Sunday, Dec 28, 2014Sunday, Dec 28, 2014

TheBigStory

 
Day after day, we are confronted with the world's troubles as reported in the media. These constant reminders can make us anxious, afraid or, even worse, anaesthetised.
It took an accidental meeting in Switzerland of three brilliant minds - a Jordanian orthopaedic technician, a scholar from Brazil, and a Swiss - to give birth to a start-up producing quality prosthetic legs at a low cost.
One day last year in the British countryside, well-dressed men riding expensive horses were engaging in a familiar sport when they heard a strange buzzing noise.
Mr Daniel Elber was never a typical banker. Although responsible for over 1,200 employees at a major bank in Zurich, he repeatedly took time out - to trek in the Andes, explore Borneo and cross Tibet. But it still came as a surprise to his friends when the 50-year-old decided to start a new life in Bali 10 years ago.
Every Sunday, United World College, an international school for expatriate children in Singapore, opens its doors to a different type of foreign student: domestic workers who are on a quest to change their lives.
As the sun sets over the zinc-roofed huts of the ramshackle seaside village of Pasir Panjang in Indonesia's Riau island, Imelda Sapitri, 11, darts barefoot between trees into her aunt's home excitedly.
As a successful architect, Mr Prasoon Kumar has designed more than 10,000 homes around the world over 10 years, from India and Hong Kong to the Philippines and the United States.
When we imagine children walking to school, we might picture them holding a lunch box. We certainly do not think about them toting a container of contaminated water.
A French start-up and some industrial design students have found a way to recycle old computers into "new" ones using plastic jerrycans.
A group of Italian IT managers has been developing projects around the world to overcome the "digital divide".
Trying to park a car in a big city can be a nightmare, and Paris, the City of Light, is no exception.
Mr Mustapha Lakhdari is a civil engineer who is very passionate about the development of software and electronic systems.
In Lebanon, burning tyres has become part of a local culture; it is done to express anger or as part of protests, or just to get rid of the high volumes of used tyres. But this is a crime against the environment, because of all the carbon dioxide emissions.
Many people thought Ms Lorna Rutto was out of her mind when she quit her well-paying bank job in 2009 to pursue her teenage hobby - moulding plastic into ornaments and selling them to friends.

Sharing your stories

Of the many suggestions you have sent in on what people and organisations in Singapore have been doing, three were shortlisted and selected to be featured: A feature on Billion Bricks, one man's bid to build homes for homeless people; Mothers Of Light, an effort to bring solar-powered light to villagers in Indonesia; and Aidha, an initiative to help Singapore's dometsic workers start their own businesses back home.

We sent our journalists to find these stories, and they are now being featured in 40 newspapers around the world, from Lebanon and France to Japan and India. The hope is that these stories will inspire and encourage others to follow in their footsteps, in replicating the ideas and efforts, or coming out with their own, to make their own Impact.

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