RADIO ALTERNATIVEClose your eyes for one second and think about Somalia. Did any of the following come to mind: the largest livestock market in Africa; a robust agricultural sector; the second largest mobile phone sector in Africa; an economy supported by remittances worth over $1 billion and a business sector assisted by $350 million of investment from Turkey?

KASHMIR CHILDREN CAUGHT IN CONFLICTThe children were simply doing what came naturally to them after finding a new toy on the road. But for Shabir Ahmad and his three schoolmates, this inquisitiveness shattered their world.

RWANDAN GENDER EQUALITYSitting under the shade of a mango tree, Agnes Uyisabye is reviewing a list of local beneficiaries of the country’s health insurance scheme with a group of health workers.

schooling in kenya

Photo: Adrian Gathu | Panos London

My son is five years old, and like any mother I want the best schooling for him. I know that doors open for the educated and the alternative in Kenya is likely to be a low-paid, high risk job.

DISPLACEMENTAt the end of 1990s I made my first trip to mountainous, landlocked Lesotho, to set up a Panos London project to record interviews with people who were facing resettlement from their highland communities. The construction of a huge dam the following year would take over their valley; their homes, fields, gravestones and grazing lands would eventually be submerged by its water.

Afghanistan theaterOn stage, a father is pressuring his young daughter to marry an older man, a commander, to solve the family’s financial problems. The daughter resists and the father beats her; the girl’s mother intervenes and the girl threatens suicide.

CHILE STUDENTS' PROTESTSTens of thousands of students returned to the streets of Santiago last week to renew their demand for education reform. It’s one year since students in Chile began the greatest wave of popular protests since the end of military dictatorships in Latin America. High school and university students joined together to demand free public education.

A blow to women rights in MaliFarima Samake, a widow living in the village of Gwelekoro in the south of Mali, regrets obeying her husband when he took their first daughter out of school to take care of her younger brother. “Her father decided it and I didn’t refuse,” says Farima.

STREAM IN KASHMIRThe sweet fragrance of saffron fills the air. Nearby are snow-capped mountains, fruit orchards and splendid lakes, scenes which moved the 16th century Mughal emperor Nurrudin Muhammad Jahangir to describe Kashmir as paradise on earth.

HIV IN LONDONOn a chilly, grey Wednesday, I find myself turning heads on Acton, West London, largely because I am in the company of a beautiful young woman who talks brightly about an issue many associate with death.


Picture: Armsfree Ajanaku | Panos London

With the feisty lyrics of American rap legend Tupac pumping out of the car stereo, 36-year-old Steve Okoikpi manoeuvres his only-slightly ageing Mercedes Benz through sharp bends on the road. The destination is Akasanko, a forest community of about 500 people in the outskirts of Calabar, the capital of Cross River State. Cross River lies on the coastline of Nigeria’s oil-rich, but heavily impoverished Niger Delta region.