Congolese, Skeptical of Donating Blood, Face Serious Shortage

Region: Democratic Republic of Congo

Topics: HealthHuman Rights

The cost of a unit of blood in DRC could soon top $100, if people don’t begin donating regularly, health officials warn. One woman formed an organization to urge women in particular to give blood to help replenish local blood banks.

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DRC Street Food Could Be Health Hazard

Region: Democratic Republic of Congo

Topics: Health

Many street food vendors handle money and food with ungloved, unwashed hands, and their customers often don’t wash their hands, either. Officials say poor hygiene contributes to outbreaks of diarrhea, cholera and other diseases and health issues.

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Fighting Poverty, Illiterate Dad in Haiti Struggles to Send Kids to School

Region: Haiti

Topics: EducationHuman Rights

In recent years, school enrollment rates in Haiti have gone up, but the average Haitian age 25 or older has attended school for less than five years, half the adult population is illiterate, and there’s a lack of experienced teachers. The government is straining to ensure that children attend school while few teachers receive proper training.

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As Land Disputes Between Ethnic Groups Escalate, One Woman Uses Mediation to Quell the Violence

Region: Democratic Republic of Congo

Topics: Human Rights

For decades, the Bafuliiru and Barundi ethnic groups have bitterly contested each other’s rights to land, and recently, some of these disputes have escalated into violence, including a 2014 massacre that claimed at least 30 lives. In the face of this violence, Nabindu Mukungulwa — the only woman on the local mediation committee — volunteers her time to negotiate fair resolutions to land disputes in the hopes of putting inter-ethnic violence in the past.

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Women Train Under Former Boxing Champion to Protect, Provide for Families

Region: Democratic Republic of Congo

Topics: Culture

For the women who train under a former boxing champion in Goma, boxing is more than just a sport. The women fight to prove themselves, earn a living and protect their families.

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When Rwandan Mothers Work in DRC, Small Children Wait Alone at Border

Region: Rwanda

Topics: EducationHuman RightsPolitics

Rwandan children of all ages are left alone each day near the border crossing with Democratic Republic of Congo as their mothers peddle food and other goods there. The women say they have no other way to earn money, even though their work forces their children to fend for themselves during the day.

This article refers to a March 26th speech by Paul Kagame. The speech has been intentionally paraphrased, rather than quoted, to comply with Rwandan law that forbids the president's words to be used out of context.

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DRC Students Drop Out as Parents Struggle To Pay Rising Required Teachers’ Bonuses 

Region: Democratic Republic of Congo

Topics: Education

Children whose parents can’t afford the rising cost of bonus payments to augment teachers’ pay are being turned away from schools. Teacher salaries are a major challenge for Congolese communities, where schools require parents to augment government salaries. Meanwhile DRC, with an estimated 3.5 million primary school-age children out of school, is among nations with the highest numbers of out-of-school children in the world.

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DRC Volcano Spurts New Business for Woman Hoping to Sell Her Lava Jewelry Worldwide

Region: Democratic Republic of Congo

Topics: Business

One DRC woman’s business makes the most of a substance many Goma residents consider to be a nuisance: Hardened lava, from past eruptions of Mount Nyiragongo. Lydie Sosole uses the lava to create jewelry that both inspires pride in Goma and boosts the local economy.

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After Years of Conflict, Dialogue Begun To Set DRC Region on Path to Peace

Region: Democratic Republic of Congo

Topics: Human RightsPolitics

Meetings between Nandes and Hutus in Lubero territory are being held to reduce tensions between the two groups. Leaders are asking residents of all ethnicities to refuse to associate with rebel organizations and are urging the government to do its part to quell violence.

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More Haitians Self-Medicating as Street Vendors Provide Alternative to Pharmacies

Region: Haiti

Topics: Health

In Haiti’s struggling economy and tough job market, selling prescription drugs illegally has become an attractive option – especially since street vendors operate with impunity. But the lower prices and more flexible purchasing options that street vendors provide come at a cost as consumers increasingly forgo pharmacies and formal medical treatment.

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