Visionaries - Changing the World One Story at a Time

Presenting our 18th Season on Public Television!

There is Enough for All - Episodes #1801 & 1802

The first and second episodes of the Visionaries Season 18 will feature the work of Church World Service, a global humanitarian agency working to eradicate hunger and poverty in the world. Church World Service is a global humanitarian agency supported by 37 Protestant, Orthodox, and Anglican churches that came together to do what none of them could do alone: deliver relief, provide refugee assistance, respond to disasters, and give people the opportunity to take the lead in addressing their own concerns.

Malnutrition in a Fertile Land

Episode #1801

The Visionaries travels to a remote region in Honduras to showcase Church World Service’s work with its in-country partner, the Mennonite Social Action Commission. One of the biggest challenges Hondurans face is the lack of food and nutritional security, which has resulted in chronic malnutrition rates among children under five as high as 30 percent in some communities. Honduras is the third poorest country in Central America, with nearly half the population living on less than two dollars a day. Much of its rural poverty stems from the mismanagement of its natural resources, which has led to deforestation and of the contamination its drinking water. In Honduras, Church World Service works to promote sustainable agriculture and to educate families about eating healthily and planting family gardens.

Drought and the Plight of Refuges

Episode #1802

The Visionaries heads to Kenya to document Church World Service’s work processing cases of refugees in sub-Saharan Africa who are being considered for resettlement to the U.S. and also the organization’s attempts to keep people alive during the driest period in the Eastern Horn of Africa since 1995. Church World Service is also working to provide long-term disaster-risk reduction programs.

Maine Stream Solutions - Episode 1803 A & B

This episode will feature two of Maine’s most unique environmental organizations both affecting the future of Maine’s wildlife and natural beauty.

Part 1

Episode #1803A

Visionaries will take viewers to the an area overflowing with wildlife and natural beauty to meet the people who have created a model of conservation that will inspire communities across the country to band together to preserve the part of their community they cherish most.

We will discover how a small, but well organized, group of committed people overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles to preserve Maine’s beautiful and productive forests, lakes, and streams in the northeastern corner of America and a community that has long been a destination for outdoor recreation. It is a story of triumph, but it is also an unfolding saga that is still in the midst of a courageous struggle to preserve the last, but most important parcel of land, the 22,000 acres that surrounds the village of Grand Lake Stream.

Discovering the Natural World

Episode # 1803B

The central theme of the episode is that true social change occurs when dedicated people make long term commitments to a cause by investing knowledge and hope in a new generation. Chewonki was founded with a few tents on the shores of Lake Champlain. Now it reaches more than 40,000 young people through camps, wilderness vacations, traveling Natural history programs and outdoor classrooms for schools across the state.

Chewonki is dedicated to helping people grow individually and in community with others by providing educational experiences that foster an understanding, appreciation, and stewardship of the natural world and that emphasize the power of focused, collective effort. Chewonki serves people of all ages throughout the year. The living is simple and the communities are always small. They teach and learn in settings that take advantage of indoor and outdoor classrooms, the woods and water of Maine and beyond, as well as the land and buildings of their 400-acre campus.

Transforming Communities

Episode #1804

In this episode, the Visionaries travels to Honduras to profile the work of Zamorano University, founded in 1942 by banana magnate Samuel Zemurray. The mission of Zamorano is to educate youth from underprivileged backgrounds to become the leaders of Latin America in agriculture, industry, and the non- profit world – with the goal of transforming their communities, countries and the region.

This four-year international university welcomes 1,200 students a year from countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and 75 percent of the student body receives some form of financial assistance. The school uses a combination of academic class work and “learning by doing,” with students spending 20 hours a week working in on-campus businesses, laboratories, or outreach projects. Over the course of its 70-year history, Zamorano has played a vital role in the transformation of the agricultural sector and the rural development of the more than 19 countries that its graduates come from.

Remembering a Better Life - Episode 1805 A & B

This episode features two organizations involved in very different endeavors. The first works with Alzheimer's, the other tackles poverty in urban America. Both however must deal with changing what we remember to be true.

Part 1

Episode #1805A

This story will inspire hope in the millions of families struggling with a disease that will cost America $200 billion dollars in 2012. As staggering as this number is, it does not account for the unpaid care 15 million family members are providing.

Viewers will be introduced to a unique approach to adult day care that is built around the concept of “Failure Free Zones” in which participants succeed in an atmosphere filled with meaningful activities. The episode will portray a “day in the life” of the staff of Memory Matters and the people they serve. Of particular interest is Memory Matters creative approach to early onset Alzheimer's.

The Visionaries film crew captured their unique approach through interviews with staff and participants in the groundbreaking Brain Boosters Class - that may one day become a national model. Viewers across the country will know what it feels like for a family confronted with the diagnosis of Alzheimer's. There is hope in the new tools being created in places like Memory Matters that can equip families to deal with the enormity of the challenge that lay ahead.

Remembering a Great Social Issue, Poverty

Episode #1805B

Remember poverty in America? It was once a great social issue. It hasn’t gone away, but no one seems to care anymore...except in New York City. In 2006, Mayor Bloomberg created the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) to implement innovative ways to reduce poverty in New York City. CEO works with City agencies to design and implement evidence-based initiatives aimed at poverty reduction, and manages an Innovation Fund through which it provides

City agencies annual funding to implement such initiatives. Every new solution is results driven. It works or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, it is gone. If it does, they find out why and replicate the solution across the city and now throughout the nation.