Most people in their lifetime have had at least one hero that they’ve looked up to, whether it be a role model, family figure, or someone they strive to be like. But what honestly makes a hero? Are they defined by their courage, morals, and self-sacrifices? Can anyone become a hero?
I never actually gave this much thought until I heard about the remarkable stories of 14 individuals who take on a new breed of entrepreneurship. These 14 social entrepreneurs make up the “New Heroes,” a PBS four-hour series that explores the depths of courage, compassion, and leadership these individuals have undergone to transform change all over the world. They have successfully used their business skills to help alleviate poverty, illness, unemployment and other social problems. Through their innovative techniques and powerful compassion for their cause, these brave men and women have brought education, opportunity, and hope to impoverished areas across the globe. Each person has a different story, cause, and approach but together they have the determination to improve the lives of millions.
So, who are the heroes behind all of this magic? Let’s introduce the players and their impact:
Kailash Satyarthi has rescued thousands of enslaved children in India by mounting raids on factories. Although dangerous, he has successfully freed thousands of children and established the Global March Against Child Labor and the South Asian Coalition on Child Servitude.
Mimi Silbert formed the Delancey Street Foundation which has been named the most successful rehabilitation project in the United States.
Moses Zulu opened Children’s Town in Zambia that offers a home for orphaned children with AIDS and other diseases.
Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy and David Green worked together to form the Aravind Eye Hospital and Aurolab in many areas across the globe, performing surgical miracles for those in remote areas.
Nick Moon and Martin Fisher also worked together to develop new technologies in Africa that create jobs and wealth for many impoverished individuals.
Fabio Rosa has created two programs in Brazil that evoke community development through self-sustainable tactics.
In Peru, Albina Ruiz developed a solid waste management system that generates employment as well as cleaner communities.
Maria Teresa Leal founded Coopa-Roca, a sewing corporation that also provides employment opportunities for woman to work from home.
Muhammad Yunus founded the Grameen Bank, which loans money to millions of poor families in Bangladesh without any collateral.
Dina Abdel Wahab established the Baby Academy in Egypt basing its curriculum on a nurturing and educational atmosphere that aids in children’s development.
In India, Inderjit Khurana fought to end child poverty by creating a platform of education that allows them to grow, work productively, and gain opportunities in their community.
The final hero of the segment is Sompop Jantraka who put his life at risk to save young poor women who get sold into prostitution. By forming the Daughters Education Program, he was able to offer young girls alternatives through education and job training that essentially prevented them from being trafficked into that dangerous and illegal industry.
Each individual has had a impact on the part of the community that they have touched. They all had a vision for revolutionary change, and they put their lives on the line to stand up for a cause they believed in. Their courage, dedication, and compassion combined with their empowering solutions to end social problems makes them a true hero. They are your everyday people that went on a journey to create lasting impacts on our world. They are the New Heroes of today.
To learn more about these individuals, be sure to check out the website.