The Top 10 CNN Heroes for this year were revealed on CNN.com on Thursday, September 23rd at 10.30pm Indian Standard time. Selected by a Blue Ribbon Panel of humanitarians, profiles of the Top 10 Heroes are now available on www.CNNHeroes.com. The announcement also kicked off the online voting for the “CNN Hero of the Year” which opened immediately following the unveiling. Online voting will conclude at 3.30pm Indian Standard time on Thursday, November 18th.
Now in its fourth year, CNN Heroes is a multiplatform campaign that shines a spotlight on everyday people changing the world; in 2010, the campaign received over 10,000 submissions from more than 100 countries. All Top 10 CNN Heroes will each receive US$25,000 and will be honored at CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute, hosted by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper that will air on Friday November 26th at 5.30am Indian Standard time from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles and replay at 2.30pm Indian Standard time. At the November gala, CNN will reveal the CNN Hero of the Year, who will receive an additional $100,000.
Below is the list of the 2010 Top 10 CNN Heroes:
AKI RA (SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA)
Aki Ra is helping to make his native Cambodia safer by clearing land mines, many of which he planted years ago as a child soldier. Since 1993, he and his Cambodian Self Help Demining organization have cleared about 50,000 mines and unexpected weapons.
ANURADHA KOIRALA (KATHMANDU, NEPAL)
Anuradha Koirala is fighting to prevent the trafficking and sexual exploitation of Nepal’s women and girls. Since 1993, she and her group, Maiti Nepal, have helped rescue and rehabilitate more than 12,000 victims.
NARAYANAN KRISHNAN (MADURAI, INDIA)
Narayanan Krishnan brings hot meals and dignity to India’s homeless and destitute – 365 days a year – through his nonprofit Akshaya Trust. Since 2002, he has served more than 1.2 million meals.
GUADALUPE ARIZPE DE LA VEGA (EL PASO, U.S.)
Guadalupe Arizpe De La Vega founded a hospital in Juarez, Mexico that cares for about 900 people daily, regardless of their ability to pay. Despite the escalating violence in the city, the 74 year-old travels there several times a week to make sure residents get the care they need.
SUSAN BURTON (LOS ANGELES, U.S.)
Susan Burton was once caught in a cycle of addiction and incarceration, but she now provides sober housing and support to formerly incarcerated women in California. To date, her non-profit, A New Way of Life Reentry Project, has helped more than 400 women get back on their feet.
LINDA FONDREN (VICKSBURG, U.S.)
With her weight-loss challenge, Shape Up Vicksburg, Linda Fondren is helping her Mississippi hometown banish the bulge. Through the group’s free fitness activities and nutrition classes, residents have lost nearly 15,000 pounds to date.
MAGNUS MACFARLANE – BARROW (ARGYLL, SCOTLAND)
Since 1992, Magnus MacFarlane – Barrow has dedicated his life to helping people in need. Today, his program, Mary’s Meals – run from a tin shed in the Scottish highlands – provides free daily meals to more than 40,000 children around the world.
HARMON PARKER (LEXINGTON, U.S.)
Harmon Parker is using his masonry skills to save lives. Since 1997, he’s built 45 footbridges over Kenya’s perilous rivers, protecting people from flash floods and predatory animals. The bridges built by his organization, Bridging the Gap, also connect isolated communities with valuable resources.
EVANS WADONGO (NAIROBI, KENYA)
Evans Wadongo invented a way for rural families in Kenya to replace smoky kerosene and fire light with solar power. Through his Use Solar, Save Lives program, he’s distributed an estimated 10,000 solar lanterns, for free.
DAN WALLRATH (HOUSTON, U.S.)
Since 2005, Texas home builder Dan Wallrath has given injured Iraq and Afghanistan veterans homes of their own – mortgage free. He and his Operation Finally Home team have built nine new custom homes and currently have ten more planned or under construction.
This year’s Blue Ribbon Panel judges include: Muhammad Ali, former champion boxer, humanitarian; Ela Bhatt, founder of SEWA (Self-Employed Women’s Association) and member of the Elders; Sir Richard Branson, entrepreneur, humanitarian and adventurer; Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, rapper, entrepreneur, actor; Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and CEO of Square; Hill Harper, actor, author, philanthropist; Patricia Heaton, actor, producer; Yo Yo Ma, Grammy-winning cellist; Ricky Martin, Grammy-winning artist, humanitarian; Apolo Anton Ohno, Olympic gold medalist in speed skating; Holly Robinson Peete, actress, author, activist and philanthropist; Alek Wek, model and designer and Rainn Wilson, actor.
The announcement was made in conjunction with a special presentation from CNN Heroes senior executive producer Kelly Flynn at The UN Week Digital Media Lounge presented by Mashable, 92Y and the UN Foundation. The summit consisted of a week’s worth of activities revolving around how social media can be used to tackle some of the world’s social challenges and issues.
Mobile users can access information about each of the Top Ten Heroes through their phone’s mobile browser at http://m.cnn.com/heroes. Additionally, Android, iPhone and Palm Pre users will also be able to vote from their phones for Hero of the Year by clicking on the ‘Vote Now’ button. Twitter users can keep up with the latest updates for CNN Heroes by following @CNNHeroes on Twitter and Facebook.