Our Stories

Filter
image

In Nigeria, farm training yields fuller harvests for rural women

For Mama Nsedu, a young widow in Northern Nigeria, feeding her family was becoming harder every day. Like thousands of women in the rural communities of Nanka, Kyado and Yauri, Mama Nsedu faced poor crop yields due to harsh, dry weather, low rainfall, poor soil nutrients and overdependence on expensmore

image

Young indigenous and disabled people gear up for election in Cambodia

When local elections were held in the province of Mondulkiri, eastern Cambodia, Bunthoeun Tola, a 20-year-old indigenous person and first-time voter, was turned away at the polling station because his name on the voter list did not match with his identification card. “It was spelled incorrectly andmore

image

Helping the victims of Colombia's conflict

Luz Dary Santiesteban stands by the Pacific Ocean in a small Colombian town. “If that sea could talk, it would tell us all about the victims,” she says, pointing to the water. “They all were made to disappear.” Santiesteban is one of thousands of people in the country whose relatives were murdered dmore

image

Tajikistan: Putting environmental resources in local hands

Tajikistan’s Vakhsh River valley is crucial to the livelihoods and food security of millions of people, but the degradation of natural resources has been persistent and extensive over the past 100 years. The tugai forests, reservoirs of biodiversity and source of income for local communities, have bmore

image

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

image

Zimbabwe: Turning the tide in the fight against HIV and AIDS

Working as a volunteer at the Kuwadzana Polyclinic, a public health centre in Harare, Timothy Sandramu, 35, painfully recalls his distress in 2005 when he tested HIV-positive. “I was brought here in a wheelchair by my mother,” Timothy says, noting that he had been ailing for some time, culminating more

image

Justice and atoning for Guatemala's past

It took 29 years for Alfredo to find out the truth about who he really is. The 31-year-old, originally from Guatemala, now lives in the US. He always thought that his name was Oscar, and that Lieutenant Oscar Ovidio Ramírez Ramos, the father he loved, was a military hero in his native country. But tmore

image

Fighting sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Gisèle* sits in the relative safety of a clinic for victims of sexual violence in the district of Ituri. The mother of three, whose husband was killed during recent fighting, tells a harrowing but sadly typical story about her experience in the conflict in this part of eastern DRC. “I took refuge inmore

image

Reducing the risk of disaster in Armenia

Hovhannes Arakelyan has witnessed hundreds of floods in his remote village of Sipanik, in Western Armenia. "I have seen smashed roads, houses, and crops, and disasters used to diminish our hope for a better life," says the 72-year-old. Sipanik’s regular inundation when the Hrazdan River flmore

image

Bangladesh: Women emerge from poverty

On her 18th birthday Mussamat Baby Parveen wed the man her parents had chosen for her. By her 19th birthday she was pregnant and had run away from her husband’s home. His drug addiction had spiraled out of control, he was beating her, and she worried he would eventually kill both mother and child, smore

image

Nepal: Bamboo keeps villagers dry

“When my village floods, which it does almost annually, we never know how bad it will get. Some people lose their whole house, most will lose some crops and everyone will be affected in some way,” says 32 year-old Ms. Sita Gaire, of Shivamandir village in Southern Nepal. Mother of two Gaire lives imore

image

Nigeria: A boost for women's participation in politics

For Anthonia Bashorun and millions of other Nigerian women, taking part in elective politics is not easy. Women often do not receive the support and mentoring they need to compete with their male counterparts. In turn, many voters do not fully appreciate the benefits of having a mix of men and womenmore

image

Georgia: Building a culture of informed voters

As October’s parliamentary elections near in Georgia, 18-year old Alex Shatberashvili wants his first vote to be educated and informed. "I feel responsible for my vote and want to have a clear picture before I make a decision,” said Alex. However, news coverage and reporting is often unbalancedmore

image

A future for young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina

At 25, Aleksandar Vrhovac, a resident of Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina, had no previous work experience. He knew nothing about how to prepare a resume, look for a job or present himself in an interview—until he went to one of the new centres for information, counselling and education opening more

image

Paralegals bring justice to women in South Sudan

In a young democracy like South Sudan, most disputes are still resolved through traditional, customary structures and institutions. Alice Adye witnessed how breakdowns within state institutions, including police as well as statutory and customary courts, undermined and victimized women in rural areamore

image

Vulnerable people get free legal aid in Ethiopia

Abebe Ayalew, who is blind, couldn’t afford a lawyer to represent him when a dispute arose over inheritance of his father’s house in September 2011, so he turned to a UNDP-supported Free Legal Aid Centre for help. “I came to this Legal Aid Centre and Andualem, a lawyer and instructor in Hawassa Univmore

image

Kenya: Preparing women for leadership

As Kenya prepares for the general election in March 2013, UNDP is equipping women with critical skills to help them run for office. Women remain underrepresented in political leadership positions in Kenya despite Constitutional quotas, with women’s political representation standing at 9.8 percent vemore

image

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

image

Libya's historic elections: Youth activists pave way for future role

When Ayman Ramdan, a student at the University of Tripoli in Libya, left his home early on 28 June, he had a long day ahead of him. With just over a week before the country’s first free multi-party elections in six decades, he was joining 15 other student activists for the Open Day to Encourage Elecmore

image

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