CNN honors 10 men and women for making the world a better place

Guardian and CNN share special ‘Spotlight honours’ for achievements under threat by Donald Trump in the last year CNN honors 10 men and women for making the world a better place The Guardian and…

CNN honors 10 men and women for making the world a better place

Guardian and CNN share special ‘Spotlight honours’ for achievements under threat by Donald Trump in the last year

CNN honors 10 men and women for making the world a better place

The Guardian and CNN have jointly honoured 10 people for helping to make the world a better place over the past year.

The Guardian and CNN have partnered on the Heroes from the spotlight campaign on both platforms since the Guardian’s annual 10,000 Stories series kicked off in 2016. In recognition of a one-year milestone, we celebrated the lives of those who strive to protect, heal and improve the human condition.

Below, we tell the stories of 10 people who have dedicated their lives to making the world a better place.

Donations via BBC Watch made by Jessica Siegel, Donovan Pack and Wendy Hofman | Awards speaker video

Jessica Siegel

“I’m interested in what drives people to give to and participate in charity causes. I look for stories that uncoil, that jolt the reader, to bring them together in awe and help them feel a sense of belonging. Most people feel isolated. In this experience I have met and made friends.”

She shared the screen with her mother, Arlene, as she won a $30,000 grant through the public funding programme, We Are Share, supporting the “Faith, Love and Freedom” project which aims to support African artists to share their stories of hope and survival from suffering in the margins of Africa.

Donovan Pack

“This year I became a father. It’s bittersweet, but incredibly exciting. I’m a player, but as a dad, it’s my duty. I’m not sure what my role is yet. It is my responsibility to raise my children with a love of music, and that’s what they love. They are only three, but it’s their favourite time of the year.”

He was also honoured at the 2015 BBC Heroes from the Spotlight programme for raising more than £150,000 to fund a school in Zambia, with the help of raising awareness through his charity.

Wendy Hofman

“You can never predict when or where you are going to be this year, but as a mum of a young girl I really want to be a light in my family. I really want her to get the best education.”

Her biography was an emotional testimony that told of “the amazing thing about moms, they always know where to place their tender skin” and how, her own parents fled Nazi Germany as a refugee and then lost everything when Nazi Germany annexed Poland, making her feel helpless to help her.

She spoke of meeting little Ellie, who had lost both of her parents to poverty, and how her mother and her “magic teacher” embraced the girl as a daughter while protecting her from harm.

They formed a bond of support that will last a lifetime.

The Guardian and CNN share special “Spotlight honours” for achievements under threat by Donald Trump in the last year

Emily Sills

“I am hoping that if the world doesn’t see more intentional support like I have seen myself, the fate of the planet is in trouble. I know I would be happier if I knew more people were like me, trying to make the world a better place.”

At age 29, she was awarded $60,000 to fund the Initiative to End Barrier Communities, which focuses on reducing the barriers separating communities in Indonesia and Australia.

Alexis Durham

“What keeps me going is that, as a mother myself, you don’t know how much longer you have. I don’t want that to be the case for my children.”

She is the founder of 3R – Rescue With Purpose, an organisation that saves lives and fulfils children’s dreams.

Staff writer Simon Rogers

“I’m doing what I love – fact checking the papers – and in doing that I make other people happy. I’m not the kind of person to set out to upset people, but when someone tells me they are feeling proud that their correspondent got the news right, I am pleased that I have been able to make an impact.”

He has been part of much-lauded award-winning investigation, The Dismantling of Rock’n’Roll, a collaboration with the Guardian’s Paris-based partners the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

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