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Efren Penaflorida: an unlikely hero....

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There is a well-known adage that says "We must be the change we want to see in the world". Popularly attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, he did indeed embody the changes that he wanted to happen in his beloved India by his practice of civil disobedience through non-violence. In his lifetime and generation, he set the example for his countrymen to see that something can be achieved with enough determination, passion and love for one's fellowmen to bring about the needed reforms and give back India's autonomy.

In today's generation, the Philippines is also in need of a hero to bring the country forwards after it has suffered (and is still suffering) major setbacks for the last 2 decades or so. Emerging from this is an unsung hero who is doing his part in his own way and thought that the best way to make the poor rise from their misery is to educate them. Efren Penaflorida, who was by his account, also from the slums, had the background and the experience to practice what he preaches. Growing up, he realized that the only way out of his miserable life was for him to get an education. Now that he has somehow achieved his goal, instead of running away from his past and making a different life for himself, he, instead went back to the place where he started from with the intention of helping to educate the children in the slum areas who would not be able to get to a school at all. With his pushcart, he has books and other learning materials that he can use for teaching. To the skeptics, this must be an effort too minor to undertake that it isn't worth the time and effort..... but I am sure that for those children, who have not had the opportunity to step inside a school, it could have made a world of difference.

Efren together with a group of his friends who were committed to this idea formed "Dynamic Teen Company" and has made it their life's work and mission to provide the much needed education that would have alluded poverty-stricken kids in the slums if they didn't bring the school to them.



Because of this, CNN has recognized Efren Penaflorida's work and has been included as one of the finalists in the search for CNN Heroes for 2009. Anyone who believes in this worthy cause regardless of their country of origin is encouraged to vote and support this effort for this may be the start of a movement that could be applied not only in the Philippines but also to other countries with the same situation.

Voting for the CNN Heroes will be accepted until the 19th of November and the winner will be announced on the 26th, Thanksgiving day, at a special CNN tribute to be held at the Kodak Theater. Please vote and support Efren Penaflorida.

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Big hugs and lots of kisses to my daughter, Karrol, for re-designing my blogsite. She is responsible for making my blog look cool... If you want to check out her own blog, visit K-Dream Palace and her contributing articles at AATheory.