Our Stories

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In Georgia, text messages help create community safety network

The SMS: anketa#a#non00b#wed1c#7d#pol24ngo2 may seem a bit cryptic, but when staff at an information centre in Gori, Georgia receive this text message from the village of Ditsi in the Shida Kartli region, they understand completely. The message means: no security incidents have happened in the last more

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Peru: 2,500 families in the High Andes make tradition a way of life

“My grandma prepared her chicha. She bottled it and sold it,” María Farroñan says, remembering how she learned to make chicha de jora, a traditional beverage in many towns in Peru. She was born in Mórrope, a district in the coastal region of Lambayeque that keeps up the old artisanal traditions. Wit more

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In Gaza, first female mukhtarah mediates legal disputes

Um Mohammed broke the conservative tribal traditions of her community when she became one of Gaza strip’s first “Mukhtarah” – the female equivalent of Mukhtar, one who peacefully settles disputes without need to resort to formal judicial systems. “I once found myself having to intervene to resolve a more

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Property rights and legal aid: Making life a little easier in Ukraine

Ivan Kalyta’s pension only allows him to buy his medication and basic food, and pay his utility bill. So when the time came to repair his house, he decided to sell two plots of his land to raise money. But when he tried to register his land, he realized the administrative fees for obtaining the nece more

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Timor-Leste: Convictions boost state justice system

Sitting on the verandah of his home, Camilio dos Santos, the chief of the village of Galitas in East Timor reflects on how conflicts used to be resolved in Timor-Leste. “Before independence we relied only on traditional justice to resolve any disputes in communities. It is good that now we have our more

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Teaming up to improve public services in Moldova

For 20 years, basic water, sewer and garbage services were a rare luxury for most people in Telenesti, Moldova. The town of 9,000 used to be one of the country’s poorest. Decaying infrastructure languished without repairs. For residents like Mihai Druta, 76, that meant struggling to carry water over more

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Reforestation project brings life and growth to Haitian communities

“Reforestation, that’s life. By reforesting the mountains, water sources will be protected and that will prevent landslides,” says Troimène Siméon, a member of a group of women working for the reforestation of the town of Aquin. “We had problems sending our kids to school. The reforestation project more

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Coping with environmental change in Ethiopia

Climate change has hit hard in the Afar Region of Eastern Ethiopia. Ali Hamadu has lost all his livestock as a result of five years of drought. Once a thriving pastoralist, today Ali and his wife and three children rely on food aid from the government and humanitarian organizations. “I was previousl more

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Transforming ecosystems and livelihoods in Cambodia

The Northern Plains of Cambodia are exceptionally important for global biodiversity. Overexploitation, particularly from uncontrolled commercial hunting of large mammals, logging of forests and destructive fishing practices, has posed a significant threat to this biodiversity. The loss of this biodi more

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Guaranteeing equal protection to vulnerable communities in Iraq

Laila, a mother of two, was physically abused for years by her husband, and even forced to seek treatment for injuries on a number of occasions. The 28-year-old did not want to denounce her husband to the authorities out of fear he would take away or hurt their children. In cooperation with the Kur more

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Nicaragua: Electricity empowers rural communities

Maribel Ubeda’s is among the 4,400 families from eight rural communities in Nicaragua who gained access to electricity when a new 300 kilowatt micro-hydropower plants was inaugurated by local authorities in her village. “When they first told us about this project, people in my community didn’t belie more

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Uzbekistan: Newly-trained nurses provide relief for people living with HIV

In Uzbekistan, Rano Isaeva has taken time from her job as a healthcare worker to attend a training that will teach her how to provide palliative care services to people living with HIV and train their families on how to provide home-based care. “Patronage nurses bring relief to the patients and educ more

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Ethiopian families use cultural crafts to improve livelihoods

Genet Tesfaye is a young, married mother of one living in Ethiopia’s capital city of Addis Ababa. A potter by trade, Genet has been contributing more and more to her family’s income through her craft. Ethiopia has a diverse and rich cultural heritage, and a joint UNDP-UNESCO project is taking advant more

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Communities help manage Turkey's national parks

Turkey is home to three globally recognized biodiversity hotspots and has a system of protected natural areas in place, but half its forests are considered degraded as a result of encroachment, overgrazing and illegal logging. Forests are among the most significant of Turkey’s ecosystems in terms of more

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In Bolivia, microloans lift thousands of women from poverty

Linet Claros Yevara, a resident of Mizque, a municipality in Bolivia with an 85 percent rate of extreme poverty rate, has seen her situation improve a lot lately. “My family eats better," she says. "Every day I give them fruit.” These improvements are thanks to the Semilla, or Seed, prog more

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Woman lifts her family out of poverty in the West Bank

Starting a business with limited resources in East Jerusalem, West Bank, is a challenge — especially for women. For Inayat Nageeb, a housewife and a mother of three sons and two daughters, life has not been easy. Her husband works as a guard at a mosque, with a monthly income of approximately US $8 more

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Biomass fuel brings jobs and energy independence to Moldova

The kindergarten in the village of Ermoclia has declared its independence — energy independence, that is. Instead of struggling to keep students warm with expensive imported gas, the kindergarten now heats up with locally produced biomass fuels. It’s good for the children and the environment t more

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Afghan police force recruits women to fight crime and stigma

Kabul, Afghanistan — It was four years ago that Captain Zohra Daulatzia joined the Afghan National Police. But the mother of two girls still gets excited about that momentous day in her life when she achieved one of her life’s greatest ambitions. “I was excited to wear the uniform and felt like I wa more

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In Pakistan, women work to strengthen democracy

Zameer Akhtar, 28, is participating in the electoral process for the very first time. Being a woman and living in a joint family in Pakistan, getting consent from her elders for her decision wasn’t simple at first. But she felt compelled to take part in election training due to lack of public confid more

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Women bring solutions to waste management in Burundi

In the northwest province of Cibitoke in Burundi, Peruth Ndayiramye wakes up every morning to fetch food and water for her family, and to take her goat out to graze. “After that I wash myself, I entrust my children the house work to be done, and I’m going to work,” Peruth says. One member of a tea 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.