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Lilly Mensah, GPJ Ghana
In Ghana, where children with attention deficit disorder and learning disabilities are commonly beaten by frustrated teachers, fresh initiatives are giving dropouts an opportunity to learn in ways that finally work for them. After diagnosing and assessing children taken in from the streets of the nation’s capital, the nonprofit Special Attention Project pairs students with learning difficulties with tutors who carry out individualized learning plans. A nationwide undertaking, the Inclusive Education Policy, aims to facilitate better learning experiences for all Ghanaian children.
Tara Bhattarai, GPJ Nepal
Young women in Nepal who choose to live with their boyfriends lack the legal protections and rights of married women. Although living together is not socially accepted, more urban couples are choosing to do so to minimize living costs and enjoy sexual freedom. Legal experts and activists are working with the government to provide protection and compensation for women in de facto partnerships who are abused and abandoned.
Merveille Kavira Luneghe, GPJ DRC
In a country where medical professionals are scarce and clinics are often far off, many refugee and Pygmy women deliver their babies with the help of traditional birthing assistants. Lacking medical equipment as well as formal training, these midwives cannot provide emergency care when complications arise. Public health officials and an NGO aim to reduce the country’s high infant and maternal mortality rates by training and supervising these midwives.
Nakinti Nofuru, GPJ Cameroon
Young Cameroonian men who never attended secondary school are finding employment in the newly popular floral and nursery trades. Strong wages enable many garden workers to start their own enterprises. Local gardeners say the seeds of their trade were planted by a botanist who brought his extensive know-how to Cameroon’s Southwest region in the 1980s.
Temitayo Olufinlua, GPJ Nigeria
The Computer Village has attracted thousands of young entrepreneurs who sell, repair or swap technological devices such as phones and computers. More than 50,000 youths have found employment through the technology hub of the country’s largest city. These entrepreneurs fear business will drop off if the government moves the market to a more spacious site, as planned.
Lucila Pelletteri, GPJ Argentina
Theatrical companies with blind members perform in the dark, increasing employment opportunities for blind people and teaching sighted people to watch without eyes. Through plays and alternative forms of theater, these troupes are sensitizing audiences to the lives of blind people. Buenos Aires theatergoers get to observe blind performers as competent, whole and creative.
Noella Nyirabihogo, GPJ DRC
Throughout the Democratic Republic of Congo, thousands of former child soldiers struggle to readjust to civilian life after being pressed into service by regional militias. United Nations organizations rescued more than 10,000 child soldiers in eastern DRC between 2012 and 2014. Service groups provide vital counseling, job placement assistance and even religious instruction.
Kalpana Khanal, GPJ Nepal
The Nepalese government has started using modern technology to make its services simple and easily accessible. As of 2014, all 27 government ministries and the Prime Minister’s Office have digitized their day-to-day operations. These technological advances are expected to foster economic development by improving governance and maintaining financial transparency.
Nakinti Nofuru, GPJ Cameroon
Wife inheritance and humiliating widowhood rites are the norm in some villages in the Northwest region of Cameroon. To end these practices, Anne Stella Fomumbod has come up with a rule book that protects the rights and honor of widows. Widows in 97 villages that have adopted the charter say they now feel protected.
Esther Nsapu, GPJ DRC
In Goma, a city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, people who fear they have been poisoned with a locally made potion called karuho often turn to Riziki Mbeta. The healer began learning folk medicine about 10 years after ethnic hostilities in neighboring Rwanda began spilling into the DRC, spreading fear of revenge killings. While neither the potency of the poison nor the effectiveness of its antidotes has been scientifically verified, even health care professionals refer patients to Mbeta. Nonetheless, some reports suggest “karuho phobia” causes locals to assume they’ve been poisoned when they are suffering from more common diseases, such as tuberculosis.