#Changemaker Of The Week
Seeds of responsible citizenship

Seeds of responsible citizenship

Active citizenship, community empowerment and volunteer experiences: how three Italian women are seeding the change and making responsible tourism bloom!The Pollination Project community is made of volunteer grassroots leaders who put their time and energy in service...

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The Bree and Me Project: Camille Licate

The Bree and Me Project: Camille Licate

“Bree is a rooster, but he is an intelligent, feeling Being that craves love and peace, just like all of us. Most children grow up loving animals. My hope is that by meeting Bree and learning more about compassionate food systems, children can learn to reflect their...

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Peace: Let it Begin With Me

Peace: Let it Begin With Me

“An enemy is one whose story we have not heard.”  These inspiring words from a recent application capture the spirit of an exciting new effort blossoming here at The Pollination Project. This week’s “Changemaker of the Week” is not about just one person, but a group...

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A Hidden Ecosystem: Tamara Blazquez Haik

A Hidden Ecosystem: Tamara Blazquez Haik

One day several years ago, photographer and animal activist Tamara Blazquez Haik was walking home when she came across a poisoned opossum lying dead on the sidewalk. Many people might have kept walking and not given this a second thought, but Tamara couldn’t help but...

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Dorcas Apoore: Hope by the Basketful

Dorcas Apoore: Hope by the Basketful

Dorcas Apoore grew up in Northern Ghana, in a remote village so small that it isn’t even on a map. Her mother was married at a young age and never got to finish school, a cycle that Dorcas saw repeated for a great many girls in her village. Most often, this is an...

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Birthing a New Dream of Equality

Birthing a New Dream of Equality

When she became pregnant at 18, Maria del Mar Jaramillo felt her dreams come crashing down around her. She spent her pregnancy full of worry, wondering if the life she had envisioned for herself would still be possible. With the loving support of her husband and...

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Save the Food, Feed the People

Save the Food, Feed the People

In a shed in downtown Merced, California, there is a random refrigerator overflowing with an ever-changing bounty of persimmons, lettuce, celery, and other locally sourced whole fruits and vegetables. Everything in the fridge is free; twenty-four hours a day, anyone can visit to pick up what they might need. “The People’s Fridge” is a volunteer labor of love, organized by Erin Meyer and Steve Roussos.

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Going the Social Distance

Going the Social Distance

Growing up, Jenna Bardroff’s best friend was a potbellied pig named Arnie. When she made the connection between what her parents were putting on her plate and her love for Arnie, she became a vegetarian at the age of five. She started college at the age of fourteen,...

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The Vilka Chess Club

The Vilka Chess Club

Sohibjamol Rakamova is an unlikely chess champion. In her native Tajikistan, chess is a game of status and nobility. Many children are enrolled in chess training at the same time they go to nursery school, but this wasn’t the case for Sohibjamol. She grew up in the...

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Raoul & Jali: Keepers of Memory

Raoul & Jali: Keepers of Memory

This is 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. Jali is part of...

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Friendship Blooms Eternal

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...

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Gratitude Goes Big: Laura Lavigne

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...

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Compassion Made Visible: Animal House

Compassion Made Visible: Animal House

Jessica Gonzalez Castro is a reader. One book in particular has shaped the trajectory of her life. After reading “Animal Liberation” by Peter Singer, Jessica was moved to learn how she could be a more effective activist for animal rights. So it was with great...

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“Embrace Her:” Microfinance in Zambia

“Embrace Her:” Microfinance in Zambia

One day, Chimwemwe Chitambala heard a knock on her door. She was living in a student hostel, studying business and economics at the University of Zambia. Chimwemwe opened the door, and found a woman selling fruits and vegetables. These traders, known as “UNZA Veg” in...

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Darel Scott Sees an “Earth in Color”

Darel Scott Sees an “Earth in Color”

From Darel Scott’s desire to make both nature and the environmental movement more inclusive, Earth in Color was born. Earth in Color started as an art festival on a farm to celebrate people of color and their cultural connections to the natural world. That day under the spring sun—filled with art, food, music, and connection—highlighted the importance of people of color being able to see themselves through this lens of health and sustainability.

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Miracle Adesina: COVID-19 Public Health Information for Indigenous People

Miracle Adesina: COVID-19 Public Health Information for Indigenous People

Like many of us, Miracle Adesina watched the COVID-19 pandemic spread through the lens of social media. As a healthcare professional, what he saw coming through his social feeds gave him great cause for concern. Part of the problem, Miracle felt, was that critical health messages were not available in many of the 70+ indigenous languages throughout Africa. The Pollination Project supported Miracle’s translation project with a seed grant.

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Jennifer Myers Has a “Way With Words”

Jennifer Myers Has a “Way With Words”

Jennifer Rae Myers learned the power of words from her father, Raymond Banks. A writer himself, Raymond raised Jennifer to value the art of communication. He took her to the library after school, encouraged her to read, and showed her through example how to advocate for historically disadvantaged people through language. In third grade, her essay on Harriet Tubman won a writing contest on American heroes, a moment she still recalls as the point in which she realized the gift her father’s encouragement had offered her.

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Assi Flaviurs’ Health and WASH Project Creates a Safer Future for the Children of Cameroon

Assi Flaviurs’ Health and WASH Project Creates a Safer Future for the Children of Cameroon

For the 180 children and 10 staff members who constitute Bome Primary School in Bamenda in the North West Region of Cameroon, going to the bathroom safely and privately is a luxury. As they do not have access to safe and private toilets, for the past 5 years, they instead have had to rely on an old, open dilapidated tent next to their school.

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A Heart of Compassion: Donatella Gelli’s Wildlife Sanctuary Takes in Animals Abandoned Due to COVID-19

A Heart of Compassion: Donatella Gelli’s Wildlife Sanctuary Takes in Animals Abandoned Due to COVID-19

The force that moves me is compassion,” said Gelli, a TPP changemaker whose sanctuary—which, in part, rescues domestic animals who were abandoned because their owners feared they could carry the coronavirus–was awarded funding by TPP’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund. “I cannot see any living thing suffering. I cannot. I’m not able to pass by if I see someone or an animal suffering.

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Ponselvan Thanapal Battles India’s Caste-Based Discrimination in the Time of COVID-19

Ponselvan Thanapal Battles India’s Caste-Based Discrimination in the Time of COVID-19

She only had enough food left to feed her family for one week. This 35-year-old widowed woman, let’s call her Amara, and her family live in Dharavi, India. You may know Dharavi—it was the slum featured in the movie “Slumdog Millionaire.” This woman lost her husband due to alcoholism a few years back, and since then she has had full responsibility for the caregiving and support of her three children.

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From the Ashes: TPP Changemaker Jenny Lowrey Battles COVID-19 in Her California Community, Ravaged by Fire Just One Year Earlier

From the Ashes: TPP Changemaker Jenny Lowrey Battles COVID-19 in Her California Community, Ravaged by Fire Just One Year Earlier

But then, once again, the unthinkable happened—a pandemic swept through the nation, with California being one of the hardest hit states. All of a sudden, Lowrey was thrust again into emergency mode. “[Our family, friends, and neighbors] have survived the nightmare of the fire and had just gotten back to work. They were finally feeling hopeful again … and then COVID-19 happened. We are now hit with a second disaster before we have recovered from the first.”

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Seventeen & Saving Lives: Sam Suchin Combats COVID-19 with 3D Printings

Seventeen & Saving Lives: Sam Suchin Combats COVID-19 with 3D Printings

When the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world, Sam Suchin knew he had to do something. “In the past few weeks, people all over the world have started to brainstorm creative solutions to keep people safe during the outbreak,” says Suchin. “Hope3D has joined the movement.” Enter Project Shield: a project which aims to crowdsource 3D printed face shields for healthcare workers.

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Seventeen & Saving Lives: Sam Suchin Combats COVID-19 with 3D Printings

Seventeen & Saving Lives: Sam Suchin Combats COVID-19 with 3D Printings

When the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world, Sam Suchin knew he had to do something. “In the past few weeks, people all over the world have started to brainstorm creative solutions to keep people safe during the outbreak,” says Suchin. “Hope3D has joined the movement.” Enter Project Shield: a project which aims to crowdsource 3D printed face shields for healthcare workers.

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Changemaker Warren Campbell Responds Swiftly to COVID-19;  Offers Vital Funds to Those Under COVID-19 Treatment

Changemaker Warren Campbell Responds Swiftly to COVID-19; Offers Vital Funds to Those Under COVID-19 Treatment

As the founder of AFFORDABLE, a software-based nonprofit dedicated to reducing barriers to healthcare access, Warren Campbell, a TPP changemaker, realized COVID-19 could be a potential health hazard in the US as early as February. Then, something unexpected happened that hit close to home: the grandparents of one of his developers were on the Queen Diamond cruise ship when COVID-19 was identified.

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