Our Stories

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Solar power changes families’ lives in Botswana

Until recently, the Mokgatlhe family in Kgope, a remote village situated 50 kilometres west of Botswana’s capital, had been using firewood to light and heat their home.  This practice, used by 80 percent of Botswana’s rural population, has led to the destruction of countless acres of forest.&nbmore

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Solar power in Mali: A miracle for women

Less than one percent of rural communes in Mali have electricity. But in Sirakorola, the administrative centre of a commune located 120 kilometers outside the capital city of Bamako, solar power is synonymous with economic boom. "Ever since we had the solar panels installed, women haven't been more

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Stronger roots: Growing resilient forests in Samoa

If you look beyond the coral reefs and blue lagoons of Samoa, you will see mountain ranges rising up from within the islands, carpeted in thick forest. Samoa’s forests, which cover around 60 percent of the land, play a critical role in the country’s diverse ecosystem. Tree roots serve to prevent soimore

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Tanzania: Clay stoves make life easier for rural women

Until January of this year, Stella Fungameza – a 30-year-old mother of three children –wandered into the forest twice a week for 12 hours, bringing home up to 30 kilograms of firewood from each her trips. Now Stella can cook with half the amount of firewood thanks to an energy project piloted by themore

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Teaming up to improve public services in Moldova

For 20 years, basic water, sewer and garbage services were a rare luxury for most people in Telenesti, Moldova. The town of 9,000 used to be one of the country’s poorest. Decaying infrastructure languished without repairs. For residents like Mihai Druta, 76, that meant struggling to carry water overmore

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Transforming ecosystems and livelihoods in Cambodia

The Northern Plains of Cambodia are exceptionally important for global biodiversity. Overexploitation, particularly from uncontrolled commercial hunting of large mammals, logging of forests and destructive fishing practices, has posed a significant threat to this biodiversity. The loss of this biodimore

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UNDP-IKEA partnership helps women change rules in India

For most of her life, Shiela Devi had few options. Growing up in an impoverished village in India’s northern state of Uttar Pradesh, she ate her brothers' leftovers, did chores at home while they went to school, and married at age 15. At 35, Shiela was completely illiterate, had no source of income,more

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Veterinary skills help empower women in rural Pakistan

Muhammad Bibi’s life in the Punjab province of Tehsil Mian Channu, northeastern Pakistan, took a sudden turn when her husband had a heart attack and was unable to work. Without warning, she became the sole provider for her six children and her spouse. At the time, the few goats that Bibi's family owmore

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Village's savings group keeps livelihoods afloat in Cambodia

Srun Bun Thuon, a fisherman from the Koh Kong province on the southwestern coast of Cambodia, saw his family’s life crumble seven years ago when he had to sell off his house to repay a microfinance debt. “Even our daughter’s earrings were not spared. I took them off her ears to sell to pay off the dmore

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Water restores joy to communities in Ecuador

“In the past, horses were used to transport water. Families only had 4 liters a day, and children went to school without showering”, says Eureo Sánchez, a teacher in the village of Unión Manabita, north of Ecuador. Until recently, the coverage and quality of water and sanitation services was below tmore

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