Our Stories

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Breaking the glass ceiling in Pakistan

Pakistan has a relatively high proportion of women in Parliament compared to other countries in South Asia, with women accounting for 19 percent of representatives in the upper and lower houses. Nonetheless, women in Pakistan still face many difficulties in accessing decision-making positions at the more

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Timor-Leste: Bringing out the rural woman vote

By John Fenech, third place of UNDP's storytelling contest Senora Mendonça Côrte-Real, a grandmother from the capital city of Dili in Timor-Leste, is now the country’s oldest registered voter after having finally been given the chance to exercise a democratic vote for the first time at the ripe old more

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Building a brighter future for rice farmers in Cambodia

Farmers in the small community of Tuol Sdey, in the Svay Rieng province of southeastern Cambodia, have reason to be happy.  For the first time in decades they can rejoice in having two harvests in one season. This is largely due to the construction of a new water dam which stores rain in a near more

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Burundi: Reclaiming forest reserve while improving livelihoods

During Burundi’s civil war, thousands of people sought refuge in the Kibira forest reserve near the capital Bujumbura. But since the war ended in 2002, damage to the forest has been exacerbated as internally displaced persons and nearby communities cut down trees to clear land for farming, and use t more

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Cambodian councils cooperate to provide community with school

Several years ago, Soy Pheap, a 39 year-old mother of seven, was forced to make a tough decision; send her daughter away, or forfeit the young girl’s education. Until recently, Pheap’s village, part of the Tuol Pongro commune in Banteay Meanchey Province in northwest Cambodia, lacked an adequate sec more

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Chad: Micro-finance networks boost business initiatives by women

"Let’s get up and get to work — the slogan of a new savings cooperative for women in the village of Balimba, in the south of Chad — bears witness to their motivation and entrepreneurial spirit. "With our modest capital investment, we weren't getting very far," Florence, a member of th more

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China: Building back better and greener

Before the devastating Wenchuan earthquake in southwestern China on 12 May 2008, 62-year-old Qing Liehua’s main source of income and food for his family was chicken farming. After the earthquake destroyed his home in Qinghe Village, Sichuan Province, however, he lost everything, including his chicke more

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Chor Vichara, Cambodia, weaves a better future for herself

The eldest child of a local school teacher and a homemaker, Chor Vichara, 22, dropped out of school at 16 so that her two brothers could pursue their studies. She then went to work at a garment factory in Phnom Penh, 40 kilometres from her home. At the factory she earned about US$70 a month sewing s more

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Classrooms promote peace in Sudan

In Mazmoom in Sennar State, things are tense. The normally quiet village in the south-east corner of Sudan has been the scene of conflict in recent months. More than 3,800 returnee Sudanese, including some 1,800 ex-fighters, are trying to establish new homes and farms in the small community.  M more

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Communities help manage Turkey's national parks

Turkey is home to three globally recognized biodiversity hotspots and has a system of protected natural areas in place, but half its forests are considered degraded as a result of encroachment, overgrazing and illegal logging. Forests are among the most significant of Turkey’s ecosystems in terms of more

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