16th, 2020|

Friendship Blooms Eternal

When the pandemic came, some people drank about it, some people wrote about it — and some people planted potatoes about it. In the heart of South San José, next to a housing project for low-income seniors, is a small community garden on land belonging to St. Stephen's in-the-Field Episcopal Church. Most of the gardeners are in their 70s, 80s, and 90s, and most speak Mandarin. Jessica Dickinson-Goodman had volunteered in the garden for about a year before the pandemic hit. When the area went into lockdown, she and several other volunteers gathered up the seedlings and distributed them to the homes of volunteers across 3 counties, into what would become the deployed community garden.

2020-10-17T06:33:50-07:00October 9th, 2020|

Tiffany Kirk: Building Community for the Formerly Incarcerated

Tiffany received seed funding from The Pollination Project to develop her curriculum, “LIFERS,” which included mindfulness, life skills, and personal development. From there she recently launched “Project ReStart,” an association of groups who offer education, employment, mentorship, and other forms of assistance for people who have a criminal conviction. Project ReStart’s first effort is a 10-week project to assist formerly incarcerated people in achieving their education, entrepreneurship, or employment goals.

2020-10-05T09:30:53-07:00October 2nd, 2020|

Gratitude Goes Big: Laura Lavigne

Earlier this year, Laura Lavigne awoke from a vivid dream about contagious red hearts. In the dream, anyone who received a red heart was filled with a deep sense of peace. The hearts were spreading quickly throughout the world. This vision of something that “went viral” happened before Laura had heard much about COVID-19.

2020-09-28T07:42:15-07:00September 25th, 2020|

A “to-do” list, not a wish list: Fontoh Desmond Abinwi

Fontoh Desmond founded an organization called Crusaders for Environmental Protection and Ozone Watch, which received early support from The Pollination Project for environmental education initiatives in the school systems and communities of Cameroon. “I believe in having a to-do list, not a wish list,” Fontoh says. “Starting small, and focusing on service matters. Connections with others who share my passion have been just as important as money.” 

2020-09-25T11:02:25-07:00September 18th, 2020|Tags: , , , |

Compassion Made Visible: Animal House

Jessica Gonzalez Castro is a reader. Her work has all been driving towards one bigger dream: making speciesism visible.  “Animal suffering happens out of human sight.” says Jessica, “So our responses should be as visible as possible. We give people books they can hold, a community of friends they can hug, and food they can eat.”

2020-09-11T09:23:38-07:00September 11th, 2020|

Racheal Inegbedion: Building A More Inclusive Nigeria

After witnessing abuse of a person with disabilities, Racheal Inegbedion began working to build a more inclusive, compassionate Nigeria. “The need is so great, and sometimes people ask me if I want to give up,” says Racheal. “Of course not! I am resilient. I think about a world of inclusion and I focus on this goal. I am led by empathy. I don’t think about the barriers. Just this beautiful goal and vision for what the world could be.”

2020-09-04T09:16:55-07:00September 4th, 2020|

Malak Yacout: Beirut’s “The Volunteer Circle”

A year ago Malak and a friend had begun building The Volunteer Circle, a skill-sharing platform to connect Lebanese volunteers to the causes that needed their talents. Believing that purpose married to experience is empowering, her desire was to give people paths to make an impact in ways that were most meaningful for them. And now, every day since the blast, they have deployed teams of volunteers to areas where they are most needed.

2020-08-28T06:54:10-07:00August 28th, 2020|

“Embrace Her:” Microfinance in Zambia

For Chimwemwe Chitambala, a chance encounter as a student at the University of Zambia led to “Embrace Her,” a microfinance project that offers loans, financial literacy education, and business support to fruit and vegetable traders in her community.

2020-08-18T10:53:58-07:00August 18th, 2020|

“Ruthless Kindness” Offers Compassion to Human & Non-Human Animals

Ruthless Kindness, Sarah and Kate’s new organization, hopes to be available 24/7 for domestic violence victims who need help with their pets. Knowing the power of the human animal bond, they believe that victims of domestic violence and their children shouldn't have to leave a pet behind or delay leaving a dangerous situation because they can't bring their pet.

2020-08-10T06:14:51-07:00August 10th, 2020|
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