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Ted.com is where I go to learn about the world from some of the best minds for free.

Just reading about the dreams of people who want to make a difference in the world – then do it! — makes me optimistic about our future.

I didn’t even notice the TED blog until recently, when I was compelled to read about a new project by self-described tech geek, Faisal Chohan, a Ted fellow and entrepreneur-for-good.

One day, he’s helping 20 million Pakistanis survive massive flooding by something known as “disaster mapping.”

The next, he’s working on s–t.

This got my attention.

Tens of thousands of babies die every day all over the developing world because there is no sanitation system where they live. Because there is no drinking water and no sewage system in their communities, 29,000 little ones (under age five) die every day, mostly because of preventable causes — infections and the like.

Faisal Chohan wants to change that. His Saaf Pindi project, with a Ted grant of $10,000, aims to improve “sewerage infrastructure” in Rawalpindi, a city of five million adjoining Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad.

I lived there for awhile. It was not the happiest time of my life.

But living in Pakistan taught me a lot about the world I wouldn’t have known if I had stayed safely at home.

Knowing that children don’t have the most basic stuff of life, and seeing the suffering that results, is transformative.

Want to help change the world? Want to help children and their families thrive?

Read Ted’s blog, and give thanks for all the thinkers you discover there.

With thanks to Our Souls Purpose.

With thanks to Our Souls Purpose.

A blog of the year award for all the visionaries who contribute to the TED blog, for the donors who support TED, and for all the dreamers who believe in “Ideas Worth Spreading. With special gratitude to Chris Anderson, who was born in Pakistan and lived in Afghanistan and India, where his dad was a missionary eye surgeon.

With gratitude to Christine at Our Souls Purpose for the Blog of the Year Award, and to Alyson and David Shaldrake at The Thought Palette for creating the award. Thanks to all of them for their inspiring blogs!

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