Mike Terry, Deseret News

This year the Deseret News shifted its focus to six core areas of editorial emphasis: the family, financial responsibility, care for the poor and needy, education, values in the media and faith. Today we look back on ten of the 10 best stories we did this year about the plight of the world's poor and the best solutions out there to address the problem. » Read best of: The family Financial responsibility Education Values in the media Faith

10 Turning Skills Into Jobs
Mike Terry, Deseret News

Because most don’t speak English and many have no formal work experience, it can be difficult for refugees to find work in the United States. The nonprofit Global Artisans helps refugees cash in on skills they learned caring for their families in their home countries.

Read the full report here: Turning Skills Into Jobs

9 Keeping Families Intact
Ravell Call, Deseret News

House of Hope, a Utah-based residential rehabilitation facility, is pioneering a family-centered approach to substance abuse treatment. Nearly 70 percent of drug-addicted women are single mothers who are on the brink of losing custody of their children. Instead of turning the children over to the state, House of Hope allows children to live with their parents during treatment.

Read the full report here: Keeping Families Intact

8 Pennies For Change
Begley Family

Philanthropy has long been a pastime for people of high net worth, but the rise of social networking Web sites are putting more and more power in the hands of middleclass Americans. Wanna-be movers and shakers no longer need financial capital to make a difference; social capital is fast becoming nearly as useful.

Read the full report here: Pennies For Change

7 It Takes a Village
Rebekah Sosa, Choice Humanitarian

While people from rich nations have headed up international aid programs for decades, recent research suggests trying to use global blueprints to solve local problems may not be working. Oftentimes, cultural barriers keep donors from adequately addressing problems. In Uganda, for example, one charity installed hundreds of wood-burning stoves without pausing to notice the locals cook with charcoal. In Africa, 50,000 wells have fallen into disrepair because the local people don’t feel ownership of the projects.

Read the full report here: It Takes a Villagel

6 The Children Left Behind
Laura Seitz, Deseret News

More than 5,100 children are in the foster care system because their parents have been detained or deported, according research from the Applied Research Center, a New York based racial justice think tank. Many of these children are wrested from fighting parents because of cultural biases and a lack of communication between immigration enforcement agencies and child protective services.

Read the full report here: The Children Left Behind

5 Hurting Charity
Ravell Call, Deseret News

Under pressure to deal with the burgeoning national deficit, Congress is considering more than a dozen different proposals to reduce or do away with tax deductions for donations to charity. If the government eliminates tax breaks for charitable contributions, many worry donors will give less and needy people will go without.

Read the full report here: Hurting Charity

4 A Judge Who Made a Difference
Mike Terry, Deseret News

A judge's disposition — whether respectful and caring or mean and disinterested — may make the difference between a trip back to prison and an addiction-free life for a drug offender. About 70 percent of drug convicts reoffend within three years of release from prison. Participation in a drug court program, where, instead of going to jail, offenders work to overcome their addictions under the supervision of a judge, lowers that number by an average of 18 percent.

Read the full report here: A Judge Who Made a Difference

3 Seeds of Hope
Elizabeth Stuart, Deseret News

When Cindy Packard, a midwife from Arizona, started the nonprofit Care for Life ten years ago, she didn’t know a thing about international development. But after what she calls an "inspired journey" she has discovered a formula for alleviating suffering among the world’s poorest and helping them to help themselves.

Read the full report here: Seeds of Hope

2 Water and Hope
Alan Gibby, Deseret News

The village of Seamay, Guatemala has a population of only 2,100, but nearly one third are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On Sundays, two congregations pack into the village's white chapel. And yet, many of the members until recently lived in abject poverty, subsisting off less than $1 a day. The LDS Church wanted to change this, and the village.

Read the full report here: Water and Hope

1 Stolen Innocence
Deseret News photo illustration

With job descriptions ranging in scope from prostitute to waiter to maid, more than 150,000 people in the United States are living in slavery, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Close to half of victims are people who are forced into the sex industry. Many are children. Many are United States citizens.

Read the full report here: Stolen Innocence