1 Chiune Sugihara Japan
Risked everything to help thousands of Lithuanians escape through Russia and Japan as the Nazis came closer and closer to invading their country.
2 Muhammad Yunus Bangladesh
Created a banking system allowing poor people to borrow money for starting a small business so they can lift themselves out of poverty.
3 Margie Richard US
Pollution fighter who took on Shell Oil Company in Louisiana after they destroyed her community.
4 Winnie Mabaso South Africa
Her heart went out to the many orphans in her neighborhood and their families. She and her neighbors formed an organization to help them and others.
5 Jesús León Santos
Mexico Made barren land green again; organized farmers to improve agricultural methods.
6 Wangari Maathai Kenya
Organized communities to improve their lives by planting trees and reclaiming the soil and water; worked for democracy and peace .
7 Sompop Jantraka Thailand
Works with families and communities to keep families from sending their girls to a life of prostitution and slavery.
8 Inderjit Khurana India
Brings education to children in slums around railroad stations, enabling them to escape the cycle of poverty .
9 Karen Tse United States
Establishes legal rights systems in emerging democracies, so people don’t get forgotten once they are thrown in jail.
10 Fabio Rosa Brazil
Passionate advocate for bringing electricity and its benefits to the millions of poor in this world who are still without electricity.
11 Sabriye Tenberken Germany
A blind woman who is empowering and creating educational opportunities for the blind, starting with a training center in Tibet, a region where people used to hide their blind children.
12 Bunker Roy India
Established “Barefoot Colleges” all over India run and staffed by villagers. At these colleges, illiterate villagers gain expertise they need to bring solar energy and other technology to their communities, so they can “develop themselves.”
13 Iqbal Masih Pakistan
Forced at age 4 to start making rugs under terrible conditions in order to pay back a family debt, Iqbal managed to escape at age 10. In the 3 years he lived after his rescue, he repeatedly risked his life to help free other children. He also inspired many people, including some 7th-graders in the US who have raised over $350,000 to build schools all over the world.
14 Patricia Guerrero Colombia
She and other Colombian women displaced by internal conflict have built a city for themselves, and have tirelessly fought for over 10 years to get sexual assault as weapon of war recognized as a violation of human rights.