After working on the streets of Cambodia with girls who’d been trafficked, exploited, raped and beaten, Australian woman Julie Dowse felt her heart breaking. Desperate to help the innocent people before her, she set her sights on preventing their exploitation in the first place by focusing on the one thing she knew could make a difference – education. Through her charity AusCam Freedom Project, Julie has helped educate hundreds of Cambodian girls and given them new hope for a life off the streets – a life of purpose, happiness and meaning.
A new Western Australian charity is transforming the lives of autistic children by introducing them to the magic of surfing. Parents cannot believe the change in their autistic children, as surfing with Ocean Heroes transforms their kids from shy, depressed and anxious to carefree, confident and happy.
What began as an impulsive bid to see if Andrew Costello could help one poverty-stricken Cambodian family has morphed into a charity that is changing the lives of hundreds of rural Cambodians. Cows for Cambodia breaks the poverty cycle by donating the one thing that can make a massive difference to rural Cambodian’s long-term prosperity – cows.
When a young Aussie girl visited Africa two decades ago with dreams of helping the less fortunate, even she would never have guessed at the way her life would unfold. Yet Gemma Sisia went on to found The School of St Jude, which has put two thousand kids through school and boarding, funded students’ university education, and sparked promising futures for young adults who were born into poverty-stricken rural homes or garbage-ridden urban slums.
When Nick Maisey realised the pain of disconnection and loneliness that scars so many people in our modern society, he created a social network that would welcome people from all walks of life to experience the joy of friendship. That network, Befriend, has now transformed the lives of thousands of diverse people united by one simple craving – to truly connect with a fellow human being.
Shocked at the shame homeless women suffered at being unable to access pads and tampons during their monthly period, Queensland woman Rochelle Courtenay launched Share the Dignity to provide sanitary items to those in need. Along the way she learned of the link between homelessness and domestic violence and so turned Share the Dignity’s attention to also helping families grappling with violent homes. This once every-day mum is now embroiled in some of the country’s most traumatic domestic violence cases, but is driven by seeing the difference that restored dignity makes to people’s lives.
Perth man Peter Sharp of Liberators International has become an internet sensation with footage of his public acts of ‘social art’. He has sparked impromptu dance parties, train dance fests, free hug offers and public meditations as part of his quest to encourage people to embrace fear and experience the joy of connection. These acts are about much more than gaining Facebook likes – Pete hopes they are encouraging viewers to trust, to love, to remember their shared humanity.
Moira Kelly has saved the lives of hundreds of children and transformed the lives of thousands more through her work in some of the world’s darkest corners. In areas from which most people flee, Moira has offered hope and love to the kids most people have forgotten – from HIV AIDS infected babies, to disfigured children, to kids suffering life-threatening injuries from war.
Scott Dinsmore set the world on fire for thousands of people across the globe by encouraging them to forgo mediocrity to live a life they love, through the online platform Live Your Legend. While living his own version of a dream life with his vivacious wife Chelsea, Scott was killed in a climbing accident, aged 33. Chelsea fought through her grief to step up and inspire thousands in her own way. This is their story of dreaming, forging, and living a life of legend.
American man Conor Grennan became an unwitting saviour to hundreds of trafficked kids in Nepal after what began as a bid to impress his friends morphed into a life-long bid to reunite parents with their stolen children.
Australian woman Geraldine Cox has rescued Cambodian children from jungle war zones, stared down the face of AK47s to protect kids without parents and remained in a city in the throes of a military coup to stand up for the thousands of kids she’s come not only to protect, but to love through her work at Sunrise Cambodia.
While living a glittery life amid the world’s sailing elite, New Zealander Emma Outteridge took time out to volunteer at a school for orphans in Uganda and found herself smitten by the children. She has gone on to find her life purpose by connecting the children she’d come to love, with sponsors from the sailing world who can fund the children’s high school education and give them a real chance at breaking the poverty cycle.