24 Dec / They Say Kids These Days Are Spoiled
Yash Gupta, age 17, has offered the gift of clear vision to almost 10,000 in need
It wasn’t until Yash Gupta broke his glasses in taekwondo practice that he realized just how much he relied on them. His prescription was so high that he had to wait a week to get a new pair. As a high school freshman, those seven days were a blur. Literally. Gupta’s eyes were also opened through this experience to a much larger problem. More than 12 million children worldwide don’t have the corrective eyewear they need. So at just 14, Gupta started Sight Learning, an organization that collects used eyeglasses from optometrists and donates them to organizations that can deliver them to children in need. Since 2011, Gupta has donated 9,500 pairs of glasses, worth nearly $500,000, to young people in Haiti, Honduras, India and Mexico. He says that being in the field is the best part of his work. “That dazed look the first time (children) get glasses, and just seeing that turn into joy and happiness … it’s just really inspiring,”
The world’s first self-regulating artificial heart has been implanted on the first person
Alain Carpentier thinks he has an answer to chronic shortages of organ donors. The French cardiac surgeon has worked with his company, Carmat, to invent the “world’s first fully artificial, self-regulating heart”. Carpentier’s creation was successfully transplanted into a 75-year-old man this week, and he is responding favorably. If you’re wondering why it deserves the label “first,” especially considering Robert Jarvik’s artificial heart was first implanted in 1982, Carpentier, explains that his is the first heart to self-regulate, mimicking an actual heart. “If your loved one came through the door [and you had a Carpentier artificial heart], it would start to beat faster, just like a real one.”
Standard artificial hearts and heart-assist devices are only meant to be used short term: harsh mechanical pumps shred and damage blood cells, and plastic surfaces promote blood clot formation. The Carmat heart was designed for up to five years of use, employing flexible, hydraulically-operated chambers that squeeze, rather than pump, the blood into the circulatory system, lined with natural bovine heart tissue to prevent clotting.
visions we love
A president “opposed to waste – of energy, resources, and time”
Jose Mujica is a humble man who favors a 1987 Volkswagen, lives in a one-bedroom farmhouse with his wife, owns a three-legged dog and enjoys donating about 90% of his hefty salary to local charities. Rather than live in the three-story palace that is rightfully his, he prefers it to be used as a homeless shelter. Oh, and he’s also the president of Uruguay, where the government establishes set pricing for essentials, such as certain foods, and also gives free education and computers to all children. Jose Mujica, dubbed the “world’s poorest president” for his significant contributions to the needy, considers himself anything but. “I’m not the poorest president. The poorest is the one who needs a lot to live,” he said. Mujica knows about hard times. He was once a member of a guerrilla “Robin Hood” group, known for its robberies and giving stolen food to the poor. He was shot a half dozen times and has spent almost 15 years behind bars. But since becoming the president of Uruguay in 2010, he’s won people over worldwide. These days, he’s applauded for highly sensible thoughts and actions in a world that tends to embrace just the opposite. In fact, he refers to Uruguay as “an island of refugees in a world of crazy people.” His low-key lifestyle, environmental efforts, same-sex marriage beliefs and charitable tendencies invigorate him and the people. Adding to his popularity is the fact that, under his leadership, cannabis has been legalized in Uruguay.
video of the week
How did this woman go from feeling worthless to empowered? She learned to read.
Chuna Devi – a mother of three in Nepal – once said that “being born as a girl is worthless.” But at the age of 47, she found self-worth and changed her life by finally learning to read at a READ Center, starting a women’s study group, and investing in her family’s education. Today, her goal is to empower other illiterate women in Nepal, and convince them that it’s never too late to learn to read.
You can empower a woman like Chuna this holiday season by visiting their site HERE.
Donations will be matched up to $50,000 until December 31!
Because who is perfect?
This video takes an interesting approach to inspiring acceptance of all people. The campaign has been devised for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities by Pro Infirmis, an organization for the disabled. Entitled “Because who is perfect? Get closer.”, it is designed to provoke reflection on the acceptance of people with disabilities. Director Alain Gsponer has captured the campaign as a short film.” This helps us to realize how warped the idea of beauty and perfection is and ultimately pushes us to appreciate every part of ourselves and other people as we are all exactly how we need to be! No matter who you see today, see them for who they are!