Visionaries - Changing the World One Story at a Time

Season 06

Christian Solidarity International

Slave Trader in SudanCSI is working in the Sudan to end the renaissance of slavery there. UNICEF says it believes thousands of Sudanese are being kept as slaves--most of them women and children. Slavery is a devastating result of the country's civil war. Christian Solidarity International returns redeemed slaves to their families, brings in medical supplies to areas that have been raided, strengthens local peace agreements by bringing the two sides together, and engages in advocacy outside the country. Show 601.

Student Conservation Association

Student LeaderFrom the dense forests of the Pacific Northwest to the urban jungle of Washington, DC this episode of The Visionaries, featuring The Student Conservation Association (SCA), will give you hope for the future of our planet. The Charlestown, New Hampshire-based organization was founded by Liz Titus Putnam in 1954 in an attempt to help preserve one of America's most precious natural resources: our national parks. The Visionaries explores the history of this innovative organization, and documents the work they are doing around the country.
The show begins as The Visionaries joins a dynamic group of young adults on a trip to the North Cascade mountains of Washington State. We watch from the moment these eight teens take their first, tenuous steps into the back country, until they finally emerge from the wilderness five weeks later. Along the way they battle blisters, sore muscles and the frustration of first failures. But they also experience the exhilaration of taking part in something that will last for generations to come. We also travel to Washington, DC where the SCA's Conservation Career Development Program (CCDP) reaches out to young men and women of color from America's largest cities. Recognizing a lack of minority professionals in conservation work, the SCA has made a commitment to train young people for a role in the future preservation of the planet.
By building a sense of responsibility and respect for the Earth, we watch as the Student Conservation Association makes incredible changes in the young people of our country and the planet we live on. Show 602.

Yemin Orde

Chaim Peri on Mt. CarmelYemin Orde, a school, located on Mt. Carmel outside of Haifa, takes in students from all over the world whose lives have been forever changed by war, poverty, and tragedy. Visionary educator Chaim Peri creates a true sense of family, acting as a father figure for the more than 500 students who live in the Yemin Orde Village. Show 603.

Save the Tiger

Endangered TigerTigers have never been in greater danger of becoming extinct. Unless extraordinary conservation measures are taken, their continued existence in the wild is in serious jeopardy. Save The Tigers Fund is a unique collaboration of wildlife conservation groups, private corporations, government sectors, and the public dedicated to saving the tigers from extinction. This episode explores how this diverse group came together to strengthen their cause and help create a solution to the tigers plight. Show 604.

Management Sciences for Health

Woman and child in BangladeshMSH is involved in exciting work around the world to bridge the gap between what is known about health problems and what is done to solve them. In Bangladesh, MSH worked with the Local Initiatives Program to help address the population crisis. In South Africa, The Equity Project is working to provide an integrated package of health services to the whole population in an effort to overcome the legacy of apartheid. Show 605.

Tissue Banks International

Checking a child's visionInside a small, brownstone building in downtown Baltimore, Maryland a medical revolution is happening. It is changing the way people around the world live their lives, and is giving hope to millions of people who are living in despair. Dedicated professionals are working around the clock to restore the sight of the corneally blind. This is the headquarters of Tissue Banks International TBI. Formed in 1964, as the Medical Eye Bank of Maryland, TBI has revolutionized eye banking, and is now the largest provider of corneal tissue on the planet.

In this edition of The Visionaries, we witness the life-altering work of TBI, as they give the gift of sight to thousands of people around the world. The Visionaries travels to the Philippines, where we follow the story of a committed staff of medical professionals, who are giving hope to people who never thought they would see again. We watch as one man's life is transformed by a corneal transplant. We also experience the story of a brave little girl, whose nobel gift of a cornea donation helped inspire others to abandon widely-held superstitions surrounding death.

Back in the United States, The Visionaries crew follows the story of a Maryland man, whose sight is restored thanks to the work of TBI. With 26 eye bank locations across the country, and 39 eye bank members abroad, TBI is helping to relieve human suffering in every corner of the planet. Show 606.

National Association for Community Mediation - Part I

Asheville, North CarolinaIn part one of this two-part special, The Visionaries explores a growing movement in the United States, known as Community Mediation. We focus on the Washington, DC organization, The National Association for Community Mediation. This umbrella organization provides support, training materials and a national voice to its more than 200 members nationwide.
In this episode, we see how Community Mediation Centers are dealing with issues of crime, violence and race, and are changing the face of the communities we live in. First we travel to Asheville, North Carolina, where we see first-hand how an organization called The Mediation Center works with juvenile fenders.

We hear the story of two young boys, who are playing a dangerous game with bee-bee guns that gets out of control. Before they know what happens, they have shot out a local store's windows, and find themselves at the police department. While they could have ended up in juvenile hall, the young men make retribution for their crime through a process known as Victim Offender Mediation. We see how the experience transforms the boys, as they take responsibility for their actions.

Next, we travel to Tallahassee, Florida. There, we witness how The Neighborhood Justice Center works to quell racial tensions in its community. Through a slow and often painful process, the mediators begin a dialogue into one of the most divisive issues facing our country today, and help to mend some of the strained relationships in the community. Show 607.

National Association for Community Mediation- Part II

Rancher in Catron County, New MexicoIn the second of this two-part special, The Visionaries travel to rural New Mexico. It is an area that projects a sense of peace and serenity with its beautiful landscapes and lush forests. But just beneath the surface this area is facing a controversy that is turning neighbor against neighbor, in a bitter battle over the very land itself. In Catron County, New Mexico, we hear the story of how ranchers, environmentalists, the timber industry and the forest service are at odds over how to manage the land. For generations, ranchers and the timber industry have lived off the resources of the land. But federal regulations and a growing environmental movement are putting more and more limits on the western way of life. We watch as the tension mounts in this small community to the point that people no longer feel safe in their homes. With so many parties in conflict, trained mediators have a difficult job ahead of them. We watch as mediators take on the difficult job of getting people to once again talk to each other, and slowly begin to resolve some of the many complex issues that are tearing their community apart. Show 608.

World Neighbors

American and Kenyan working together"Hunger is the constant corrosive companion of millions." And it can only be stopped by a "cooperative enterprise -- a sharing rather than a neighbor seeks with neighbor to build the community where both may find security and happiness."

Dr. John Peters delivered these eloquent thoughts during a 1951 church sermon in Oklahoma City. That single speech was so powerful, a worldwide program to stop hunger and poverty sprung up practically overnight.

In this edition of The Visionaries, we profile the Oklahoma-based organization, World Neighbors, that works around the globe to empower people to solve their own problems of poverty, hunger and disease. We begin in Kenya, where community organizers are helping their own people gain access to better healthcare, adequate food resources and education.

We also learn how Kenyans, and others from the Third World are sharing their skills with Americans. In the second part of the show, we watch as a community organizer from Oklahoma City travels to Kenya to learn how to deal with some of the problems his community is facing. It is a powerful story of how people from around the world can reach out to each other, and make a difference in their own backyard or halfway around the globe. Show 609.

Boys Hope Girls Hope

BHGH was founded on the vision that children with high potential who are abused, neglected, impoverished or otherwise at risk could be saved and eventually thrive. The founder of Boys Hope Girls Hope is Father Paul Sheridan, a tireless Jesuit priest with a twinkle in his eye and strength in his soul. The priest was determined to find an alternative to traditional foster care.

In the 1970s, Father Paul lost a lot of sleep but gained many lifelong friends as he crisscrossed the country looking for supporters of his vision. He believed that providing at-risk youngsters with value-centered, family-like homes, positive adult role models, and a quality education would enable them to reach their full potential. Today, BHGH operates 30 homes in four countries and one hundred percent of Boys Hope Girls Hope high school graduates go on to college.

For this episode of the Visionaries, a crew travels to BHGH homes in America and Brazil to find out what makes this program so successful. In Sao Paulo, they witness the desperation of legions of abandoned children who roam the streets and struggle to survive, their anger often exploding into crime and self-abuse. In this atmosphere, in the narrow alleys and the tin-city favellas, Father Sheridan somehow manages to plant seeds of hope and inspire deep love and devotion. Through our visual journey, viewers will discover for themselves how Boys Hope Girls Hope is saving life at a time. Show 610.

On Lok

On LokOn Lok has pioneered a comprehensive health and social services program, currently being replicated in 30 states, that keeps frail elders healthier, provides greater support to their families, and costs less than typical Medicare-supported programs. Participants receive everything from hot meals and home care to social services and recreational opportunities, to primary medical care and hospitalization. This revolutionary approach allows frail seniors to live out the rest of their days with dignity and happiness. Show 611.

Catholic Charities

Brooklyn Girl paintingCatholic Charities USA's mission is to provide service for people in need, to advocate for justice in social structures, and to call the entire Church and other people of good will to do the same. For this special two-part profile, we will spotlight microbusinesses in Omaha; housing and neighborhood revitalization in Brooklyn; a greenhouse operated by people with disabilities in Superior, Wisconsin; a child day care center in Denver; a program for elders in Honolulu; and a job-training program in Minneapolis. Shows 612 & 613.

Job training in Minneapolis