6 People Who Make a Difference

YouTube / Gates Foundation
YouTube / Gates Foundation / YouTube / Gates Foundation

Not everyone's job is glamorous. But even toilet cleaners make a tremendous difference in their communities—keeping a public toilet clean can mean the difference between life and death. Here are six people who take pride in their work helping others.

1. Hanna Konadu - Child Vaccinator

In Ghana, Hanna Konadu provides community health services to mothers and children. Last year she vaccinated 10,000 children (!). Because of workers like Konadu, Ghana has improved its immunization coverage rate to more than 90 percent, protecting kids against measles, pneumonia, polio, and other diseases.

2. Jean Pierre Kandety - Contraceptive Delivery Man

In Dakar, Senegal, Jean Pierre Kandety delivers contraceptive supplies to clinics throughout the city. This is crucial, because just 13% of women aged 15-49 are using protection, and Senegal is in the world's top 50 countries when it comes to under-5 child mortality. Here's how he thinks about his job:

3. Rose George - Journalist

Based in the UK, Rose George reports on issues we don't often think about. In 2013, she gave a TED Talk discussing her work covering sanitation and the diarrhea crisis—a phrase that might make some giggle, but not when you realize how deadly diarrhea can be: it's the second-biggest killer of children worldwide.

In a world where an estimated 2.5 billion people don't have a safe place to relieve themselves, George highlights a crucial issue. Have a look:

George also wrote the book The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters.

4. Dr. Mathew Varghese - Orthopedic Surgeon

In Delhi, India, Dr. Mathew Varghese runs India's last polio ward. Just five years ago, India accounted for about half of the world's wild polio cases. Today, India has been certified as polio-free. In this short video, Varghese shows us what polio looks like for those who already contracted the disease.

5. Swapnil Chaturvedi - Toilet Cleaner

In Pune, India, Swapnil Chaturvedi cleans toilets, providing "awesome sanitation services for the urban poor." He is on the ground addressing sanitation issues—and he does it because of his daughter. Have a look at his inspiring story:

For more on PoopGuy, see our profile from last month.

6. Moushumi - Parent Educator

In India, a woman named Moushumi works to help parents use everyday tools to make childbirth safer. She travels from village to village, working with PATH Sure Start to help mothers and fathers care for their children before, during, and after birth. Here's how she thinks about her work—and her own child: