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Global game changers

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We all know that creativity is an essential skill in any profession, but did you consider that it is also key to making the world a better place? We take a look at some amazing young people around the globe who dream big and make a huge difference to local communities at home and abroad.

Cassandra Lin, USA
When 11-year-old Cassandra realised that waste oil from restaurants could be used as biofuel, she came up with a strategy that was not only smart, but incredibly simple. Collect the oil, make clean biodiesel and use it to heat the homes of the disadvantaged. Now 17, her scheme has been adopted by 3 states, helped 400 families and offset 3 million pounds of CO2 emissions.

Winter Vincent, Australia
Winter champions the charity Waves4Water, a foundation that promotes and champions the quest for clean water in third world countries. With the help of donors, artists, sponsors and local businesses, Winter raised enough money to buy 50 water filtration systems, providing clean water for up to 5,000 people in Indonesia. He also launched the program #surftoschool that kids anywhere in the world can run to help raise funds.

Loizza Aquino, Canada
This young Canadian from Winnipeg has a history of championing good causes, including #kids4action. More recently, following two tragic teenage suicides in her area, she is working hard to wipe out the stigma of mental health issues, and to secure appropriate services for school goers.

Ellie Zika, USA
At the age of 9, Ellie Zika started the KidsKnits foundation, which buys yarn from struggling communities around the world and produces kits to teach children how to knit. So far the organisation has helped people in Rwanda, Mexico, Chile and Kenya to support themselves.

Richard Turere, Kenya
Know as ‘the boy who made peace with lions’ at the tender age of 13 Richard created a solution to protect the livelihoods of people in his Kenyan community as well as saving the lives of the lions that were preying on their livestock.

Azza Abdel Hamid Faiad, Egypt
With an eye on Egypt’s high plastic consumption, this 16-year-old from Alexandria, Egypt, developed a method for generating biofuel by breaking down plastics. She identified a low-cost catalyst for breaking down plastic waste, which creates products like methane, propane and ethane, which can be converted to ethanol.

Here are some great ideas of ways in which your child can volunteer over the holidays, or you can ask your young artist to draw a picture about an issue they really care about and upload it to the #kids4action gallery.

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