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Egypt: An integrated approach to fighting FGM

In the village of Beir Anbar in the district of Keft, Egypt, young children and village elders alike gathered in the community centre.  A choir of school girls came forward to chant a jingle: ‘I am born perfect with my body whole. Why do you want to cut us, and take away the rights that God gav More

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Mock drills prepare Kosovo* for earthquakes

As the earthquake alarm sounded, students at the Selami Hallaqi primary school in Gjilan/Gnjilane, Kosovo, scrambled to take cover, hiding under tables and in doorways. Once their teachers declared the environment safe enough to walk through, they led the students outside to wait for emergency servi More

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Biodiversity conservation yields organic tea in China

As a seasoned tea farmer, Li Mingshui is well acquainted with Xinyang Maofeng tea, one of the most famous green teas in China. “To cultivate the best tea leaves, it is important to find a place with amiable weather and quality water supply. So mountains provide suitable conditions for tea to grow,” 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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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 several years presents significant challenges. With shorter but more intense rainy seasons, followed by longer dry seasons, farmers are 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 nearby res 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.” Fatma’s life changed after she met More