Our Stories

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Chad: Micro-finance networks boost business initiatives by women

"Let’s get up and get to work — the slogan of a new savings cooperative for women in the village of Balimba, in the south of Chad — bears witness to their motivation and entrepreneurial spirit. "With our modest capital investment, we weren't getting very far," Florence, a member of th more

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In FYR Macedonia, supporting entrepreneurs to build new lives

As soon as she completed her dentistry studies, Arta Alija applied for as many jobs as she could at state clinics. But the 30-year-old from Tetovo, Macedonia, had no luck. Although the number of people enrolling in undergraduate and graduate programs has risen in recent years, the percentage of unem more

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In Belize, teaching youth life-skills to prepare for workplace

For Diangelo Ramos, a young man living in Belize, surviving after he was thrown out of his house at 13 took determination and courage. “I was drinking at school, missing classes,” he recalled. ”My teacher said she would not give up on me because she knew I could change.” Diangelo participated in a more

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In Bhutan, cooperatives help villagers turn chores into profit

Ten years ago, 44-year-old Karma Choeni Dema, a divorcee and mother of seven children in Bhutan, may not have imagined herself as the breadwinner of the family. She survived on the little that was harvested from the land that they owned. Today, Karma is the chairwoman of the Shershong Cooperative in 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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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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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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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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