Building an Innovative Maker Space in Post-Disaster Philippines

Typhoon Haiyan tore a path of destruction 100 miles wide through the Philippines last November, affecting 14 million people and displacing 5 million. Almost a year later, the people of the Philippines are still recovering from the massive disaster. Many homes were destroyed and while Filipinos have the motivation to rebuild again, they often lack the tools and resources to do so.

Safe Stoves for All: Cook Up Some Love this Valentines

Cooking Up Love 1

We in the western world take healthy cooking completely for granted. You turn the knob on your stove and magically gas or electricity heats the food before you. Many people in the world aren’t that lucky however: much of the worlds population still use indoor wood stoves of questionable design. They pump smoke into the surrounding air, use many more trees than necessary and eat up the income of people already living on the edge. Now, the organization Enlace is working to bring smart and simple eco-stove designs to the people of the world, beginning their life saving mission in El Salvador. They call the project Cooking Up Love.

From Rags to Riches: Empowering the Impoverished

1 Rags to Riches

In one of the poorest cities in the world, one bright young woman has pioneered a project that has empowered over 450 impoverished women. Reese Fernandez, a 27-year-old humanitarian woman figured out a way to take women who were used to living in a garbage dump into nice apartments for their entire families and salaries that are comprable to those of nurses. She started a company called Rags2Riches in the Philippines that makes handmade rugs out of the scraps from garment factories that would have been thrown away. Before Rags2Riches, middle men were exploiting the poor women of Manila, taking the scraps from the factories, then paying the women the equivalent of 2 cents per rug, and taking the rest of the profits. Fernandez cut out the middle men and brought the income back to the women who deserved it, so that they could feel pride from their work and care for their families.

A Birthday Celebration That Restores Faith in Humanity


It’s very rare to find something that brings tears to your eyes and makes you smile from ear to ear at the same time, but I found it in this heartwarming video. It has always made me feel so powerless to see a homeless person starving on the street and know that I don’t have the means to help them, but this video shows that it doesn’t cost much to make someone’s life brighter. Emilio Aparicio Rodriguez took it upon himself to make sure that a homeless woman named Andrea Chaparro and her dog did not go unnoticed.

Mountain Biking in Afghanistan, for Women


No, this is not a tour company that is taking women to one of the most inhospitable countries in regards to women’s rights. And, no, this is not yet another adrenaline junkie adventurer going to a very dangerous country in search of a few kicks. This is Shannon Galpin, the founder of Mountain 2 Mountain, an organization started in 2006 based on a simple and noble principle:

All women deserve the same rights and opportunities as her own daughter.

Shannon chose Afghanistan because of its terrible track record in women’s rights. Most would say that her choice of countries is either a lost cause or too dangerous to approach, but Shannon’s track record has proven to the contrary. In 2009, she was the first woman to ride a mountain bike in Afghanistan. In total she has traveled there 12 times; each time coming home not only happy and healthy, but also knowing that she is making a difference in a region that rarely gets any press beyond death tolls and security reports.

Driving UK to Mongolia: 10,000 miles in a Wheelchair!

The Mongol Rally is one of the most adventurous charity rallies in the world today. With over 200 teams taking vehicles ranging from Volkswagens to Volvos (the car must have less than a 1.2L engine), cars drive over 10,000 miles from the UK to Mongolia, passing through all sorts of terrain and weather. Now imagine doing it if the driving team had all sustained spinal cord injuries and now use a wheelchair instead of their legs! Let me introduce you to the Wheelie Wanderers!

How Hitchhiking is Helping Street Children in Uganda

Quitting your good job at Cambridge University to go hitchhiking to Uganda is foolish, right? Why give up such security, status and comfortable living? For Pawel Huk the answer was street children. His heart was moved by the reality that there are over 10,000 children who have to survive on their own in Uganda. So, he quit his job and decided to hitchhike to Uganda while raising money and awareness about the social issue throughout the journey. The support he raised was donated to the UK based organization Street Child Africa.

Watch out Cameron, Virgin’s Sub is right behind you.


A few weeks ago James Cameron made a record breaking submarine descent to the bottom of the Challenger Deep—the deepest point of the ocean here on planet earth.  His sub collected samples and filmed video, a first for any dive to those depths. Nipping at his heels is billionaire Richard Branson with his Virgin Oceanic project.  Since Cameron is quickly on his way to the billionaires club with recent revenues from Avatar and the re-release of Titanic, it seems only proper that Branson give Cameron a run for his money.

The Tutu Project: Fundraising for Breast Cancer

In 2003, Bob Carey decided he wanted to wear a Tutu. No, he wasn’t changing his gender identity. Bob wanted to wear a pink tutu because it was, to him, the most opposite thing he could be doing in his life. He decided to travel to various beautiful locations and take self-portraits of himself in these places. Throughout his photos he is pictured in American national parks like the Grand Canyon, in cities, open country and deserts.

Flooding the Amazon for Ineffecient Energy

The jaguar in position in the Xingu river at the site of the Belo Monte dam

With a world full of over 7 billion people, many governments have trended toward desperate fixes to keep up with the increased needs of their people. Unfortunately the worlds ever increasing appetite for energy often comes at the cost of nature. In Brazil, yet another large scale energy project has been launched, the Belo Monte dam. It is planned to be the world’s third largest in installed capacity.  However, it will only produce 39% of its maximum capacity, so the majority of its effect on the environment will not even produce energy.  David de Rothschild, the adventurer behind the well-known Plastiki project, has started a new organization named MYOO to address environmental irresponsibility just like this