Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Contest For Change: World Challenge 08

It's amazing how some people can race to the moon and stars while others remain languishing in pitiful conditions. However there are initiatives that are improving the lives of many people in what would be considered as less than fortunate communities.

This is what World Challenge 08 is all about. Now running in its third year of competitions the challenge, which is spearheaded by BBC World News and Newsweek, with the help of Shell, seeks to highlight projects and small businesses that promote a sustainable positive impact at the grassroots level.

In 2006 a Sri Lankan papermaking firm won the award for its innovation of using elephant dung as raw material for paper and providing opportunities for community members to take part of the earnings. For 2007, the Peruvian T'ikapapa enterprise bagged the World Challenge top prize for helping the local potato growing communities in the Andes mountains reach a larger potato market.

This year there's a good mix of nominees from South Africa, Colombia, Nepal, Pakistan, Brazil, Paraguay, Kyrgyzstan, two from India and another two from Kenya. Their stories are just awe inspiring from promoting local grassroots livelihood projects to pursuing education for underprivileged communities.

Know more about the incredible and wonderful finalists for World Challenge 08 and be part in helping them continue their life changing initiatives by voting for your favourite project or enterprise. Online voting will end on November 21, 2008. Winners will be announced on December 20, 2008.

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