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In the DRC, community centres help people learn to live again

In 2004, a 34-year-old widow in Congo named Maman Miriam* was raped by three armed men who slashed her genitals with a knife, leaving her with physical and emotional scars. She felt completely abandoned and unable to care for her three children. “I felt worthless,” Maman Miriam says, thinking back. more

Tackling the deadly legacy of war in Lao PDR

Rice planting season is a nerve-wracking time for 49 year-old farmer Vongphone of Xieng Khouang province, in northern Lao. He was disabled five years ago when he accidentally set off an unexploded cluster bomb. Vongphone, who lost his left hand, is one of hundreds maimed or killed each year by explomore

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Indonesia: Fighting for social justice

Just a few years ago, Indonesian housewife Ibu Odah had little knowledge of legal affairs. Now, the mother of two is at the forefront of the fight against domestic violence in the remote island of Ternate, in the North Moluccas province of Indonesia. With the knowledge and expertise that she has acqmore

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Building a sustainable democracy in Libya

A year ago, Khadija Baba would not have considered engaging in any independent civil society or political activities in her home town of Tripoli. Not only was such activity forbidden under the former regime in Libya, but it would have likely landed the university student in prison. Now, with supportmore

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Timor-Leste: Convictions boost state justice system

Sitting on the verandah of his home, Camilio dos Santos, the chief of the village of Galitas in East Timor reflects on how conflicts used to be resolved in Timor-Leste. “Before independence we relied only on traditional justice to resolve any disputes in communities. It is good that now we have our more

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Afghanistan: Women gain access to clean water

Until recently, women in the village of Jukna, in the remote province of Badghis in western Afghanistan, used to walk four kilometres a day to collect drinking water for their families. And even then, the scarce, brackish water was often a health hazard. “The women used to collect water from uncovermore

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Healing and hope for victims of sexual violence

Like many survivors of sexual and gender-based violence during Croatia's violent conflict between 1991 and 1995, Ana has been struggling to deal with her traumatic experience for more than 20 years. "I used to feel so powerless," says the unemployed widow, now in her mid-fifties. In additimore