What have you done today to change the world? Create events for children with cancer

“It came to my mind that we could make a presentation about the Brazilian wildlife for the Mahak children at the hospital, here in Tehran.”

Sahar Verdi, Iran

Sahar Verdi works at the Brazilian Embassy in Tehran, Iran, and had been interested in helping Mahak – Society to Support Children Suffering from Cancer (www.mahak-charity.org) for some time. The society, based in Tehran, has been growing as more people join to help (financially, producing events, etc.).

The perfect idea came to her when the embassy invited the Brazilian photographer Ricardo Martins (www.ricardomartins.org) to show his work at the Brazilian Week, in December 2014. After listening to his astonishing stories and experiences, Sahar proposed a presentation for the hospitalized children so they could get to know a little more about Brazil’s nature and beauty and the great Amazon jungle.

Both the embassy and the Mahak society were enthusiastic about her idea, and the event took place that same week. Sahar was the translator, as she also speaks Portuguese. The show was a great success among the children, who attentively absorbed all the information provided about wild animals and their lives.

This valuable work will have continuity, though, and both countries will collaborate in organizing exhibitions of nature drawings by children suffering from cancer. The main purpose is to provide the little ones with due care, affection and environmental education, and also to encourage more people to join charities such as the Mahak society.

. What have you done today to change the world? .

by Cláudia Gomes Oliveira


What have you done today to change the world? Sponsor a Child

“I was so impressed with the Cambodian people – they always have a smile on their faces despite the extreme poverty in which most of them live. I started to do some research on the Internet and that’s how I came across CCF – Cambodian Children’s Fund.”
Lurdes, Portugal
Lurdes is a retired English and German Teacher and a devoted mother of two (now, adults). Before visiting Cambodia, Lurdes was aware that the country had been under a severe dictatorship by Khmer Rouge, responsible for a mass extinction of the country’s population. She also knew that Cambodians were widely known for their kindness and warmth. After her first visit, in 2008, she was amazed with the country’s beauty and even more with its people’s, and when investigating a little more on that special place, she found CCF – Cambodia Children’s Fund.
CCF’s founder, Scott Neeson, is the former President of film production company 20th Century Fox. While visiting Cambodia, in 2003, he witnessed the misery of so many children and their families and he simply couldn’t go back to his old luxurious life. He sold all his assets, moved to Cambodia and created the CCF (https://www.cambodianchildrensfund.org/).
Lurdes decided to sponsor a child and contacted CCF. When asked if she preferred a girl or a boy, she said it didn’t matter. Srey Rath, a 15-year-old girl, was assigned to her and that was the beginning of a beautiful relationship nourished through e-mails and regular visits. The yearly sponsorship is 1200 USD (or more, if one so desires).
Srey Rath is now in the university, studying Management, and will remain under the care of CCF until she’s independently established in life.
Lurdes always refers to Srey Rath as her Cambodian daughter.
. What have you done today to change the world? .
by Cláudia Gomes Oliveira

What have you done today to change the world? Rescue stray animals

“I rescued stray animals either for TNR (trap, neuter and return) or to find them forever homes. I also raise money for the hospital which gave me an experimental treatment some years ago.”
Bruno, UK
Bruno lived in Bucharest, Romania, for several years and it was usual practice there for stray animals to be caught and killed by the government. He decided to act humanely and started actively rescuing cats and dogs from the streets and finding them loving homes across the globe. For the ones not friendly enough, there was the TNR program, which is meant to reduce their numbers, hence reducing the number of animals the Romanian government would catch and destroy, without trying to find them homes.
Bruno has personally taken animals to their future homes in Germany, Austria, Italy, England, Sweden and Finland. Usually at his own cost.
Nowadays, back in the UK, Bruno raises money for the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Unit, UCLH (University College London Hospitals), which gave him an experimental treatment for leukaemia around ten years ago (a successful one!), by going on extremely challenging hikes and treks around the world at his own cost, while the money people donate goes entirely to the charity (https://www.justgiving.com/Bruno-Ficalho/).
On these adventurous quests, he discovers not only magnificent places, but also the fugacious character of life which inspires him to experience new things, meet new people and simply feel alive and at peace with the world by living moments one wouldn’t normally imagine because they’re slightly out of one’s regular path.
. What have you done today to change the world? .
 by Cláudia Gomes Oliveira

What have you done today to change the world?


“What have you done today to change the world?” is a project intended to gather and highlight inspiring actions by extraordinary people throughout the globe, which contribute to a more peaceful, more balanced and fairer world.

Yes, changing the world may sound an utopia. It may feel impossible to achieve at all when one faces the day to day cruelties against the planet, against other species, and even against our fellow humans.

However small, any change towards kindness, solidarity, respect and sustainability is, indeed, effective and can cause others to follow. Besides, utopia makes us evolve. 🙂

I’m thrilled to be sharing these amazing and true stories with you, now at Van Der Love magazine! Stay tuned!

. What have you done today to change the world? .


by Cláudia Gomes Oliveira