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3-On Your Side: Inexpensive Inventions Helping Worldwide

By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- We're all looking for products that make our lives easier. But in some parts of the world the simplest of tools have the potential to save lives as well. 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan often tells us about interesting gadgets, but today as many in our area perform community service in honor of Martin Luther King Day, he takes a look at some innovations helping people world wide.

All across the country students, inventors, and nonprofits are using their creative talents for good, creating simple, inexpensive products to help those living on less than $2 a day. The Hippo Water Roller allows African women to change the way they carry water. Instead of a five-gallon bucket on their head, they can roll 25 gallons across the ground. While the Soccket Ball harvests the energy of a soccer game and turns into useable electricity after the game.

Kayla Springer of Global Envision says, "Families who live on a dollar a day consume very few products and so small inventions that can improve their lives really can make a big difference." A $20 stove made from simple steel requires less wood to cook food. 20,000 have been distributed, creating local jobs for communities. Andree Sosler from the Darfur Stove Project says, "So each one might seem to be small, but when you look at all of them together the impact is enormous."

They're just a few examples of inexpensive products that pack a life-changing punch. According to Springer, "The anti-poverty pioneers, as they're called, who create these inventions are really people like you and me. You don't have to be an Albert Einstein or an Alexander Graham Bell to change the world. You just have to have the passion and make the right kinds of partnerships to make that happen."

Since none of these inventions cost a lot of money, experts say small donations can make a big impact and news of these innovations are often spreading through social media. For more information you can click on the links below:

Soccket Ball:

Darfur Stove Project:

Hippo Water Roller:

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