Our Stories

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Burundi: Reclaiming forest reserve while improving livelihoods

During Burundi’s civil war, thousands of people sought refuge in the Kibira forest reserve near the capital Bujumbura. But since the war ended in 2002, damage to the forest has been exacerbated as internally displaced persons and nearby communities cut down trees to clear land for farming, and use t more

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India: Conserving the Gulf of Mannar’s biodiversity

The Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve, off the south eastern coast of India, is home to one of the world’s largest concentrations of marine species. Much of the Reserve’s biodiversity depends on the coral reef, which houses numerous species of fish and supports the livelihoods of close to 150,000 fis more

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Peru: Improving cook stoves and access to energy

Cooking on a wood fire has always required a great deal of effort for 48-year-old Pilar Valladolid. She is supported in this duty by her 8-year-old daughter, Pamela. Together they have to walk more than an hour to collect the firewood they will use to cook with during the coming days, just as Pilar 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 five years presents significant challenges. With shorter but more intense rainy seasons, followed by longer dry seasons, farmers are st more

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Strengthening education in Bangladesh

It is 8:30 a.m. in the village of Matiranga, in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh. School is about to begin and, unlike in years past, the children arriving for their preschool and primary school classes know they will have no trouble understanding what is said in their lessons. The Hill Trac more

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Georgia: Microloans offer new starts in war-torn regions

Dali Chilachava and her family fled their home village in Abkhazia, Georgia, after separatist conflict broke out in the region in 1993. For 12 years they endured extreme poverty, until a microfinance programme helped them to start a small business growing and selling lillies. In regions of Georgia more

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India: Transforming poor rural women into successful business managers

Ten years ago Pushpa Devi Maurya joined a self-help group to make ends meet in the village of Chak Padri in the state of Uttar Pradesh, northern India. Today this 35-year-old mother of two manages the bulk milk chilling centre set up by the milk producers’ company near her village. The centre collec more

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Chor Vichara, Cambodia, weaves a better future for herself

The eldest child of a local school teacher and a homemaker, Chor Vichara, 22, dropped out of school at 16 so that her two brothers could pursue their studies. She then went to work at a garment factory in Phnom Penh, 40 kilometres from her home. At the factory she earned about US$70 a month sewing s more

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Veterinary skills help empower women in rural Pakistan

Muhammad Bibi’s life in the Punjab province of Tehsil Mian Channu, northeastern Pakistan, took a sudden turn when her husband had a heart attack and was unable to work. Without warning, she became the sole provider for her six children and her spouse. At the time, the few goats that Bibi's family ow more

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Mangoes in mali: Changing lives and a nation's economy

On a spring day in southwest Mali, a group of Malian women holding corners of a blue and turquoise cloth turn their heads to the sky. In seconds, the green mangoes that hang from the tree branches above will be prodded by a stick, knocking them into the colorful cloth. Anyone who has tried a Malia more

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