Our Stories

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Kyrgyzstan: HIV patient speaks for anti-retroviral therapy

Marat*, a 38-year old father and husband, learned that he was HIV positive while undergoing drug detox in 2009. Pre and post-test counselling wasn’t usual in Kyrgyzstan at the time, so Marat assumed that “HIV positive” meant good news. But after he understood the diagnosis, Marat refused the treatmemore

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Lao PDR: Diversifying crops to cope with climate change

For Ki Her, the head of Kioutaloun village in mountainous northern Lao PDR, and 95 percent of the population who grow rice, the change in the weather over the past five years presents significant challenges. With shorter but more intense rainy seasons, followed by longer dry seasons, farmers are stmore

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Lao PDR: Revamped market creates brighter future for local vendors

Soutsady, a 48-year-old mother of six who prefers to be addressed by her first name, has always depended on her meagre income from selling fried bananas at Khangkhai village market in the central Lao PDR province of Xiengkhouang. But the small, poorly-equipped community market did not provide enougmore

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Light reaches rural communities in the Dominican Republic

After the fall of darkness in the town of La Cabirma, along the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, the muted glow of kerosene lamps and cuaba, or pine kindling, used to be the only source of light for residents. While oil for kerosene lamps was expensive, eating away at villagers' meagre earnmore

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Micro-hydro lights up homes and lives in Afghanistan

Eleven-year-old Mohamed Nasim, who is in sixth grade, wakes up at 5:30 every morning to take computer lessons in a makeshift classroom here in Borghaso village, Bamyan Province, northwest of Kabul. He draws a house in Microsoft paint, colors it, and types his name in the corner as his young teacher more

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Mongolia: Better-managed natural resources expand livelihoods

Naranbek Ristan slings his binoculars and notebook around his neck and mounts his horse with graceful ease. He is setting off on a monthly patrol of 6,000 hectares of community land to check on wildlife.   The country he will cover is harsh, magnificent and daunting. But for Ristan, most importmore

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Villages in Myanmar help build better access to clean water

The sound of cuckoos cooing may bring to mind summer, when this bird song is common in Myanmar. But Daw Kim Ma doesn’t like the sound, which reminds her of hot weather. Due to water shortages, summer used to be the least favorite season for villagers in Sin Owe Wa, situated along the Kaladan River. more

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Nepal: Boosting entrepreneurship among poor rural women

Chitrakali Budhamagar began her career in 2003 collecting yarn made out of 'allo' (Himalayan nettle) and selling it in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu. With the money she made selling yarn, she bought readymade garments to sell in her home village of Pyuthan, in the western part of the country. Bornmore

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In Nepal, a simple solution brings light to rural communities

“Access to electricity has really changed our lives,” says Kunja Maya Tamang, 40, who lives in Nepal. “We don’t have to depend on daylight to finish our household chores. My kids can study even in the night. Our income has also increased with improved crop yields.” Creating electricity for the planemore

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New nets help fishermen in Gaza become self-reliant

By Dania Darwish The Swedish Village, a remote village of fishermen in the far south of the Gaza Strip in the occupied Palestinian territory, is home to some 95 households living under extreme poverty. Visitors to the Village – built by the Swedish Government in the 1960s – can immediately see the pmore

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