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Efren Penaflorida is CNN's "2009 Hero of the Year"

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CNN just culminated the awards night for 2009 Hero of the Year and this honor went to the Philippines, Efren Penaflorida. When Efren started this project years ago, there were no awards of this kind yet and now with this recognition, this truly is a testament that no good deed goes unnoticed.

It is no secret that my country, the Philippines, despite the fact that we have left the Marcos years behind us for 23 years now, we are still beset with problems of poverty, corruption, government ineptness, and instability. More than ever, the masses still has not stop taking into the streets their dissatisfaction with some of our government officials due to their blatant incompetence. There are some individuals who enter politics not because it was a venue for them to truly serve their countrymen but as a way to hold on to power, to stay in the limelight and sustain their popularity or for others as a means to make a living. From what I see on TV and read from Philippine newspapers online, the rallies have not stop and it still continues as a way to show our government their disgust and force government officials to make changes.

However, there were some individuals who also went to the streets hopefully to make the change that they wanted to happen but the way that they did this was to go around the poverty stricken streets of Manila. Instead of banners, flags and chants of protests , this group of street workers had their cart/s filled with books, papers, pencils, blackboard and other school supplies to bring a teaching environment to kids who would otherwise not have the opportunity to go to a real classroom due circumstances beyond their control.

It is true that learning does not only occur within the four walls of a school building but it can happen anywhere as long as you have a willing teacher and eager students. In this case, I am sure that the little children who have had this experience must have enjoyed the learning process regardless of where they get their lessons.

Efren Penaflorida and his group, the Dynamic Teen Company, took matters into their own hands with their pushcarts. Now more than ever, they will need our support so that they can go on with their work. We cannot rely on the government to sustain this project. Efren and his team did it on their own anyway...

The awards show will be broadcast on national television on CNN, November 26th (Thanksgiving day) at 9:00 PM, Eastern time.



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