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10 Remarkable Efforts of Ordinary People to Make the World Better

6. William Kamkwamba, after being forced to leave school at the age of 14 out of poverty, taught himself how to make windmills. With the help of library books and junk from the local scrapyard, he was able to build windmills which have transformed his village by providing electricity.

William Kamkwamba
Image credits: Erik (HASH) Hersman/Flickr

During Malawi’s deadliest famines in 50 years, 14-year-old William Kamkwamba was forced to leave school after his parents were unable to pay an annual tuition fee of $80. It was the year 2002, and Kamkwamba spent most of his time in the local library where he came across a book called “Using Energy.” He jotted down a plan and started working on a windmill to help power his home. Despite being called crazy by everyone around him, Kamkwamba continued with his efforts to build something that he thought could make a significant difference.


At the age of 14, he successfully completed his first project, and within a few years, he had built five windmills which helped power his village. Kamkwamba was awarded a scholarship to Dartmouth College in the United States where he completed his studies and graduated in the year 2014. (source)

7. Jono Lancaster was born with Treacher-Collins syndrome. He spends his time meeting children with the same disorder in hopes of inspiring these kids to live their lives to the fullest.

Jono Lancaster
Image credits: Jono Lancaster/Facebook

Jono Lancaster was born with Treacher-Collins syndrome, a genetic disorder in which the child is born with underdeveloped facial bones. Within 36 hours of his birth, his parents gave him up for adoption. The condition made it difficult for him to accept himself and face the society.

In the UK alone, one in every 10,000 babies is born with this disorder. While the condition does not halt the growth of an individual in most cases, sufferers often have problems with breathing, eating, and hearing. It also, of course, has drastic effects on an individual’s confidence levels.

Having battled his way to confidence, the 34-year-old, with the help of his friends, has started an organization called: Love Me, Love My Face Foundation” spreading awareness and helping individuals cope with Treacher-Collins syndrome. (source)

8. Dr. Mohammod Jobayer Chisti has come up with a “low-cost device” to save lives of babies suffering from pneumonia after twenty years of research. The device has managed to cut the infant mortality rate by 75%.

After seeing three children lose their lives to pneumonia in front of his eyes, Dr. Chisti promised himself to do something about it. During the time of his employment in Melbourne, Australia, he came across a machine which used continuous, positive, airway pressure to prevent the lungs from collapsing and helping the body absorb more oxygen. He was inspired by it, and when he returned to Bangladesh, he started working on a cheaper and simpler alternative using shampoo bottles. Eventually, he was able to build a device which would cost around $1.25 and was much more efficient. (source)

9. Marine Biologist Dave Vaughn has found a way to restore the depleting coral reefs. His method allows them to grow more than 25-times faster than normal.

Coral reefs are in perilous danger. Global warming, increased pollution, acidification of water, and over-fishing have severely damaged the underwater life. Almost 30% of coral reefs have been destroyed in the past few decades. Considering the current climate conditions and harmful human activities, scientists believe that 75% of the ones left will be gone by 2050.


Dr. David Vaughn, a marine biologist from Florida, has been actively working to combat this crisis in the world’s coral reefs. He accidentally developed a method called “micro-fragmenting” about a decade ago while he was transferring colonies of Elkhorn coral between aquariums in his lab. He broke a few corals while transferring them and left a couple of polyps behind. A week later, he observed that the polyps had multiplied. Since then, Vaughn and his team at Mote Tropical Research Laboratory have been continuously working on restoring coral reefs using this method. The method has been really successful, and the team is aiming to restore 100,000 coral reefs by the of this year. (source)

10. A teenager wrote over 40 heartfelt notes and attached them to the railings of England’s Wearmouth Bridge to offer solace to people facing a mental health crisis.

Paige Hunter
Image credits: Northumbria Police/BBC

Paige Hunter, an 18-year-old teenager from Sunderland, has helped save around six lives. She has suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and even tried to take her own life at the Wearmouth Bridge.  Inspired by a Facebook post and having gone through something similar in the past, Paige decided to take a step forward and offer solace to people facing a crisis. She began writing uplifting notes and tying them to the railings of the bridge. Her efforts have been encouraged by the Northumbria’s police force, and she was awarded a commendation certificate.

The East Durham College student is studying health and social care and aims to work with mental health in the future. She has also started a mental health charity called “Mind” which offers support to individuals suffering from depression and other mental health issues. (source)


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