Our Stories

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Zambia: Building environmental sustainability, one village at a time

Peter Kilalo, a 25-year-old community teacher from the village of Kaminzekezeke in north-western Zambia, has been recently appointed to serve as the local “Muzovu” or Awareness Project Officer. His task is to provide environmental awareness lessons to elementary school children in the north-western more

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Harnessing the sun’s abundance in Albania

Albania has plenty of sunshine—around 265 days a year. Now it is learning to harness the sun’s abundant rays as a source of clean, renewable energy. Nestled high in the Albanian Alps, the National Park of Thethi is home to one of the country’s largest woodlands and a variety of endangered species. S more

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Bangladesh: Transforming life in the slums

Shabdi D’Costa was in her forties, barely surviving with her three daughters on her husband’s Tk 1,800 (US $22) salary, when she decided to find a way out of poverty by taking charge of the family finances. “We barely had enough money to feed and clothe ourselves,” said Shabdi. “I needed to learn to more

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Tajikistan: Grinding gravel reduces flooding and creates new jobs

In 2010, severe flooding killed more than a dozen people and destroyed 500 homes in Kulyab city, south-western Tajikistan. “We lost all our belongings, including hopes for a better future as a result of the flood,” says local resident Saidmuhiddin Sharipov, whose home was severely damaged because o more

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Bosnia and Herzegovina: A step to end stigma over HIV

Bosnia and Herzegovina passed a milestone in its effort to end HIV-related stigma and discrimination when a baby was born via C-section in January to HIV-positive parents in Sarajevo. “We all know how much blood there can be when a caesarean section is performed, but there was no hesitation or discr more

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FYR Macedonia: Municipalities join forces to improve energy efficiency

In the former Yugoslav Republic (FYR) of Macedonia, many municipal authorities agree that energy efficiency is a sound economic solution -- they just don’t always know how to attain it. “We know these changes bring long-term savings, and we know they’ll be better for the environment,” says Mitko Vla more

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Sri Lanka: Fridges keep fish fresh, helping many increase earnings

In fishing communities in Sri Lanka, more fish doesn't necessarily mean more business — especially if you have nowhere to store it. For many fishermen, who still struggle to get by after years of conflict and a devastating tsunami in 2004, getting the fish to the market before it spoils is a race ag more

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In Montenegro, making houses energy efficient and legal

Siniša Pavićević, 52, is a construction worker who lives with his wife and two sons in the town of Bijelo Polje, Montenegro. In 2004, he started building a house, but three years later he still could not afford to finish it or pay the fees for its legal title. Though the family was happy to move int more

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Supporting young entrepreneurs in Ethiopia

Aynalem Ayele is a young woman brimming with confidence. “Ayni’s Design,” her small jewelry and clothing design shop in the heart of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, offers creative designs of leather products, incorporating cultural motifs and items into everyday products for the young and savvy ur more

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In Jordan, entrepreneurship skills help weather the economic storm

Refurbishing damaged diapers from a nearby factory may not be everyone’s cup of tea — but for Amira Rizk Abu Bqeira and members of her community, who have begun to feel the strain of an influx of refugees from Syria, cloth nappies are proving to be a business niche that may protect them from si more

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In rural Cambodia, backyard fish farms answer food insecurity

In the past, when he needed fish for his wife to cook, Say Sorn used to cast a net in the canal of his village, in the Siem Reap Province in northwestern Cambodia. These days he can just get it right from his backyard, currently occupied by a giant water filtration tank, hatching containers, and 12 more

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Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire: Peace talks in war-torn border town

“It is painful to remember how my husband was brutally murdered in front of me and our children," says Elizabeth Sobu, a resident of the South Eastern town of Zwedru, on the border between Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire." We survived only by the grace of God.” Sobu is a refugee from a localized more

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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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Iraq: Syrian women and girls struggle to survive in camps

When 20-year-old Zainab fled the ongoing fighting in Syria, she hoped to find safety in the Arbat refugee camp in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq. Though she may have escaped violence in her home country, she was unable to escape it at home. When her father forced her to marry an abusive husband, she fled once a more

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Bosnia, piloting the way to energy efficiency

In the winter, the kindergarten in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s municipality of Gradiska was often freezing cold, with temperatures inside dipping to 7° Celsius. Swaddled in layers of heavy clothes, the kindergarteners could barely move. Teachers would rub their frozen fingers and stamp their feet to ke more

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Waiting out the winter in Lebanon

Last winter was bitter for Hassan Ahmad and his family of 11. After they fled their home in Damascus, they found shelter in Lebanon, in a cramped two-room apartment with a leaky ceiling, no doors and no hot water. "A relative of mine offered us these rooms," says Ahmad, whose Damascus hom more

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In Somaliland, local communities benefit from decentralization

For Fosia Ahmed Ismail, a returnee to the Somaliland district of Hargeisa, life was hard. Many basic services were inadequately delivered, and access to authorities was limited and sometimes even unthinkable. “The local government resettled us here,” said Fosia. But infrastructure in local district more

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Syria: Restoring Roman wells to bring relief

In Syria's rural areas, long-abandoned Roman wells have become more than a relic of a bygone civilization. For communities struggling to cope with the disastrous ongoing conflict, these ancient wells, dug more than 2,000 years ago, have now become a means of survival. Fighting is now entering its th more

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In Armenia, energy efficiency is heating homes and warming lives

Arev Shirikchyan used to come home to a cold and dark apartment after working two shifts to support her family. In winter, getting proper heat was an ongoing battle for the residents of Avan, the Yerevan neighborhood where she lives. Two decades ago, the boiler house supplying heat and hot water to more

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In Nepal, ex-combatants start over

Shobha Raymajhi is a friendly spice merchant living on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Nepal. However, the smiling mother and market-stall owner used to live a less affable existence. Less than a decade ago she carried a gun for the Maoist People's Liberation Army during Nepal’s 10-year civil conflict. 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.