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Uzbekistan: Revising energy codes, piloting energy savings

In winters past, electricity and hot water would all but stop flowing to School No. 2 in the Fergana Valley of Uzbekistan. To cope with the sub-zero temperatures, it would heat with coal, wood and sometimes dried cow dung. Makeshift stoves were used to heat classrooms to tolerable temperatures. Some More

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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 st More

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Building a brighter future for rice farmers in Cambodia

Farmers in the small community of Tuol Sdey, in the Svay Rieng province of southeastern Cambodia, have reason to be happy.  For the first time in decades they can rejoice in having two harvests in one season. This is largely due to the construction of a new water dam which stores rain in a near More

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Raising HIV awareness, decreasing stigma in South Sudan

Alice* was recently widowed, left on her own with four young children. She was also pregnant and had fallen ill, so she visited her local hospital. There, testing revealed she had both HIV and tuberculosis (TB). While her father took care of the children, Alice received three months of treatment at More

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Tackling women’s unemployment in Bosnia and Herzegovina

With an unemployment rate of close to 45 percent, finding a job in Bosnia and Herzegovina is hard, particularly for women over 40. Borka Karalic is one of them. After she lost her job as an administrative assistant in Banja Luka, she spent nine years trying to find another opportunity. “We are a job More

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In Turkey, fashion creates jobs

For Fatma, divorced at the age of 19 and living at her parents’ house with two kids, life used to be difficult. “I loved my husband but it did not work,” said Fatma, who lives in Turkey. “He cheated on me. I had no profession and no job. I did not know what to do.” But Fatma’s life changed after she More

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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. In 2010, she became one of the first people to benefit More

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Bringing financial services to the Pacific's poorest

Seventy-year-old Raj Dulari no longer has to travel long distances each month to collect her social welfare payment from the Nausori Post Office in Fiji. Nor does she have to wait in line, or worry that she might lose her allowance of US$32 if she does not collect it on time. Dulari, a widow who liv 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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Indonesia: Fighting for Social Justice

Three years ago, Indonesian housewife Ibu Odah had little knowledge of legal affairs. Now, the mother of two is at the forefront of a legal 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 acqu More