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Thousands of children have been used as soldiers in at least 18 countries around the world in the past two years.

For the children who survive, the trauma of war can have long-lasting impacts.

On this edition of Global Journalist, we’re going to hear about how two aid groups are trying to address this issue in South Sudan and Uganda. We'll also hear from two ex-child soldiers about how the trauma of fighting in wars shaped their lives.

This program first aired Nov. 29, 2018.

European Pressphoto Agency

Africa is home to the 10 fastest growing cities in the world. Over the next 25 years, the World Bank projects that the continent's urban population will double to 1 billion. 

Yet along with gleaming skyscrapers and shopping malls, African cities are feeling growing pains. More than half of the 4 million people in the Kenyan capital Nairobi live in slums, often without access to running water, electricity or sewage systems. Traffic in Nairobi and other booming cities has become nightmarish. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the huge planning and infrastructure challenges for African cities as they undergo one of the most rapid periods of urbanization in world history. Will tomorrow's African megacities be economic powerhouses or giant slums?


AP Photo

Thousands of children have been used as soldiers in at least 18 countries around the world in the past two years.

For the children who survive, the trauma of war can have long-lasting impacts.

On this edition of Global Journalist, we’re going to hear about how two aid groups are trying to address this issue in South Sudan and Uganda. We'll also hear from two ex-child soldiers about how the trauma of fighting in wars shaped their lives.


Jill Craig/VOA/via Wikimedia

When South Sudan became a country in 2011, there was a lot of optimism in a nation where people had endured decades of conflict to win independence from Sudan.

But within three years, the country had descended into its own civil war – a war that continues to this day.

Today more than a third of South Sudan’s population has been forced from their homes. Children are used as soldiers and mass rape as a weapon of war.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at why the government and the main rebel group have been unable to make peace, and whether a policy shift by the Trump administration may lead to a deal.


AP Photo

The use of orphanages fell out of favor in the U.S. around World War II, and the institutions were largely replaced by the foster care system.

But in parts of Asia and Africa, the number of orphanages has actually risen in recent decades – spurred in part by the death toll from conflict and HIV/AIDS. Many of these institutions are privately owned or run by non-profits and receive no government money. Instead, they are funded entirely by donations.

The growth has led to criticism by some child advocates. They argue that most children would be better off living with relatives or others. They also worry that in some countries the growth in orphanages has been spurred in part by adults looking to pad their own pockets by capitalizing on tourists willing to pay to volunteer at childrens’ homes.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the debate around institutional child care in developing countries and what might be perpetuating the problem of overseas orphanage scams.


EPA

After more than 16 years in power, the Democratic Republic of Congo's President Joseph Kabila was to step down after his term expired in December.

Instead his government has repeatedly postponed elections, spurring violence across sub-Saharan Africa's largest country and raising fears that Kabila may not intend to relinquish power peacefully. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at rising tensions in a country still recovering from a horrific war. Also: an interview with the Congolese radio journalist who exposed the use of mass rape and sexual violence during Congo's civil war.


AP Photo

People in rural parts of Tanzania and other areas of East Africa face a lot of challenges. But life can be particularly difficult for people with albinism.

Albinism is a genetic disorder that causes a baby to be born without melanin, a pigment that gives skin color and protects it from the sun, and people with albinism have pale white skin and hair.

In parts of East Africa some traditional healers believe that body parts from people with albinism have medicinal or magical properties. Nearly 200 people with albinism have been murdered in Africa in recent years, according to the aid group Under the Same Sun. Hundreds of others have been abducted, attacked or had one or more limbs amputated.

But these attacks aren’t the only challenges faced by people with albinism East Africa. On this edition of Global Journalist we’ll hear more about this form of discrimination.


Sayyid Azim / AP

You see the label on coffee, chocolate, t-shirts and even gold, “Fair Trade.” The extra dollars you pay for the products are meant to guarantee they’re produced ethically and sustainably. And that the farmers and workers who produced them are justly compensated. What began as a humble effort by a few churches and activists a half a century ago to help people in the developing world has grown into a multibillion dollar industry. But the movement has attracted critics, who say the label today is mostly marketing that benefits companies in Europe and the U.S.

Stephen Wandera / Associated Press

On Dec. 20, Uganda’s parliament passed a bill that imposes harsh punishments for homosexual acts in the country. The bill makes it a crime to promote same-sex relationships and allows some acts to be punishable by life in prison. An earlier version included the death penalty in some instances. 

Nation Media Group flourishes in Kenya

Jul 18, 2013
Ben Curtis / Associated Press

Freedom of the press is rising steadily in Kenya. The constitution now specifically prohibits the state from interfering with the editorial independence of journalists and their media outlets, both state-owned and private.