Stories: Poverty

  • Harsh Reproductive Math in the Slums

    The view from a shack in the Recife slum area of Coelhos. Photo: Olga Khazan “You just press the ring here, and put it inside your vagina, and keep pushing it until it’s comfortable … It’s very comfortable, you’re gonna have fun.” The volunteer health worker demonstrates how she would explain...

  • Haiti on Camera: Photojournalism or Poverty Porn?

    I was alerted to the website Turning World by some friends here in Haiti. The site is run by photojournalist Brad Workman, who has an ongoing photo documentary in Haiti. Looking at the site, I took issue with the language, the project, and the fact that there is no acknowledgement of – let alone an indication...

  • Meet Kanchi Tamang, Nepalese Waste Picker

    Kanchi Tamang is a waste-picker in Nepal. A mother and a grandmother, she works long hours in unsafe and unclean conditions for a pittance. After contracting Hepatitis C, then developing painful gallstones, she faces the prospect of medical treatment that will require her to be absent from work and hospital bills that, together with the loss of work income,...

  • In Republic of Congo, a Revolution in Maternal Health

    At first glance, Central University Hospital in Brazzaville looks like so many other hospitals in so many other African capitals – home to dimly lit waiting rooms and dirty floors. But inside the freshly painted mint-green walls of the hospital's maternity ward, a revolution is happening. In 10 years, the country has reduced the number of women dying in child...

  • One Man’s Anger: When the Global Water Crisis Hits Home

    When I was in Zambia in July reporting on infectious diseases, something happened one day while visiting the N’Gombe compound in Lusaka that really made me think critically about the global water problem and how extensive and intricate it really is. While we sat inside the small, tidy home of a family that was affected...

  • Social Enterprise in Indian Slums

    Slums in India have grabbed the attention of activists, journalists and humanitarians for decades. And as urbanisation in India surges, living conditions in these poor areas within megacities have become increasingly dire. New slums have emerged on the outer rings of older ones, resulting in situations like the one in Mumbai's Dharavi where its one million people now sit...

  • Haiti: Missing Healthcare on the Frontline of HIV

    Long before 9/11 and the subsequent incarceration of hundreds of so called ‘terror suspects’ in Guantanamo Bay, thousands of Haitian refugees fleeing the military junta in the early 1990s were detained on the U.S. base. Many of those detained were detained because they were suspected of being HIV Positive [+]. The marking of Haitians as carriers of AIDS goes...

  • Deonar Dumping Grounds in Mumbai

    Ever been to Rafiq Nagar and Baba Nagar in Mumbai, India? If your answer is in the affirmative, then, you have Makoko, Oko Baba and Ijora Badiya, all slums on Lagos mainland on your mind. As it’s characteristic of those places, filth, stench, oddities of all sorts and, above all, a huge population of people that are suffering...

  • World Hunger: Time Is Running Out

    I feel sorry for world leaders. All those regular summits in luxury resorts, where friends hang out with equally powerful friends in multiple acre leisure clubs and international five-star hotels, but alas have little time to enjoy the facilities. All those buffets, good linen and cruise ship-style dinner menus to deal with when your mind is really on higher things...

  • Evictions, Hunger, Continued Persecutions, and One Victory

    Last Wednesday, agents of the state and local police forcefully evicted residents of Camp Bristou in Peguy Ville. Bristou is overlooked by Mojub school, which is part of SOPUDEP community, and many of the women, men and children who attend the school and literacy classes lived in the camp and the surrounding area. In nearby Delmas, the residents at...