Stories about people and places  



La democracia por sí sola no basta

La autoproclamada república de Somalilandia tendrá que superar muchos obstáculos antes de convertirse en un Estado pleno, y muchos de ellos están relacionados con los derechos de sus ciudadanos, en especial, las mujeres


Can Somaliland's New President Steer it Toward International Recognition? 

The candidate of Somaliland’s ruling party, Musa Bihi Abdi, was finally declared the new president of this semi-autonomous region of northwestern Somalia late last month, after eight days of counting, recounting and closed-door negotiations between him, his main rival and the National Electoral Commission. Now Bihi faces the task of dealing with Somaliland’s many challenges, most of all turning a nascent democracy and East African success story into a fully functioning and independent state recognized by the world. 


Kenya's High Priestess of Graffiti

Known to her fans as a high priestess of graffiti, Nancy ‘Chela’ Chelagat Cherwon is one of Kenya’s few female street artists. Despite resistance from her family, she earns a living from her skills and is challenging stereotypes around street art. PHOTOS by Rachel Clara Reed

Founded by refugees, this school offers education to underprivileged students

Sud Academy, which currently has about 200 students enrolled, seeks to provide education despite these challenges. Around 80 percent of children who attend the school are refugees – mostly from South Sudan – but the school actively welcomes Kenyan children from the local community who could not otherwise afford school fees or associated costs.

Armenia usa el dolor del pasado para mejorar el presente

Mientras los oscuros y gélidos meses de invierno se fundían para dar paso a los primeros días soleados de la primavera, Ereván (capital de Armenia) parecía una ciudad en permanente fiesta. Modernos jóvenes se sentaban en las cafeterías que bordean cada calle, sorbiendo café con hielo, sosteniendo cervezas y haciéndose selfies; ocultos en patios y callejones, abuelos ancianos jugaban al backgammon o el ajedrez, charlando entre cigarrillo y cigarrillo, y todas las noches la grandiosa Plaza de la República cobraba vida con el espectáculo de luz y sonido de la llamativa fuente.

How this amazing school quickly improved girls’ attendance

In a 2015 study of over 3000 women in rural Western Kenya, 75% of females reported using commercial pads and 25% used traditional materials such as cloth or items like paper or tissue, which can be unhygienic and could lead to infection. In the same study, one in ten 15-year-old girls reported engaging in sex for money to buy sanitary pads.


Un Lannister siempre se implica

“Este es un gran ejemplo de personas que se reúnen para divertirse y, al mismo tiempo, plantear una cuestión muy importante”, comenta Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Su voz es apenas audible en medio de la algarabía, los gritos de ánimo a las jugadoras y la música atronadora


When less is more

 Eateries in Nairobi’s Westlands area come a dime a dozen, usually housed in clubs with loud music and sticky floors, serving kebabs and chips to late-night revelers. But only a few minutes up the road lies Juniper Kitchen, a newly opened spot that takes patrons a world away from the typical offerings of the neon light–lined Electric Avenue.


Meet the Teenagers Who Started a Film Production Studio in Their Refugee Camp

In 2011, a 19-year-old Congolese refugee named Jean Michelle Batakane returned to the camp after studying at the East African Media Institute in Nairobi. Using his pocket money, a small camcorder and a laptop he was given as a gift, Batakane started Season of the Times Media Productions... VIDEO by Rachel Clara Reed


Why are so many women being murdered in Uganda?

Kampala, Uganda - Noah Musiba sat by the door all night listening out for a noise that would signal the return of his wife. His nine-year-old daughter, Sheerat, lay on a mattress on the floor by his feet, wide awake.


Journalist Megan Iacobini De Fazio on her love for all things Huddersfield Town

Reporter speaks to the Huddersfield Town Supporters Association on the difficulties of finding a decent bar to watch the Terriers in Somaliland

This teacher’s experience as a refugee helps him make a big impact on his students

 He was only 12 when the Khartoum government’s forces attacked his village. In the confusion, Ayuel and his 5-year-old brother, who had been severely injured in the attack, were separated from their parents. Ayuel would not talk to them again for more than 15 years.


How football is changing the lives of girls in Kenya

“Discovering football is the best thing that ever happened to me,” says Claris Akinyi, sitting behind her tidy desk in the principal’s office in Kibera Girls Soccer Academy (KGSA). When she was 11, Claris spent her days looking after her sick mother and helping run her family’s boiled maize stand. When she became a member of the Kibera Girls football team, her life changed overnight.


Helping girls achieve their education through internet access and technology

Kibiko is one of 205 primary schools across four Kenyan counties to be part of the iMlango program, which aims to improve education by delivering internet access, computer labs, smartcard-based attendance monitoring, and online learning tools to primary school children.


Are ‘clean’ solid-fuel cookstoves the solution or part of the problem?

BURN Manufacturing in Nairobi is one of the biggest players in this major global initiative to get cleaner solid-fuel cookstoves into the hands of the poor. But some say this approach, by BURN and other social enterprises focused on building a better cookstove, is contributing to the problem they aim to solve.


Is Kenya’s crackdown on NGOs about fair wages, or silencing government critics?

The fallout continues over a move by Kenya’s Nongovernmental Board to address the wage disparity between local and foreign workers, with some suggesting that the motives have more to do with silencing government critics than wage fairness. But the issue of wages has taken hold with locals, creating a complex situation.

Simiens+for+website (1).jpg

Ethiopia's Simien Mountains: Trekking On The Roof Of The World

Hiking the Simien Mountains is a world-class experience which offers stunning views of awe-inspiring jagged peaks and sharp precipices, as well as the chance to spot some endemic wildlife such as the rare Ethiopian wolf and the elusive Walia Ibex. Challenging enough for most hillwalkers, this trek can be enjoyed by people with different levels of experience and fitness.


Somaliland vote: Young people decry clan politics

"The last generation has failed us," agrees Khadar Mariano, himself a youth activist and founder of YEEL Volunteers, an organisation working to improve Somaliland's education system. "But not voting is not an option here."


Five things you need to know about Somaliland's vote

After a seven-year wait, Somaliland will go to the polls to elect a new leader. Here are five things you need to know: 


Breaking Taboos in Zanzibar

Donning brightly coloured kangas and headscarves, several women take their place around a large, bright room, furrowing their brows as they tune their instruments. Vibrant laughter, the quivering sound of the violin, the rhythmic thumps of the percussion and the hypnotic hum of a female voice chaotically compete with each other, until the appearance of Mariam Hamdani in the doorway brings the cacophony to a halt. PHOTOS by Rachel Clara Reed


That time I let myself be taken captive -because I didn't want to be rude

Every woman knows the delicate dance of standing up to pushy men while not coming off as “that bitch.” When I traveled solo in Iran, that mental dance became a nightmare.


How one man is connecting Kakuma refugee camp to the rest of the world

When Innocent fled his native Democratic Republic of the Congo and arrived in the Kakuma refugee camp in 2009, he felt as if he couldn’t have been any further from the rest of the world.


Serafina’s family encouraged her to stay in school. Now she wants other girls to have that chance.

Despite some of the challenges the school faces – lack of funding has resulted in overcrowded classrooms and inadequate facilities – Serafina is grateful to Sud Academy for giving her the opportunity to gain an education, but also for educating South Sudanese students, who she believes will one day help rebuild the country.


Olympic hopefuls bring inspiration to refugee camp

The Kakuma camp residents – who number more than 200,000 – have been gathering nightly to cheer on Team Refugee in the Rio Olympics, the first ever team made up of people displaced by war, famine and persecution. The screens have been streaming live coverage of the Olympics in a collaboration between the UN High Commission for Refugees, FilmAid and Amnesty International.


Kenya deports high-profile refugee after Facebook post, sparking concerns

On the morning of Nov. 2, Kenyan armed forces entered the house of James Gatdet Dak and informed him that he was being arrested and deported back to Juba, South Sudan, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.


Kenya cracks down on foreign NGO workers, citing wage disparity

Thousands of foreign nongovernmental organization workers in Kenya risk losing their jobs after the NGO Board announced a tightening of employment rules late last month. Organizations fear that the move could affect their work in the country, and many have accused the Kenyan government of scare tactics and inflammatory rhetoric.