Her name was Farzaneh* and she popped up on my phone screen, pink hijab and rating of 4.7.
When 25-year-old Maru dropped out of school in the tenth grade he knew that he could not survive on loans from his relatives. He decided to leave Ethiopia in January 2017 to find work in South Africa, but he never made it there. He went through Kenya and Tanzania in transit, before being arrested and held in Malawi for eight months.
If you happen to visit the southern Sri Lankan town of Matara one of these days, it’s more than likely you’ll bump into a group of bright-eyed youngsters clutching white envelopes. Smartly turned out in jeans and T-shirts, they have a purposeful look about them. And if your guess is that they are on a mission, possibly canvassing for some cause, you’re not very far off the mark.
Faqir Hussain Shah’s weary eyes follow the queue of people receiving relief deliveries in Narra, a small town on the bank of the Kunhar River near Balakot. With snows and rains making life more difficult in the unplanned camp where his family is now living, Faqir has arrived to join the 425 other villagers picking up winterization kits to help keep their families dry and warm. With two more months of winter left in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, the help is welcomed, but worries remain.
Rizwana has resumed teaching the Government Girls' High School in Gari Habibullah, but she's still haunted by the memories of her 2-year-old son who died in the October 8 killer earthquake. Thousands of buildings were completely destroyed - including most of the government schools in NWFP and Pakistan-administered Kashmir.