future submited futures

by Net Aid
United Nations Development Program
Each year the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) celebrates the outstanding work of men and women who are successfully fighting poverty in their communities. The six special people receiving UNDPs 1999 Race Against Poverty Award on 8 September have made unique contributions to better the lives of those around them; each has an inspiring tale to tell.
Confronting the plight of street children, Athanase Rwamo (Burundi), earned his title of -Boss Mkubwa- from the hundreds of youngsters he saved from destitution. He is, indeed, the - great man who helps those whom others pass by. Initially, he used his own resources to create small havens. With outside help, he created organizations that provide street kids - many of them AIDS orphans - with shelter, homes with families, and vocational training.
Victor Estrada Quispe (Bolivia) was instrumental in organizing a cooperative that transformed the lives of 9,000 neighboring families in the village of Tecoya, Bolivia.Starting in 1983 with training, technical assistance and loans, the villagers terraced the mountains and grew crops that freed them from hunger, earned income and enabled them to build new homes.
Inspired by an 17th century ancestor who brought democracy to the oasis of Siwa in northwest Egypts desert, Abdallah Baghi (Egypt) took his university degree back to his native district to teach and urge others to use their traditions and talents to fight the poverty of their region. He established a center for marketing the distinctive pottery, basket crafts and embroidery of local women.
Along with thousands of other East Germans, economics professor Dietrich Fischer (Germany) found himself jobless shortly after reunification with the West in 1990. Rather than wait for a new university position, he used his expertise in economic change to help found Potsdams Network of the Unemployed. It has trained over 1000 counselors to provide support to jobless people.
Born in northern Thailand, high school teacher Mookda Intrasan dreamed of helping her native district shed its reputation for exporting prostitutes. In 1986, she and her like-minded husband began their work, taking children into their home, obtaining scholarships and helping villagers develop their own businesses. In 1994, Elmaz Appazova (Ukraine), armed with little more than her degree in dentistry, followed her father and some 260,000 other Tatars to their ancestral lands in Ukraine - Crimea, from which Stalin had deported them in 1944. She now dispenses low-cost dental care and optimism drawn from her own experience to fellow-returnees. In one of two multi-ethnic pilot centers assisted by UNDP, Elmaz and others are developing local planning councils,business centers, credit unions and womens forums.

Submitted at 1:09pm 12th Nov, 2000
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