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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 collecmore

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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 one meal a day to three in Bangladesh

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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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

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Bringing financial services to the Pacific's poorest

Seventy-year-old Raj Dulari no longer has to travel long distances each month to collect her social welfare payment from the Nausori Post Office in Fiji. Nor does she have to wait in line, or worry that she might lose her allowance of US$32 if she does not collect it on time. Dulari, a widow who livmore

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In Venezuela, music provides hope for impoverished youth

Nehyda Alas, a teacher and director of Venezuela’s Teresa Carreño Youth Symphony Orchestra, believes that when children are exposed to music their behaviour improves. He should know. Alas has been teaching music education to at-risk youth from Caracas’ poor communities, where children and teens are more