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    Terri Valle de Aquino grew up in Acre, the very poor and thinly populated state on the southwestern edge of Brazil's Amazon basin. He returned to work with the indigenous peoples there and is now setting out to help them and their traditional enemies, the rubber tappers, learn to collaborate and work together economically and politically. This collaboration is as important to the rainforest as it is to both peoples.

    André Fernando leads indigenous communities in Brazil to confront social problems by seeking solutions that incorporate tradition and culture. André encourages communities to unite and form associations, thereby maximizing their impact and giving groups of smaller communities one clear voice.

    Lula Ramires runs a comprehensive suite of programs that prepare public school teachers to confront Brazil’s worsening homophobia and build sustained respect for diversity among their students.

    Regina Pedroso has successfully developed and demonstrated an innovative, decentralized, locally funded, large scale program to educate and train poor children. Now she is setting out to share her approach with more than 4,000 municipalities throughout Brazil. She is also organizing an alliance of those concerned with children to champion their interests.

    Elcylene Leocadio, a young doctor from Recife in Brazil's Northeast, wants to ensure that poor women receive appropriate, integrated medical assistance and are able to make well-informed decisions on family planning.

    Edson Hiroshi Seo, 33, has already become a legend as the travelling champion of alternative agriculture across Brazil.

    Berna Yagci is creating women’s community centers in southeast Turkey where for the first time women may gather in a public space to learn and be trained to take leadership in improving their lives. She has established a concrete method of generating income through an official cooperative, Silk Road, where women produce handicrafts and artisan soaps.

    For Suely Carvalho, the solution to healthier and happier births, especially among the underprivileged, lies in using natural procedures with the help of well-trained midwives. Suely, a nursing midwife herself, plans to revitalize this dying profession by creating a strong network of these professionals and creating birth centers designed to provide appropriate services for women in labor.

    Through an interdisciplinary curriculum that raises appreciation of traditional art and folk festivals, Mahabub Zamal Shamim is enabling Bangladeshi children to develop their creativity and a stronger cultural identity.

    Convinced that balanced educational experiences will break down prejudices and improve race relations, Jeruse Romão has created an innovative program to get didactic materials on Afro-Brazilian themes into classrooms across southern Brazil.