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Gloriose Isugi, GPJ Rwanda
The Kigali government has urged residents of areas of the capital prone to heavy rains, floods and landslides to relocate. From 2011 to 2013, deaths caused by natural disasters increased 87 percent in high-risk zones, and injuries increased 72 percent. But a year after the initial relocation deadline, most homeowners refuse to comply without compensation for their properties.
The urban development that has occurred in Mexico City’s central area since 2001 is generating gentrification concerns in some neighborhoods. Rent for newer apartments in these localities sometimes costs 84 percent more than for older apartments in the quarter. This year, the government plans to study whether restoration projects have displaced low-income residents and to develop mechanisms that promote social inclusion.
Photo Courtesy of WSPA
Fearing that witchcraft caused a series of dog biting incidents in the second half of 2013, residents of a village in Cameroon have beaten to death most of the community’s dogs. To prevent inhumane treatment, some owners have sold their dogs for food. Veterinary officials, however, attribute the assaults – one of them fatal – to rabies and insist the solution is to vaccinate all dogs annually.
Members of the Triqui community are among the thousands of indigenous people who migrate from their communities to Mexico City each year with hopes for a better life, but its members say that they instead have found discrimination, marginalization and underemployment. About 65 families have lived in makeshift homes in the streets of the capital for three years while the government builds apartments for them. Although younger generations are losing interest in their language and traditional clothing, older Triquis attempt to maintain their customs.
The government increased the salaries of all its employees by 18 percent for the current fiscal year, but this is half what they had demanded. To make ends meet, some workers borrow from their retirement savings, take on additional work, live apart from spouses or sell land.
In Buenos Aires, an old art deco building houses retired artists who may have been famous but now lack a place to live and an income to support themselves. The 35 residents receive free rooms, three daily meals and medical care. The home also offers companionship and proximity to cultural events.
Glory Mushinge, GPJ Zambia
Landscaping has emerged as a lucrative business in Zambia’s capital as a growing middle class invests in the hospitality industry and private homes. The Lusaka City Council, which is planting 14,000 trees throughout the capital to meet environmental targets, is offering free advertising to companies who join its efforts. Local citizens are supporting their families and running orphanages with profits from the landscaping business.
Kamala Gautam, GPJ Nepal
An increasing number of young women are choosing the nursing profession in Nepal because of heightened employment opportunities and social prestige. More than 45,000 students have gained their nursing certification since formal studies began in the country. Nepalese men living abroad are also selecting nurses as their brides because of their assured employment in foreign countries.
Mary Wairimu, GPJ Kenya
Small-business women in Kenya who lack finances to advertise in mainstream media are using Facebook to attract clients thanks to the assistance of local organizations. One trader says her sales have increased by 50 percent. One organization is training women how to use Facebook, and another is placing advertisements for them on the social networking site for a commission.
Lucila Pellettieri, GPJ Argentina
Various groups in Argentina are working to lower the number of road fatalities by pushing for changes in the legislative and judicial systems. Argentina ranks among the countries in Latin America with the highest vehicle-related death rates. One local activist group includes mothers whose children died in traffic accidents.