1) Children Working

Ilona Chisholm helps her mom shovel snow out of their driveway using a rake in Cohassett, Mass. The first half of a two-part winter storm is expected to drop up to a foot of snow in parts of New England before a second storm slams into the area Wednesday. (Christian Science Monitor)

Young Pakistani Shepherd (LA Times)

A child learns to make dumplings in preparation for Chinese New Year celebrations in Beijing. Dumplings are a traditional food eaten to celebrate the New Year. (Christian Science Monitor)

2) People making a difference

John Connell poses with his juggling students at a park in Cochabamba, a city of 600,000 in central Bolivia, the poorest country in South America. Besides teaching them skills that can earn them more money his Performing Life Charity requires the kids to go to school.

From an article in the Christian Science Monitor – http://tinyurl.com/4aaa2aq

“Since he was a teenager, Mr. Connell, now 24, has taught circus arts to hundreds of children who might otherwise be selling gum or wiping windshields on the streets of Cochabamba, Bolivia.

Every afternoon, Connell holds practices at a local park. His students cluster in groups on the grass, practicing juggling and riding unicycles.”

“Since arriving in Bolivia fresh out of high school in the United States, Connell has undergone an extraordinary personal journey. Five years ago, while still a teenager, he founded Performing Life.

The idea: Mastering juggling and unicycling allows street children to earn money faster, freeing them to go to school.

The program has accomplished much more. Every child is required to attend school. But now, by weaving bracelets for sale in the US, many of them are also saving to start small businesses, and buying land and even houses for their families.

It has transformed the street children, often despised by society. Before, they were seen as beggars. Now, they are artists.”

A link to the Performing Life Site – http://performinglifebolivia.net/blog

What is your favorite charity?

3) I didn’t think of the ukuele as being a serious professional instrument. Jake Shimabukuro shows how wrong I was.

Ukuele Weeps by Jake Shimabukuro