Celebrating people who made a difference in 2018

As the year comes to an end, we retrospect on all the good deeds, brave efforts or acts of kindness performed by those who made 2018 a year for doing good.
Five separate operations succeeded in the rescue of 800 migrants in the Mediterranean in January. Among them were seven children with water in their lungs who were taken to the nearest hospital by the rescue team.
Talks of lifting the ban on same-sex marriage in Costa Rica started in February of this year. Later in August, Supreme Court judge Fernando Castillo said that "the ban will automatically cease to legally exist in 18 months, even if no action is taken by the legislature."
Shuchona Foundation in Bangladesh helped teachers and families deal with the needs of people suffering from neurodevelopmental disorders and mental health. The non-profit’s main goal is to include, not just integrate those people into society through social, political and cultural programs.
Volunteers offered aid in the form of food, blankets and legal advice to a 400-people caravan fleeing gang violence in Honduras, their home country. Another 100 volunteers also offered shelter in their homes in California.
Five volunteers from European aid groups had their charges of illegally bringing immigrants into the country dropped in May. One of the rescuers from Denmark said, “I lost everything but I did not lose my humanity.”
In the small village of Paropucjio, Peru, women helped their community by implementing agricultural tactics dating back to Inca empire times. The local population subsists on farming and animal cultivation, which is mainly done by women.
This year we all watched closely as the Thai football team attempted to escape the cave they were trapped in. These volunteers gathered to rescue the boys and bring them home.
An orca was rescued at a beach in Argentina and returned to the ocean by members of the Argentinean navy and volunteers back in August. Rescuing whales is an extremely difficult task, but these guys were successful!
When Neil Emmott needed a new kidney, two teachers at his daughter’s school offered to donate theirs. One of them was a successful donor, and Neil was well recovered – and very thankful – after the surgery.
Although 'Plogging' didn't make it as Van Dale's word of the year, it was definitely added to our dictionary at Deedmob. Together with our community and 'plogging' king Nico Schoen, we picked up trash at the Vondelpark while jogging. Most importantly, we learned about the impact one can have in their environment.
Volunteers braved the California fires in order to save animals affected by the wildfires in the region, the deadliest ever. They risked their lives to make sure animals were rescued from the fires.
The Deedmob team wanted to end the year with a group volunteering activity, and the elder home Amsta was the chosen place to do so. The team helped in the garden and had an afternoon entertaining the residents. All it took was one day and 12 willing volunteers!
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