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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Pinoy In CNN Heroes

CNN has started its campaign of CNN Heroes that features selfless ordinary folks doing big things for society. Early in the running is one of our own, Efren Penaflorida. His story is very inspiring, and somehow it made me feel how little our lives seem when we don't do something important for others.

Pushcart classes help break gang chain

CAVITE CITY, Philippines (CNN) -- At 16, Rhandolf Fajardo reflects on his former life as a gang member.
Efren PeƱaflorida's Dynamic Teen Company offers Filipino youth an alternative to gangs through education.

"My gang mates were the most influential thing in my life," says Fajardo, who joined a gang when he was in sixth grade. "We were pressured to join."

He's not alone. In the Philippines, teenage membership in urban gangs has surged to an estimated 130,000 in the past 10 years, according to the Preda Foundation, a local human rights charity.

"I thought I'd get stuck in that situation and that my life would never improve," recalls Fajardo. "I would probably be in jail right now, most likely a drug addict -- if I hadn't met Efren."

When the voting starts, please vote if you think his personal crusade deserves merit.

Just when most of us are at our desks, complaining about everyday life and bad politics, some people are actually in the streets doing something to make society better.

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