Television

BBC World, Newsweek, Shell launch 'The World Challenge 2006'

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MUMBAI: BBC World has announced that World Challenge – a global competition seeking to highlight and reward examples of community enterprise and innovation – has reached its final stage, with the launch of six programmes featuring the 12 finalists, and an international appeal for votes to choose the winning project.

Each programme featuring two finalists is being broadcast to BBC World’s weekly global audience of 65 million viewers. The channel’s viewers are invited to vote online for the most commendable and inspirational project, which will also be featured in Newsweek and online at www.theworldchallenge.co.uk, where summaries and edited versions of the programmes are available.

BBC World and Newsweek, the weekly global current affairs magazine, have joined with Shell for the second year to launch World Challenge 2006. The next episode airs tomorrow 14 October 2006 at 9.30 am, 4.30pm and on 15 October at 1.30 pm and 8.30pm. Elephant Paper is an ingredient in paper helps protect the elephant in Sri Lanka. Maximus, Sri Lanka Maximus is a papermaking firm that makes high-quality products from a variety of wastes, including paper from offices, bark from banana trees and even elephant dung. Established in Kegalle, Sri Lanka, in 1997, Maximus provides an income for 35 staff and a proportion of the sales are donated to the nearby elephant orphanage. The company’s ‘peace paper’ scheme also helps rural people earn money from collecting dung from wild elephants.

Another project is Card Aid. Greeting cards help a community recover in Rwanda

Cards from Africa, Rwanda. Cards from Africa is a company that markets greetings cards made by a poor Rwandan community to shops around the world. The company began in 2004. Operating on a fair-trade basis, it now provides a steady income for 40 young Rwandans. It runs a variety of practical programmes to help the community make best use of its land and also employs a part-time counsellor to help the young survivors of the Rwandan genocide.

Another episode airs on 21 October 2006 at 9.30 am, 4.30 pm and on 22 October at 1.30 pm, 8.30pm. One project showcased is Well Water. This involves eliminating the threat from arsenic in the water supply. It is the effort of NGO Dalit in Bangladesh. NGO Dalit is fighting the scourge of arsenic contamination in water supplies by locating and tapping rare pure water sources, installing filtration systems and researching herbal remedies for arsenic-related diseases. The project also includes an educational element aimed at acquainting people with the dangers of arsenic poisoning – and how to avoid them.

Bmooming Business - Seeds of hope for poor communities comes from Flora Marketing in Mauritius/Madagascar. The firm was set up to encourage poor communities in the tropics to set up seed banks for traditional plant varieties. Some of these sustainably harvested seeds are sent to Flora Marketing’s Mauritius headquarters for export to buyers in some 30 countries. The rest are used to reforest degraded land, helping to ensure a future income.

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