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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 smore

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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 owmore

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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 Maliamore

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Burundi: Returning to a normal life after war

Some mornings Espérance Nibigira, 35, wonders how she will find the energy to begin the day. As a combatant in the north-west of Burundi during the civil war that raged between 1993 and 2005, resulting in 300,000 deaths, she suffered an accident on the battlefield that left her disabled and sufferinmore

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Multi-use engines drive women's empowerment in 1,000 Mali villages

Before the installation of a diesel-fueled engine, Koumantou village in southern Mali would to fall into near total darkness each night. The only light would be cast from the restaurant of local businesswoman, Kadia Kone.  This scene is repeated throughout rural Sub-Saharan Africa, where 9more

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From unemployment to entrepreneurship

“Light is coming out of my city,” says 20-year old Abonesh Dejene, referring to the success of a UNDP training and business development initiative in southern Ethiopia. Dejene, of Wolyta Sodo town, is the sole female in a group of young people who were once unemployed after dropping out of school, bmore

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Coffee-flavoured success in Ethiopia

Wearing white jackets usually reserved for doctors, men in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital city, taste coffee with a seriousness that verges on academic. These taste-testers ensure that the coffee grown by Ethiopian farmers meets the highest standards before it is put up for sale at the Ethiopian more

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From one meal a day to three

Inside Asea Begum's home, shelves teem with jars containing pulses, grains, spices and dried biscuits. A little girl runs in with a small plastic bottle that Begum fills with cooking oil in exchange for a few coins. Asea Begum runs a small grocery store out of her one-room house in the Mymensingh dimore

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Guaranteed job for Madvi Madka, India

Madvi Madka, from the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, has one thing in common with many international business tycoons: he is part of the construction sector that has been crippled by the global economic crisis. But Madvi Madka is no real-estate shark. He is a farmer and a daily-wage earner whmore

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Benin: New opportunities for young graduates

Faced with the difficulty of finding new employment in Cotonou, Benin’s largest city, Philippe and Ulrich, two brothers from a poor background decided to launch their own fruit juice distribution business after finishing their university studies. Nowadays, both brothers command a salary, and recruitmore