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Light reaches rural communities in the Dominican Republic

After the fall of darkness in the town of La Cabirma, along the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, the muted glow of kerosene lamps and cuaba, or pine kindling, used to be the only source of light for residents. While oil for kerosene lamps was expensive, eating away at villagers' meagre earnmore

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South Sudan: Strengthening civil service to continue vital support

For most people, moving to a new country to work can be full of surprises. But for Yenew Azale, a trained nurse from Ethiopia working in South Sudan, adjusting to a new job has included being evacuated because of intense fighting. “Not everything is as I had expected,” he says. “But I feel a great smore

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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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Egypt: ID cards help women proclaim their existence

At 28, Nesma is the principal provider for her children and husband, who is living with a disability. Like many others in Egypt, her family is struggling for food, shelter and education due to the challenging economic situation. So when Nesma heard about the Citizenship Initiative, a project aimed more

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As the waters recede, much work still to be done in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Heavy rainfall in May 2014 flooded entire neighbourhoods and communities in Doboj, a town of 75,000 in north Bosnia and Herzegovina. Even today, many residents are still suffering. “The water destroyed my field that I planted with corn, wheat, and barley," says Radenko Gojkovic, a local farmer.more

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Nicaragua: Victims of sexual violence advocate on behalf of other victims

Ligia Canales, a mother of three living in Managua, was once a victim of domestic violence:   "My former companion used to get drunk, beat me up, kick me out of the house and threaten to kill me. I was really scared, and yet I decided seek help: One day I reported him to the police,"more

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India: Conserving medicinal plants, sustaining livelihoods

At 52, Janaki Devi, a traditional healer in the state of Uttarakhand, India, may not have received a formal education, yet the proficiency with which she prescribes herbal medicines has people travel from far and wide to consult her. Up until a few years ago, traditional healers like Janaki inheritemore

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Somaliland’s first female deputy prosecutor

Khadra Hussein Mohammad, 28, made history by becoming Somaliland’s first female National Deputy Prosecutor, dealing with a range of cases including theft, gang-related violence, and even terrorism. “You meet all kinds of people in this job. We see new cases almost every day. It’s good that people armore

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El Salvador: Sowing the seeds of peace

Giovanni’s face softens beneath the otherwise fearsome ink of his gang tattoos. As the 23-year-old bends over a row of pepper plants, his fingers dart carefully between them, plucking stray weeds in the greenhouse. “Before, my life was a mess,” Giovanni confesses quietly. “Now I have a lot to do—themore

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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 jobmore

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Organic farming breaks new ground in Zimbabwe

The Makoni Organic Farmers Association, developed to transition away from tobacco cultivation and chemical-intensive agriculture, is leading the way in environmental conservation and sustainable use of resources.  “In organic agriculture, we do not need to buy fertilizers or struggle to raise mmore

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Healing and hope for victims of sexual violence

Like many other 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 more

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Helping communities boost food security in Eritrea

With only a handful of children playing around in an open field, the village of Lamza, on the outskirts of the capital city of Eritrea, looks deserted. This is because almost all the village residents have gone to work on their farms in a nearby valley, where two micro dams are allowing them to irrimore

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Panama: Islanders integrate biodiversity conservation

Residents of the Pearl Islands and other archipelagoes in the Gulf of Panama always got everything from the sea. But, according to the islanders, fish population has been steadily declining, and so have jobs. Andrés Ramirez, a boat captain who services commuters between the islands, faces a diminismore

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Lebanon: Reviving markets and stimulating the local economy

“We used to sit on rocks and walk in mud during winter season. But now the road is paved, so the market is accessible and clean.” For Amira Bou Zeid, a Lebanese citizen from the country’s Bekaa Valley region, the renovation of her local market through a UNDP project funded by the United Nations Highmore

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Sri Lanka: Women look to the future with optimism

Like many others of her village in northern Sri Lanka, Jecindan Dharsha was displaced several times during nearly three decades of conflict in the country and faced severe hardships. When she came back to her village she didn’t have a penny to her name. “I had to start my life all over again,” Dharsmore

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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 shemore

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In Albania, new horizons open for domestic violence survivors

Rina spent the last three months of her last pregnancy at a shelter for survivors of domestic violence in Tirana. She and two of her younger children, aged 2 and 5, had fled their abusive home in Burrel, in the mountains of northern Albania. Rina's eyes fill with tears when she speaks of the eldest more

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A tour boat sets sail in Gaza, launching a better life

When he graduated recently with a degree in architecture, Raed El-Shorafa, 27, faced the risk of joining increasing numbers of the unemployed in Gaza. Despite his good academic performance, job opportunities were rare.  “I had no income,” Raed said. “I was a burden on my family.”  With an more

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Marshall Islands: Protecting drinking water from drought and sea level rise

By the time the Government declared a state of emergency in 2013, the wells had long run dry in the drought-stricken northern reaches of the Marshall Islands, and families had started fleeing to the capital Majuro. This idyllic paradise is set so low in the ocean that there are few freshwater reservmore