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Three people I know and admire are getting the recognition they deserve this week and I want to take a moment to celebrate their achievements on how-matters.org.

1) Mulugeta Gebru, founder of Jerusalem Children and Community Development Organization (JeCCDO), is a man I know to be of undying vision and perseverance. He is nominated for The Guardian International Development Achievement Award.

Grassroots-based organizations are part of the social fabric of the community in which children live and grow. When violence breaks out, a flood hits, or a case of abuse is discovered, committed people at the community level are the ones who snap into action to make sure kids are safe and cared for, demonstrating a resourcefulness that stems from their “staying power” at the local level. And this is why Mulugeta closed down the JeCCDO's orphanages that were operating across Ethiopia in favor of community-based care in 1996.

Mulugeta has made me a standing offer to come work for his organization and focus on monitoring systems that work for real people. It is always in the back of my head... In the meantime, I voted for him herePlease do the same.

2) Tori Hogan's new book, "Beyond Good Intentions: A Journey into the Realities of Internation...," will be released on October 1st. (But those who order on Amazon can get it now. Mine ships today or tomorrow!)

Tori gave me the honor of reading an earlier manuscript. Her personal exploration of the issues that govern aid, delivered through masterful storytelling, will blow your socks off, whether you are a seasoned aid worker or a housewife from Iowa.

I cannot say enough here. Just. Read. This. Book.

Tori will be on her book tour in October. And if you haven't yet watched her film series by the same name, check it out.

3) Sasha Fischer, founder of Spark MicroGrants, is nominated for Glamour Magazine's Women of the Year: Readers' Choice Award 2012. Sasha is included among some remarkable young women, but when compared to the other international endeavors in the list, you'll see why she stands out.

The impact and potential of alternative funding mechanisms like Spark Microgrants, which directly support community leaders, highlight the way forward for the international aid and philanthropic sectors. People, under the direst of circumstances, can and do pull together.

My hope is that soon enough, we will have finally recognized this. People like Sasha and groups like Spark MicroGrants are leading the way.

Thank you Mulugeta, Tori, and Sasha for the work that you do and most importantly, for who you are.

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Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on September 14, 2012 at 11:19pm

Thanks for this post Jennifer. You are a great connector.

I read about all mentioned- Mulugeta, Tori and Sasha. Fantastic work. Constellation now following Sasha and Spark microgrants on twitter. Could not find twitter account/facebook/newsletter for others.

Please convey my appreciation. Wouldn't it be wonderful if they could join us for the global Learning Festival! Its not about numbers but about like-minded people coming together to strengthen community-driven approaches. http://www.globallearningfestival.org/#!home/mainPage


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