Bija Gutoff’s stories
Indonesia: Boosting disaster resilience
If your family lived in a rickety shack on stilts and the waters were rising, you would hope your government had a plan. But if you were among the millions of poor people who inhabit some of the world’s most crowded and vulnerable Asian cities, there’s a good chance you’d be wrong.
Indonesia: Wholesale bank brings financial services to the poor
In Indonesia, millions of people are self-employed through small businesses. But only a small percentage of them have had access to the formal financial services that help people move permanently out of poverty.
Guatemala: Farmers find new markets
Iraq: Citizens learn to speak out, leaders learn to listen
Good things are happening in Iraq. Ordinary citizens are stepping up to rebuild and renew their country. People not accustomed to having a voice are learning how to make their concerns known to the leaders of their communities. Leaders are learning how to listen and respond.
Somalia: Youth voices in a troubled land
In the northern Somalia semi-desert regions of Somaliland and Puntland, clans fight fiercely over dwindling supplies of wood, water and grazing land. The fewer the resources, the greater the competition. It’s an age-old conflict that jeopardizes the country’s future, especially its youth.
Haiti: After the earthquake, focusing on rural areas
The earthquake of January 12, 2010, may prove to be a crossroad for Haiti. The people of this poor but proud country are certainly ready for the tide to turn in their favor.
Nepal: Who’s got the power?
You’re serving a customer or running a machine and the power quits. This is a regular occurrence in Nepal. If you’re well-off, you pay to have a generator installed in your business and home so you’re not dependent on the electric grid.
Nepal: Where the river brings life, it can also bring death
Krishna Bahadur Giri is standing thigh-deep in the swollen Mohana River, studying the best place to cross. The road we were going to use is washed out; Plan B is to turn our Jeep into an amphibious vehicle.
Nepal: To combat hunger, Janaki learns new ways to grow, store and sell
I’m pretty sure Bill Gates hasn’t met Janaki Bhatta. But I’m just as sure he’d see in her a kindred spirit — a feisty entrepreneur who’s taking some smart steps to increase her yields of aloo (potato) and audha (ginger) — and the income she earns from them.
Nepal: Just a quick note on the story below about workers leaving Nepal
Our friend Bal Joshi, who's involved in the remittances business here in Nepal — making it possible for people to send money home — told me that each month, there are 18,000 young people (18 to 30) who leave Nepal in search of work.