Berlinda Mkangawi was born in Zimbabwe and has founded a company with a friend in Harare. She offers consultations on how to start a business and market it. Now, the Kofi-Annan Foundation has sent the 35 year old to the European School of Management and Technology in Berlin.She is learning how to better support young entrepreneurs and emerging professionals in her country. We joined her during her time in Berlin.
Damira Dushenova runs a snack bar that's located high in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan, along what was once the famous Silk Road. She serves a traditional Kyrgyz dish called "Beshparmak," which translates into "eat with five fingers." The dish is made with lamb, beef, noodles, and a hearty broth.
The Bolivian highlands are home to a very special plant: Quinoa, the "golden grain of the AndesĒ. Itís rich in protein and minerals, and is extremely hardy and nutritious.
With the International Year of Quinoa, the United Nations is hoping to raise awareness of the plant as a viable alternative crop for farmers in many parts of the world. It can even grow at altitudes of 4500 meters and endure extreme drought, thin air and frost. Itís already being grown in Pakistan, Nepal and India.
Firewood is still a primary energy source in Nepal - especially in rural areas, where itís used for cooking and heating. But the forests are disappearing and the land where they stood is eroding away. An orphanage on the outskirts of the capital is trying something new.
About ten kilometers south of the Nepalese capital Kathmandu is the Jharuwarashi orphanage. The children trample dead leaves into a fine dust, shred their own school papers, mix it all together with water and press it into molds to make their own bio-briquettes - and extra cash. The orphanage is financed from private donations, and conventional firewood is expensive.
While the EU's policies on climate change aren't very popular in Europe, the commissioners in charge of climate policy and humanitarian aid have traveled to Ethiopia to try to improve things there. Kristalina Georgieva and Connie Hedegaard saw first-hand how EU development programs are benefitting local herders and farmers, by promoting more efficient use of resources.
The programs are aimed at helping more people to provide for themselves.
South Africaís economic growth is powered by fossil fuels. Electricity is produced mainly by environmentally unfriendly, coal-fired power plants. But some people are trying to change that.
In the hamlet of Greyton, about 150 kilometers northeast of Cape Town, 100 activists have joined forces to make their town more sustainable and energy-independent, by turning it into a Transition Town. They want to revamp the entire local infrastructure, increase the use of solar power, and promote the use of regional products. They're also trying to educate local young people about the importance of protecting the environment.