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Sunday, September 16, 2018

Inspiring Videos of Service to Humanity

last updated October 30, 2020

posted by Catharine Hannay

This video playlist focuses on individuals who are helping alleviate severe problems in the world, in some cases risking their lives to do so. 

As always, please watch the full video before sharing it with your class, and use your own best judgment about what's appropriate for your particular context. (I'd consider most of these appropriate for adults or mature teens. If you teach younger kids, you may prefer the playlist of Inspiring Videos of Young People Serving the World.) 

When he was growing up, Oscar Eponimo's family struggled with food insecurity. Now he helps other impoverished families through his Chowberry app, which connects NGOs with supermarkets that have excess food nearing the expiration date.  

In a remote Arctic village facing a youth suicide crisis, Maggie MacDonnell teaches her students resilience and self-belief through projects that contribute to the community in meaningful ways.

Gabriel Antonio Mejía Montoya, Father Gabriel, helps street children, child soldiers and children sentenced to prison.

Andria Zafirakou uses art and textile design to help students with limited English skills realize their potential; she also keeps an eye on them after school to help protect them from gangs.

Valeriu Nicolae provides an education for the very poorest and most vulnerable children in Romania.

Iqbal Masih escaped from bonded labor and dedicated his life to saving other 'carpet kids.'

From Debt Slave to Child Rights Fighter: a brief animated film telling the real-life story of Kewal, another debt slave.

Murhabazi Namegabe and his organization BVES have freed thousands of child soldiers and girls who have been sexually assaulted by armed groups, and have taken care of more than 4,000 unaccompanied refugee children.

Cecilia Flores-Oebanda of Visayan Forum has rescued tens of thousands of girls from slave labour and trafficking.

[video no longer available; 
there are many other videos about Malala on youtube]

A tribute to Malala Yousafzai from a couple of her school friends (who were also shot) and other girls who faced violence just for trying to get an education.

Indira Ranamagar and Prisoners Assistance Nepal have rescued over a thousand children from cramped, dirty prisons.

Father Greg Boyle started Homeboy Industries to help former gang members in the poorest parish in Los Angeles. This video gives background on the organization and a project by artist Nancy Baker Cahill to help the former gang members express themselves and share their experiences through an exhibit of their artwork.

Former gang leaders unite to end violence in Cape Town.

Narayanan Krishnan gave up a career as a chef to provide "physical and mental nutrition" to starving members of his community.

The 'Threshold Choir' brings songs of comfort to the dying.

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

As always, if using these types of questions in a class or group, please be respectful about participants' comfort level and don't push them to share personal experiences if they prefer not to do so.
  • Which of these people did you find most inspiring? Why?
  • Which of the videos shows a community that is the most like yours? Which community is the least like yours?
  • What types of sacrifices have these individuals made? Would you be willing to make a similar type of sacrifice to serve your community? Why or why not?
  • What could you do (or do you already do) to make a difference in your community?


related video playlists: 

Creative Ways to Make a Difference

Inspiring Videos of Young People Serving the World

Thought-Provoking Videos About Empathy, Compassion, and Service

Videos about Kindness, Compassion, and Service, part 1

Videos about Kindness, Compassion, and Service, part 2

other related posts:

An Interfaith Perspective on Compassion and Service

Tales of Generosity: Lessons on Gratitude and Compassion