Our Stories

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Through village courts,
justice for all in Bangladesh

When Jahanara Begum’s sons stole mangoes from a neighbour’s garden, what should have been a petty incident of children’s mischief escalated into a violent confrontation between Jahanara and her neighbour. Angry at Jahanara, her neighbour assaulted her and injured her eye, which then required expensi more

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Yemen: Women painters brush up on job skills

Beside stuccoed walls at the 7th of July Girls School in the capital city of Sana'a, there is an unusual sight for Yemen: seventeen young women in light blue aprons are hard at work painting. “I'm happy to learn this new skill so I can take care of my 3-year-old daughter,” says Yusra*, an 18-year-ol more

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Guatemala: Laying a mother to rest after 31 years

In Guatemala, UNDP is helping some of the family members of more than 45,000 victims of the country’s “disappeared” to finally find out what happened to their loved ones. The murmur of chanting and the smell of incense fill the air in a small house in Rabinal, about 50 km from Guatemala City. A May more

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Mobile courts bring justice to rural Pakistan

In a remote village in the outskirts of Peshawar, Pakistan, court is in session. The stenographer is typing away, the judge is listening intently and the air conditioner strains to keep the room cool as two property dealers from Hayatabad argue over US $6,000. But this is no ordinary courtroom. This more

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Nigeria: A tale of two chiefs

On a muggy day in June, hundreds of men, women and children from the Agila community, in north central Nigeria, dance to the beat of drums. Two chiefs--once at war--exchange a white sash as a symbol of peace and embrace. The crowd shouts. Peace has finally returned to Agila. Fifteen years ago, thi more

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Village's savings group keeps livelihoods afloat in Cambodia

Srun Bun Thuon, a fisherman from the Koh Kong province on the southwestern coast of Cambodia, saw his family’s life crumble seven years ago when he had to sell off his house to repay a microfinance debt. “Even our daughter’s earrings were not spared. I took them off her ears to sell to pay off the d more

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In Kyrgyzstan, farmers
organize to overcome poverty

In summers past, all farmers in Kyrgyzstan’s Suusamyr Valley would take their livestock to pasture, leaving their villages virtually unattended. As a consequence, critical jobs such as taking produce to market and preparing for winter were neglected. This changed when local inhabitants were encourag more

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Maldives: Preserving biodiversity while starting businesses

Not long ago, Amira Sulaiman’s days were consumed by housework. These days she can be found deep in concentration making traditional medicines, grinding together special ointments for massages and pain relief. In the small hut where she works, subtle aromas of coconut, Indian-mallow and clove waft t more

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Migrant worker returns to Nepal to build new business and rebuild life

Dhal Bahadur Karki, 37, spent much of his adult life working as a wage labourer. A skilled carpenter, he worked at various furniture factories in Kathmandu and Banepa, Nepal. Frustrated by being underpaid and having unstable employment, he paid a local human resources agent a hefty sum to help him t more

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Reaping the fruits of technology in FYR Macedonia

“This is the one everyone knows from cartoons – the little worm in the apple,” explains Eftim Petkovski, scooping the larva of a codling moth from an apple in his orchard in Resen. “But it’s no joke, I can tell you – if we farmers don’t spray for them early on, all our livelihoods are at risk. more

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Helping young Yemenis fight unemployment

Taiz, Yemen — Twenty-five-year-old Tahani walks along a row of trees that she and her work crew planted earlier in the day. “It is good to have work,” she says. “And planting trees makes me feel good. These will be here for many years to come.” But life hasn’t always been so good for Tahani. He more

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In Nicaragua, communities unite to build water pipelines

Until recently, the women of Venus, a small community in northeastern Nicaragua, spent a part of each day searching for and collecting drinking water. Despite being surrounded by rivers that spring from the Central America’s most important rainforest, the Bosawas Biosphere, the communities here had more

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In Zimbabwe and Zambia, the fight against malaria crosses borders

In the village of Chundu in Zimbabwe’s border district of Hurungwe, Mrs. Ellen Kunje has seen some heartening changes. In an area prone to malaria epidemics, Mrs. Kunje’s family and home have remained free from the disease. Thanks to a new malaria control programme, she was given a long-lasting inse more

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On International Youth Day, Nepal highlights vital job training programmes for returning youth migrants to become entrepreneurs

Dhal Bahadur Karki, now 37, spent much of his young life working as a labourer in his home country of Nepal. Despite being a skilled carpenter, he could find only sporadic employment at furniture factories in the capital city of Kathmandu. Frustrated by low pay, he moved to United Arab Emirates as a more

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Constructing a future for youth in Tunisia

Ever since Najet Salem was a young design student, she dreamed of two things: reviving the ancient carpet-weaving tradition and empowering the women artisans of her hometown of Gafsa, in southwest Tunisia. "From the time I was young, I was fascinated by weaving and I sensed how many women who more

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'People, planet, profit' jumpstarts progress in Tajikistan

In the Gonchi district of Tajikistan, Sharipova Nasiba has become her family’s main breadwinner. After Nasiba’s husband became too ill to work, the mother of two joined a women’s self-help group to begin a small business growing crops in a greenhouse. She and two other women received training in how more

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Restored canal gives Cambodian farmers much-needed boost

Farmer Tous Sok Heang carefully jots down the number on the scale each time a sack of rice is weighed, and a rice buyer does the same. When the last sack is lifted from the scale, the buyer hands her a down payment of US $200, promising to pay the rest later. “We are rich today,” Tous Sok Heang jok more

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From seed to market, transforming agriculture in Ethiopia

Hurgessa Gutema owns a small farm in Wolisso in central Ethiopia. With help from a local farming co-operative, his crop yield is rising year after year. “Thanks to better seeds and fertilizer from the farmers union, we harvest up to 20 quintals for every half-hectare,” he said. “We used to get only more

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In Bhutan, small grants launch businesses and dreams

In Mongar, Bhutan, Tashi Tshomo has much to be thankful for. It’s been four years since the 25-year-old received a grant of about US $1,750 to start a small enterprise for IT solutions, and her business has grown substantially. Today she deals in computer and hardware sales, servicing and networkin more

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In FYR Macedonia, early warning for disasters only a swipe away

In the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, a UNDP-supported mobile application helped reduce the risk of suffering and damage during recent flooding. “In February, three days of heavy rain flooded hundreds of homes around here. We were cut off for two days and without drinking water, but at least 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.