As the father of two children just entering the school system, I've got a real soft spot for early education, so this Knowledge@Wharton article, which describes one man's quest to bring books to the world's children, is emotionally very satisfying. It also illustrates, I think, the burgeoning role that non-profits and NGOs are playing in addressing global needs for clean water, for medical care, for education - for hope, really. Given pervasive communications technology, growing logistical sophistication, business and management skill and the drive to do, people like John Wood are succeeding where national civil institutions, whether unwilling or unable, haven't.
Yes, I realize that all governments, including my own, fail miserably. Yes, people like John Wood give me hope that failure won't always be the case.