Capital matters. Social capital matters more.

As I've shared about life in the slum, I've focused on material things: homes, electricity, water, etc. With that stuff it's relatively simple to measure the differences between life here and in the West. But as you may have discerned from the incident with Alia as well as the boys on the train, there are …

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Alia who never gives up, continued

  Friday, August 30th "Alia is really sick. She's been having some trouble breathing, and now she doesn't even know what's going on around her when people come in." "That's serious. You should take her to the hospital right away. How long has she been like this?" "Since last night, but only the worst since …

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Struggle for a pot of drinking water at Bhuri Tekri, Indor. photo by India Water Portal

Water water everywhere…who gets a drop to drink?

(apologies for the unfinished version that posted early) People tell us not to drink the city water, though some of the poorest families around us do. We run all the water we intend to drink through a ceramic water filter, and hope that is enough to make the city water safe to drink. At least …

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what is a slum slum definition majority world

What is a slum?

Most folk don't want to hear me talk about slums. I once thought that slum life would make this blog unique. The internet is saturated with almost everything, but there aren't many English-speaking slum bloggers. Maybe people wouldn't want to hear what I had to say about money, power, or nonviolence, but at least they'd …

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Recycling is not the answer

Last week Holly mentioned that plastic recycling is in trouble in America too. I found out from an article in the Atlantic that cities across the country have ended their recycling programs. Why? Because China has stopped accepting our soiled trash due to health risks, environmental damage, and increased labor costs. Without tens of thousands of Chinese …

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A mela in the mountains of Himachal Pradesh, India. No billiard balls here, just unpredictable interactions on an endlessly variegated surface.

Unravelling Complexity.

In desiring to include more success stories about charities doing the right thing, I solicited a guest post from Jeph Mathias. Jeph works with a variety of NGOs across Asia (and beyond), specializing in the idea of complexity in development. This story was originally posted at Jeph's blog, unpredictable. It's Jeph from here: A small project …

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