Our Stories

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18-year-old recovers from tuberculosis

With a bright smile on her face 18-year-old Mouniratou, of Bobo-Dioulassou, Burkina Faso, is the embodiment of happiness itself. Two weeks ago she took the last of her Tuberculosis (TB) medication, putting an end to a six-month long treatment for the disease.  “I was so ill that I could not eve 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

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 explo more

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India: flood-damaged communities build back better

“Sometimes in my sleep I can still hear the sound of the river gushing towards my village,” said Sangeeta Devi, recalling the terror she felt one night in 2008 when the mighty Kosi river breached its embankment and inundated vast tracts of land around her home. Sangeeta Devi lives in India's poorest more

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Sri Lankan women embrace leadership

K. Lalith Kulanayake recently became the first woman to serve in her local government. Kulanayake lives in a region of Sri Lanka where female political participation is among the lowest in the country. Yet, she is determined to serve her community, particularly the women, who are often under-represe more

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Women break ground to rebuild villages in Pakistan

Until last year, 21-year-old Shahzadi worked the land like most people in her remote, rural community in southern Pakistan. But today she’s breaking ground in a new field. Shahzadi, who lost her left arm in a childhood accident, has been helping to rebuild homes in Sindh province, which was devastat more

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Haitians on the pitch for recovery

Josiane Vesna is a resident of Bel Air, one of the most violent, poor, and garbage-filled zones in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Following the earthquake that devastated the country one year ago, Josiane, along with nearly 1000 other Haitians, was hired to rebuild six neighbourhoods, including her own. “Af more

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Voting, not Violence, in Kenya

Days before a constitutional referendum took place in Kenya last year, employees at the Uwiano Platform in the capital of Nairobi received an alarming SMS.  The message came from a resident of Chebarus village who said his familiy had been surrounded by an unknown armed group. The assailants ha more

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DRC: Former combatants gain skills and income through reintegration

For 32-year old Wathum Ukecha, life has taken a turn for the better since he volunteered to be demobilized after four years as a fighter in the forests of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Wathum is one of 160 people – mainly ex-combatants, vulnerable women and school drop-outs– who were tra more

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Exhuming the stories of Guatemala’s lost

By Héctor Morales Delgado After 36 years of internal armed conflict in Guatemala, thousands of confidential facts about the actions of the State have been registered by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. They include serious violations of human rights and attacks directed at the civilian popu 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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Removing physical barriers to Cyprus reunification

Antigoni Kallouri and Necmi Maraşuna were among those Cypriot farmers, on both sides of the island, who for many years could not access their lands. The presence of landmines in the buffer zone between the northern and southern part of Cyprus made cultivating local farmlands too dangerous. “A few ye more

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Haitian women rebuild their lives one brick at a time

The main driving force for earthquake-damaged house rebuilding in Haiti is not the government, the private sector, NGOs or international organizations. Families and communities have been playing a vital role, taking the task to build back a more resilient country into their own hands—especially wome more

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Burundi: Reintegration efforts provide incomes and help to rebuild lives

For Marie-Chantal Misago in southwest Burundi, the road she is helping to rebuild to a nearby health centre and school is a sign of how things have improved since the war ended in 2005. “The crisis ran so deep, I would never have imagined myself working with all these different groups of people,” sa more

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Mobile one-stop shops help recover lost IDs in Pakistan

Mobile one-stop shops offering free legal services have travelled across some of the most remote but accessible flood-hit areas and, so far, helped 3,850 people reclaim identity papers and other essential documents washed away during the floods. Additionally, twenty units run by the United Nations 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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More water, better lives for Sudanese farmers

Until recently, farmers in northeast Sudan used to rely solely on rainfall for their subsistence crops, despite fertile land and groundwater close to the surface. “There is a big difference now,” said Aisha Sharief, who heads a farm run by women in the rural community of Arabaat. “Nowadays we have p more

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Finding hope in flood-hit Pakistan

“The waters will recede one day and I will certainly go home,” said 35-year-old Najma, a mother of three who survived the most recent floods that hit southern Pakistan affecting nearly five million people and leaving almost two million without homes in an area that had not yet recovered from last ye more

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Bringing economic security to women in Nepal

Dipmala Mahato is beginning to feel the benefits that financial prosperity can bring. While she still lives in a one-room home, constructed of mud and roughly the size of a table-tennis board, she now earns a decent income selling her vegetables in the twice-weekly local market. Mahato is one of 32 more

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Burundi: A new market revives a community

"Every morning, I feel like my energy is renewed when I remember I have to go to work at the Mutambara market construction site", says Alice Niyondiko who lives in Rumonge Municipality in southern Burundi. Alice returned to the country in the wake of the civil war that ravaged Burundi for more

Video: One Day on Earth

UNDP staff members in more than 100 countries worldwide took part in a collaborative film project to document the work of UNDP. The result of their collaborative efforts is an eight-minute film highlighting the breadth of UNDP’s impact.