Sunday, January 29, 2017

Creative Ways to Make a Difference: Videos for Reflection and Discussion



Stuart Miles for FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Are you looking for some positive content to share with your class or your family?  Or perhaps you're feeling overwhelmed by all the problems in the world and wondering what you can do to help?  This video playlist shows people with unique abilities and inclinations supporting the community in creative and unusual ways.

Scroll to the end of the post for questions that can be used for discussion or individual contemplation, as well as for links to more posts about serving the world.






Artists with a Vision




Dutch artists Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn help local communities transform their neighborhoods into works of art.  It all starts with a barbecue.

More information at www.favelapainting.com/about/






Graphic designers in Mumbai reupholster taxis and rickshaws with messages that promote social change.




Nicholas Vreeland gave up a privileged life and promising career as a photographer to become a Buddhist monk.  Later, his photography helped build a monastery.

More information at nicholasvreeland.com/about/



Bringing a Smile to Those Who Need It Most




Clowns Without Borders offer humor as a means of psychological support to communities that have suffered trauma.






Magicians Without Borders perform magic shows for children in refugee camps, orphanages and hospitals around the world.

More information at www.magicianswithoutborders.com/ 



Doctors Who Dance






In his free time, anesthesiologist Adnan Khera is a busker (street performer) for charity.

More information at www.doctorbedancing.com/who-am-i/.  You can see him performing with 'Finance Be Dancing' at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rb2qioVKfrw









The annual "Dance Your PhD" competition sponsored by Science magazine uses dance as an entertaining way to make research more accessible to non-specialists.  2015 winner Florence Metz of Switzerland shows how people with different agendas can work together to achieve effective water protection policies.

More information at http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/11/announcing-2015-dance-your-phd-winner



Hiring the "Unemployable" to Produce Gourmet Food






Greyston Bakery has a unique Open Hiring policy for anyone who needs a second chance.







Epleslang is a Norwegian nonprofit that hires people with disabilities to turn unwanted apples into award-winning apple juice.

More information at epleslang.com/#/english






The Snowday food truck hires formerly incarcerated youth to make its signature maple grilled cheese sandwiches.

More information at http://snowdayfoodtruck.com/



Musicians Promoting Harmony







Colby and Awu met in Cameroon  while volunteering for an organization
 "that educates and empowers young changemakers to help build a more peaceful and sustainable environment."


More information in anews clip about Colby and Awu, and at www.colbyandawu.com/bio/






Nimo (Nimesh Patel) was an MTV rap star who had a change of heart and gave up a lucrative music career to work at the Gandhi Ashram in India.  He now produces videos with positive messages through Empty Hands Music.

More information at www.emptyhandsmusic.org/about/






Playing for Change gathers musicians from around the world to promote understanding and raise money to build music and art schools.

More information at: 
playingforchange.com/about/







Poetic Pilgrimage is a hip-hop duo from the U.K. that's become "an unexpected bridge between the global hip-hop community and Islam​."




Unusual Environmentalists





Cyril the Sorcerer uses a magic show to teach children the power of recycling and saving energy.

More information at cyrilmay.wordpress.com/about/





Disabled tree planters Jia Haixia and Jia Wenqi work together to reforest their village in China.




Lanni Lantto 'upcycles' clothing by turning thrift store finds into fashionable new clothes.

More information at lannilantto.com.






Repeat Roses picks up big floral arrangements after events, turns them into small bouquets for people facing challenges, then composts the twice-enjoyed flowers to keep them out of the landfill.

More information at www.repeatroses.com






Is being 'knee-deep in poop' the best job in the world?  SOIL Haiti provides employment and dignified sanitation services while producing organic compost.

More information at www.oursoil.org/what-we-do/




Questions for Reflection and Discussion

  • Which of the people in these videos do you identify with the most?  Why?
  • Which of these people would you most like to emulate?  Why?
  • Did any of these videos change your perspective?  How?
  • Would you be willing to move to another country and/or make a significant lifestyle change in order to make a difference in the world?  Or would you prefer to work in the community where you grew up?
  • Do you have any special skills or interests that you could use (or already use) to help others?



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Videos about Compassion, Kindness, and Service



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