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VOA Highlights Everyday Heroes From Around the World

Profiles aim to inspire and encourage

Washington, DC, June 25, 2008- Today Voice of America (VOA) launches a new multimedia series profiling individuals from around the world engaged in heroic and inspirational humanitarian efforts. Making A Difference highlights the world's unsung and well-known people who are making a positive difference in our world.

Making A Difference aims to encourage the viewer, listener, and web visitor to become involved in the personal stories of the individuals profiled, by combining original video, audio, and still photography to poignantly illustrate each compelling story.

"We hope to inspire those who see, hear and read about these people, who are making a difference against some terrific odds," said Steve Redisch, VOA's Executive Editor. "Our audience will see that others are enduring problems and situations similar to their own, and yet finding solutions."

The series premier features Cynthia Maung, a Burmese doctor and refugee who established a humble public health clinic in Thailand, along the border between the two countries. Her work taking care of refugees has led the Burmese government to brand her a terrorist. Future profiles include those of an Ethiopian man who travels by donkey to remote villages throughout the country distributing books to children; a day in the life of Dr. Robert Gallo, including reflections on his groundbreaking discovery of and research into HIV; and a close-up look at a retired Liberian priest who teaches people how to type in order to make a living on the streets of the country’s capital city, Monrovia.

Each Making a Difference profile runs approximately 2 to 3 minutes in length. English versions of the TV and radio stories, including audio and video links, will be posted every Wednesday on

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,250 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 115 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages.

For more information, call the Office of Public Affairs at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail