Our Stories

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Promoting self-empowerment of HIV-positive women in Congo

Léocadie, a widow and a mother of four children, is unable to forget the night when her life was torn apart. "A group of armed men entered our home and raped me in front of my family," she relates between sobs. After an initial test, Léocadie found out that she was HIV positive and fell in more

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Constructing a future for youth in Tunisia

Ever since Najet Salem was a young design student, she dreamed of two things: reviving the ancient carpet-weaving tradition and empowering the women artisans of her hometown of Gafsa, in southwest Tunisia. "From the time I was young, I was fascinated by weaving and I sensed how many women who more

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Coping with environmental change in Ethiopia

Climate change has hit hard in the Afar Region of Eastern Ethiopia. Ali Hamadu has lost all his livestock as a result of five years of drought. Once a thriving pastoralist, today Ali and his wife and three children rely on food aid from the government and humanitarian organizations. “I was previousl more

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Multi-use engines drive women's empowerment in 1,000 Mali villages

Before the installation of a diesel-fueled engine, Koumantou village in southern Mali would to fall into near total darkness each night. The only light would be cast from the restaurant of local businesswoman, Kadia Kone.  This scene is repeated throughout rural Sub-Saharan Africa, where 9 more

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Reducing maternal death in Eritrea

In the market town of Senafe, in southern Eritrea, Fethawi Berhane has just undergone three days of painful labor and complications during childbirth that resulted in the death of her baby, despite the best efforts of a traditional birth attendant. Fethawi herself is lucky to have survived, given th more

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FYR Macedonia: Municipalities join forces to improve energy efficiency

In the former Yugoslav Republic (FYR) of Macedonia, many municipal authorities agree that energy efficiency is a sound economic solution -- they just don’t always know how to attain it. “We know these changes bring long-term savings, and we know they’ll be better for the environment,” says Mitko Vla more

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Farming communities in India improve soil fertility and earn higher income

High school drop-out Atula, a woman farmer from India’s northeastern state of Nagaland, is today an expert on improving crop cultivation and soil fertility, two subjects that come in handy as she works the small piece of land she has leased from a local landowner. For generations Atula’s family and more

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From sex worker to HIV counsellor

Jennifer was just 16 years old when poverty forced her out of her native Nigeria, leaving her family and many young sisters behind. She thought she was heading for a better future as a house maid in Europe, but instead, she ended up in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, where she has been a sex worker for t more

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From unemployment to entrepreneurship

“Light is coming out of my city,” says 20-year old Abonesh Dejene, referring to the success of a UNDP training and business development initiative in southern Ethiopia. Dejene, of Wolyta Sodo town, is the sole female in a group of young people who were once unemployed after dropping out of school, b more

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Gender-based violence awareness program opens eyes in Rwanda

Emmanuel, a pastor in northern Rwanda, had always considered himself a model husband. That is, until he attended a gender-based violence awareness programme in his community that showed him he had been violent to his wife to a degree that is considered illegal. “When I learned that my behavior was n more

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