Nine success stories about remarkable people, inspiring change in their own communities. World leaders met five years after the Rio Earth Summit to discuss global issues facing our planet. The consensus was clear - individuals, not governments, are making the real progress. Proving once again, the actions of all people count.

First stop Kansas, where Wes Adell claims the secret to his success is good people like Keith Kersenbrock, a guitar maker. Through Wes’s influence, Keith now uses all recycled wood to make his guitars. Wes exemplifies his adage, “don’t talk about what you’re going to do – do it!”

Next stop in San Juan, Puerto Rico where we meet a man who saved a life and the Cantera Peninsula. Gangs and drugs were ruling the neighborhood and holding young men like Joselyn hostage. Enter Chago, leader of the Cantera Project, developed to clean up the peninsula. When Chago rescues Joselyn from his gang his story turns from pollution to solution.

In war torn El Salvador, Marta Benavides turns a scorched land back into fertile soil for farmers displaced by the war. Marta makes others believe, “nobody has to empower us but ourselves.”

Back home in Atlanta, Rico Henry, went from crack addict to professional boxer. He turned his life around through the caring hands of Leonard Tate, the driving force behind Trinity House. Through his groundbreaking methodology, we witness the results of the always charismatic Tate.

On to India where we visit Ashok Khosla, and witness his innovate ways for developing large scale job creation. He believes his models, “can be sprinkled all over the world just like McDonalds.”

From the back roads of the rural United States George and Carolyn McKuchen are crafting change with a unique cooperative that gives economic advantages to artisans. By creating a greater market for their crafts, George reflects, “you don’t have to be reactive your whole life – you can be proactive.”

Then in Jamaica we learn how Verna Foster goes from a woman with no opportunities to a construction foreman. The Women’s Construction Collective, a training center designed to afford women careers in new areas shaped her talents. Verna lives her vision, “anything a man can do out there - I can do it too!”

In Manila Cecile Alverez has a unique approach for creating social change. As a soap opera producer, she enlists popular culture to get her message to the masses. Her dramatic approach has tackled such issues as, over population and the desire for sons.

Finally, in Venezuela, Ella Cisneros has lead the charge for volunteerism with her Together Foundation, which she promotes through television and newspaper campaigns. Ella believes we must all learn to help one another and lives by the motto, “we’re all in this together.”

Produced and Distributed for the United Nations Earth Summit +5

  • Global Media Award (The Population Institute) for Excellence in Population Reporting, Best TV Documentary, 1997
  • Documentary/Single Entry Category, International Market – Gracie Allen – American Women in Radio and Television, 1997