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Suzanne Skees
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Suzanne Skees works in international development as director of the Skees Family Foundation, which supports innovative self-help programs in the U.S. and 37 developing countries in education, enterprise, health, infrastructure, and peace. Skees studied English literature (Boston College) and world religions (Harvard Divinity School) but has learned more from the school of personal mistakes and quiet listening. Writing for online and print media, Skees shares stories of what can happen when students and survivors, entrepreneurs and families, receive tools they need to build a life of choice from such organizations as Dayton Christian Center, Dayton International Peace Museum, Freedom from Hunger, Jamii Bora, Karimu, PBMR Hub Center for Chicago Youth, Summer Search, The Ihangane Project, The School Fund, Summer Search, Upaya Social Ventures, V-Day, and Vittana.

Entries by Suzanne Skees

Investing in Haiti's Homeless Youth

(3) Comments | Posted August 18, 2014 | 2:01 PM

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Port-au-Prince, Haiti: Dodging a constant barrage of cars and taxis, breathing diesel in a cloud of dust, too many teenagers live on the streets of Haiti's capital city. They come, often by foot, from rural villages on this lush Caribbean island, where their...

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Giving Birth in a Graveyard

(0) Comments | Posted August 6, 2014 | 1:19 PM

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Mumford, Ghana: Bent over a wood-fired oven, drying the fish her husband caught yesterday, 29-year-old Leticia Sam blinks the smoke from her eyes, one hand stoking the fire, the other holding her swollen belly. Expecting her fourth baby, Leticia lives atop an old...

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Parliamentarian to the Slums: Former Kibera Resident Shows the Children of Poverty How to Climb Up to Power

(0) Comments | Posted July 7, 2014 | 4:55 PM

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Most of the news from Kenya, recently, has been tragic. Plagued by violence from the Al Shabab terrorists from the mass shooting of Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi last summer, to a rash of attacks from the capital city to the...

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Lamb's-Head Stew: The Local Treat That Got This Widowed Mom off the Street

(0) Comments | Posted July 1, 2014 | 6:39 PM

One moment changed Eulalia's life: Her husband died of a heart attack at age 34. She had to deal with her grief as well as become the sole breadwinner and a single parent for her three kids. Seven years later, she's moved her food-selling business from a street cart into...

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"This New Health Plan Forces Us Women to Focus on Our OWN Health"

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2014 | 10:38 AM

Healthy workers not only feel happier, they work more productively to earn higher incomes for their families. Freedom from hunger, an integrated-services microfinance provider, has led the way in connecting their clients to affordable healthcare. We check out a clinic in Juliaca with Irene, Sabina, and Mery to see how...

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Big City, Big Dreams

(0) Comments | Posted February 9, 2014 | 6:15 PM

Feeling like she's always running in circles, Anali runs a small weaving microbusiness, studies accounting at university, and cares for her partner and daughter at home. She left a rural village, population 400, in the Andes Mountains to pursue her dreams in the city of Juliaca, and Anali is already...

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Mentoring Mom: Home Handicrafts Business Expands to Hire Youth

(0) Comments | Posted February 6, 2014 | 9:18 AM

A stressed, angry wife struggling to support a seriously ill husband and three children figures out a way to mechanize her output and produce four times as much merchandise in four hours a day. Now she's rebuilding her home, and employing three high-school kids. Her savings through the group circumvented...

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Weaving Natural Resources Into Family Wealth

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2014 | 1:59 PM

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The women featured are clients of our longest-term partner, Freedom from Hunger, a nonprofit that specializes in bringing a trio of financial services (credit, savings, and insurance), informal education, and health care services to 5.7 million of the world's...

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Where in the World Is a College-Loan Bubble a Miracle?--Vittana Shows the Way, Part 3 of 4

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2013 | 9:28 AM

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One of the 12,000 students who needed just one more year to complete his college studies and get ready for a lifetime of higher earning potential. Four people joined forces to crowdfund the $419 Daniel needed to complete his degree . . ....

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Where in the World Is a College Loan Bubble a Miracle? -- Vittana Shows the Way, Part 2 of 4

(0) Comments | Posted December 6, 2013 | 4:30 PM

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Honoring the memory of her parents, both of whom never had the chance to advance beyond primary education, Vittana student Neneng is working hard in Indonesia to complete certification in administrative support.

Read Part 1 here.

The...

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Where in the World Is a College-Loan Bubble a Miracle? -- Vittana Shows the Way, Part 1 of 4

(0) Comments | Posted November 27, 2013 | 2:58 PM

College loans have exploded the market, and exploited our youth, in the U.S.; so why does Vittana work relentlessly to create loans for students in developing economies? The answer will surprise you. Get to know this scrappy, data-driven, crowdfunding education-equalizer, along with a few of their students. In Part 1...

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The Karimu Kids: Building Bridges of Wood and Culture

(0) Comments | Posted October 9, 2013 | 6:14 PM

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The last in our series takes you to this summer's building of bridges of all types: a modern footbridge for residents to traverse during the rainy-season floods, an Internet bridge to communicate with the world, and an intercultural bridge of learning that's...

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The Karimu Kids: School Is Not Enough -- We Want Healthcare and Jobs for Our Families

(3) Comments | Posted September 27, 2013 | 5:24 PM

Now that Bacho Village has strong resources to support their hard-working teachers and students from kindergarten through high school, the community addresses hygiene and healthcare for their most vulnerable: women in childbirth, infants, and HIV+ members and jobs-creation for the poorest parents through microcredit and farming collectives. Meet the teachers...

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The Karimu Kids: New School Launches a Whole Village Revitalization

(0) Comments | Posted September 20, 2013 | 5:45 PM

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Read Part 1 here.

Part 2 shows how the Bacho village residents used their new primary school as a base for the community to meet with one another and Karimu International to plan to renovate the secondary school...

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The Karimu Kids: From Class Under a Tree to Their Very Own School

(0) Comments | Posted September 12, 2013 | 6:20 PM

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BACK TO SCHOOL STUDENT SERIES: Part 1 in this series on Karimu International Help Foundation in Tanzania introduces you to the dedicated teachers and eager students -- including future pilot Andrea and wealthy politician Pascalina -- at Ufani Primary School.


How Two...

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'Gun Laws Won't Impact Us Here' in the Line of Fire, Say Peace Workers: Part 4 of 4

(2) Comments | Posted August 26, 2013 | 6:07 PM

In Chicago, the U.S. city that suffers the highest rates of gun violence and murder, a small team of unlikely adults employs a surprising technique to try to keep their kids alive. Here in Part 4, we conclude our series with the voices of the young men themselves. Listen in...

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'Gun Laws Won't Impact Us Here' In The Line Of Fire, Say Peace Workers: Part 3 Of 4

(14) Comments | Posted August 2, 2013 | 2:51 PM

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In Chicago, the U.S. city that suffers the highest rates of gun violence and murder, a small team of unlikely adults employs a surprising technique to try to keep their kids alive. Part 3 in our 4-story series traces the Native American...

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"Gun Laws Won't Impact Us Here" in the Line of Fire, Say Peace Workers: Part 2 of 4

(0) Comments | Posted July 30, 2013 | 4:56 PM

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In Chicago, the U.S. city that suffers the highest rates of gun violence and murder, a small team of unlikely adults employs a surprising technique to try to keep their kids alive. Part 2 in our 4-story series dives into the systemic...

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'Gun Laws Won't Impact Us Here' in the Line of Fire, Say Peace Workers: Part 1 of 4

(9) Comments | Posted July 29, 2013 | 1:04 PM

In Chicago, the U.S. city that suffers the highest rates of gun violence and murder, a small team of unlikely adults employs a surprising technique to try to keep their kids alive. Part 1 in a 4-story series that first appeared on "Seeds of Hope" blog.


...

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Romance in the Rainforest: Microentrepreneurs Make Time for Love

(0) Comments | Posted May 28, 2013 | 5:22 PM

Iquitos, Peru: We're all working hard to pay the bills, feed the kids, and build the life and world of our dreams. This ordinary couple work night and day, but they share long-lasting chemistry and humor that keep the daily grind full of... possibilities.

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