This charity's approach to tackling poverty is game-changing.
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TOMS One for One

An organization called The Magic Bus is turning the fight against poverty on its head — by using games.

While living and working in Mumbai, India, Magic Bus founder Matthew Spacie realized that simply providing jobs to young people in poverty isn't enough. Without the social and mental tools necessary for employment, these young people are often unable to keep jobs once they get them.

How does Magic Bus aim to teach children these important skills? Games!


The Magic Bus uses sports and other physical activities to mentor children in impoverished communities. Each of the 40 sessions per year teaches children about education, gender, health, and key issues affecting them.

Sports are easily translated into real life lessons:


GIFs via Magic Bus USA/YouTube.

And they don't only play sports.

After a game is over, mentors talk to the kids and teens about how real-life is like the game. They might discuss obstacles that kids face in getting to school and come up with ideas on how to help those kids make it.

Not only that, but many mentors come from the communities themselves, meaning kids can have role models who share their life experiences.

According to Magic Bus, "Nearly all the youth end up pursuing higher studies and/or enrolling in our employability program."

In India, it is estimated that 423 million people will be unemployed in the next 15 years.

That's a lot.

But even if they find a job, about 60% of the young people looking for work in India didn't have the skills to actually do the jobs they applied for.

These are skills like work ethic, confidence, and emotional intelligence. When children live below the poverty line, they often miss out on these skills. While most charities focus on job placement alone, Magic Bus addresses problems that help young people not only acquire jobs, but keep them.

Magic Bus' success is staggering.

The organization reported programs in 3,500 communities in 2013, teaching approximately 200,000 children and teens every week. The charity is set to reach an incredible 4,500,000 children in 22 states in India this year.

Wouldn't it be cool to get involved with a program like this? The Magic Bus is spreading its program to other countries too, including the U.S. and the U.K. You can check out their volunteering page for info about volunteering in a number of countries.

Don't just take it from me. Listen to some awesome young ladies share their success

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

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Photo courtesy of John Scully

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

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John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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