Our Stories

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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

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Afghanistan: Bringing the police closer to the people

Farza, Kabul Province—Colonel Noor Aqa Ibrahimkhail, the district Chief of Police for Farza, located 45 kilometres north of Kabul, is a veteran officer who has experienced many brushes with violence and unrest throughout his career. But compared to his previous postings, he says, Farza is a haven of more

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Afghanistan: New environmental councils spur development in provincial communities

Standing at the edge of Joe-e-Projey canal in the northern town of Char-i-Kar, Mohammad Tahir, a car mechanic, rues the fate of children who drink water from the local canal. “This canal has snuffed out many, many young lives. It is a bed of dirt and disease,” he says sadly, with moist eyes. The 70- more

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In Afghanistan, mullahs use Islam to protect women and their rights

The Government of Afghanistan is tapping mullahs and religious elders to make people aware of the rights women are entitled to in accordance with Islamic laws through a programme supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The national programme, which is being implemented by the more

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Turkmenistan: Helping people with disabilities move forward

Yuriy Kulik might have remained unemployed, relegated to the fringes of society in Turkmenistan. After losing his sight as a teenager, he could not find a job that would accommodate his disability. But in 2005, Kulik took part in an intensive course that taught him how to adapt without his sight. It more

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Uzbekistan rebuilds kindergartens in the devastated Aral Sea region

The city of Muynak, in northwestern Uzbekistan, used to be home to a flourishing fishing industry. But when the Aral Sea started to dry up, so did the jobs. Today, the population in Muynak is down to 29,000, and has the highest percentage of unemployment in the region. To address the economic, healt more

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Iran gains ground in battle against malaria

Torah, a construction worker in search of a new job and better prospects, was travelling west into Iran from Afghanistan. His second day on the move, he was hit with fever and chills, then excruciating pain – the first signs of malaria. He asked locals for help and was referred to Sadegh, a voluntee more

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In Bangladesh, mobile clinics help fight malaria in remote hills

Joykumar Chakma, 28, has never been treated by a doctor. “My father was the village mendicant. If we got seriously ill, the family sacrificed a pig or a hen and he believed the illness would pass. This was the custom in my community,” said Joykumar. “So many children used to die of malaria in those more

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Modern conservation helps farmers prosper in Uganda’s drylands

In the Lyantonde district of Uganda, farmer David Muhoozi Kiseetula is seeing big changes in his harvest – and his life – after his farmers’ cooperative received a grant for education and instruction on new farming methods. “I used to harvest less than 100 kilos of maize from my garden. Today, I ha more

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Romania: Incubating businesses, supporting entrepreneurship

In 2006, Csaba Kiss was thinking of launching a box manufacturing company in a new business incubator in Sfantu Gheorghe, Romania. Business incubators, which host start-ups and early-stage firms, provide office space, start-up grants and consultancy services. The government was promoting them as a v more

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In Peru, new recycling organizations improve waste management

In the Peruvian district of Arequipa, Roque Flores Calle leaves his home in the suburbs from Monday to Friday to make a living for his family. Every morning he collects recyclable waste (plastics, bottles, cartons, cans) that local families provide. During weekends, he separates the materials for la more

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Employment programme gives hope to new graduates in Jordan

Like many other young students of his age in Jordan, Yousef El Mughrabi, 23, was full of dreams and plans for his future. Living in Ma’an, a southern Jordanian governorate where one in four people live in poverty and one in five is unemployed, Yousef’s dream was a simple one: securing a respectable more

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In Egypt, adapted technology improves women's lives

By Marwa Elnokrashy and Karim Ezzeldin, finalists in UNDP's second annual storytelling contest Fatma Ibrahim, a poor mother of six, has been illiterate all her life. As a child, her hardworking parents made simple handicrafts and sold them to make ends meet. Like many girls growing up in Siwa, the l more

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Cambodia: Demining transforms former battleground into field of hope

Battambang – Farmer Prak Chrin slowly paces as she drops green bean seeds into shallow holes in the ground. Nearby, her son, a hoe in his hands, is digging these holes in the family’s new farmland in a far-flung part of north-western Cambodia. Tucked in a hillside forest, the freshly-plowed field wa more

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Women in Guinea-Bissau take lead in demining

“In my job, men have no objections to women making the decisions ,” says Sona Nadian, 37, from Bissau. “That should be the case in any field of work, but when it comes to mine-clearing, it isn’t necessarily obvious,” she adds with pride and amusement. Sona and her female co-workers – Julieta, Nesia, more

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In Rwanda, small loans spur business expansion

Before the sky even begins changing colors, Francois Nzamvugankize is awake and has begun his work of baking and selling bread.  Up until four months ago, Francois, 25, struggled to provide for his wife and two young children — but now they are on the road to financial security and success more

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In Kazakhstan, increased rights for the disabled improve living standards

By Assel Tleof, finalist in UNDP's second annual storytelling contest Since the age of five, when Ali Amanbayev was diagnosed with a serious spinal injury, life has been a constant struggle. “As a schoolboy, I began using crutches and had to do my homework lying on my back,” he recalls. “As the year more

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Mongolia: Better-managed natural resources expand livelihoods

Naranbek Ristan slings his binoculars and notebook around his neck and mounts his horse with graceful ease. He is setting off on a monthly patrol of 6,000 hectares of community land to check on wildlife.   The country he will cover is harsh, magnificent and daunting. But for Ristan, most import more

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In Burundi, refugees and ex-combatants turn to business

At a busy solar-powered hair salon, 42-year-old Jean-Marie dishes out the latest hair styles to a steady stream of customers, as well as charges mobile phones. Nearby, a collectively owned clothes shop rattles with the sound of eight sewing machines. Co-owner Adrian sits out front smiling. Both Ad 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.