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Zackie Achmat is spearheading a grassroots social initiative to provide affordable AIDS medicines to the public in a way that will not only staunch the epidemic's growth but also transform the public health system and enable communities to counter the host of other social challenges they are facing.
For the past several years, Fatima Shoriwa, the first Zimbabwean woman to work as a trained carpenter and welder, has operated a successful business where she has trained several other women who continued to work with her. Drawing on that experience, she is now establishing a training center for women and an associated production facility with the ambitious aim of transforming traditional attitudes toward women and giving the women themselves new skills and opportunities.
Virginia Mupanduki is building up a broad national organization consisting exclusively of previously illiterate women and using the power of that organization to eradicate illiteracy, teach skills development, and create a political voice for them.
With a focus on youth in Zimbabwe and elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa, Verengai Mabika is developing an array of innovative educational, advocacy, and experience enhancing initiatives to expand awareness and understanding of the challenges posed by global climate change and to facilitate the development of effective strategies for enabling adversely affected communities to contend with those challenges.
Inspired by the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, Esinet founded the Zimbabwe Women Finance Trust, the first micro-credit institution in Zimbabwe to use group lending. As a result of her work, Esinet has played a leading role in a host of international endeavors addressing women's issues.
In the nation’s largest city, the least powerful people and communities are coming together, taking charge of their destinies, and creating a democratic society truly “with justice for all.” Across America, similar communities in the shadows of society are taking note.
Samanta Bhadra Barua has developed a community based integrated adult literacy program in Bangladesh that combines income generation with education. Swanirvar Bangladesh (literally "self-reliant Bangladesh") plans to establish more than 10,000 adult literacy centers in the country.
Linzi Smith, a former nurse, convinces factories to incorporate HIV/AIDS education into their worker training programs and employment policies. By identifying natural leaders among the workers and turning them into trainers and role models, she ensures both the long-term effectiveness and the dissemination of her HIV/AIDS education model.
Christine is providing migrant and residential farm workers in rural areas in South Africa with a set of on-site integrated health solutions, especially related to HIV/AIDS, by employing a peer-to-peer caregiving structure that reinforces behavior change towards a positive lifestyle. This is done in parallel to the building of a working environment that is conducive to the acceptance of their health condition both by their peers and their employers.
Anu Wakhlu is helping middle-aged Indian housewives to identify the individual skills and strengths from which they can choose appropriate careers and help break down the prejudice and structural impediments to their employment. Her programs also help young people better identify educational paths and career goals and subsequently break through the barriers to their employment as well.