Malaka Gharib

Malaka Gharib is deputy editor and digital strategist of Goats and Soda, NPR's global health and development blog. She reports on topics such as the humanitarian aid sector, gender equality, and innovation in the developing world.

Before coming to NPR in 2015, Gharib was the digital content manager at Malala Fund, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai's global education charity, and social media and blog editor for ONE, a global anti-poverty advocacy group founded by Bono. Gharib graduated from Syracuse University with a dual degree in journalism and marketing.

A few days ago, my dad gave me a call. "When we land in D.C., it's going to be Eid al-Adha," he said. "You know, the one where we eat kharouf."

No, I did not know. I had never observed the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

Although my father is a Muslim, my mother is Filipino and a strict Catholic. My parents divorced when I was a child. For most of my life, my dad lived in Cairo while I grew up in Southern California. I'd visit him in the summertime. But the trips never intersected with an Eid celebration.

Ten years ago, Renee Bach left her home in Virginia to set up a charity to help children in Uganda. One of her first moves was to start a blog chronicling her experiences.

Among the most momentous: On a Sunday morning in October 2011, a couple from a village some distance away showed up at Bach's center carrying a small bundle.

"When I pulled the covering back my eyes widened," Bach wrote in the blog. "For under the blanket lay a small, but very, very swollen, pale baby girl. Her breaths were frighteningly slow. ... The baby's name is Patricia. She is 9 months old."

It's not easy giving money to people in need.

In some countries, poor people may not have a bank account where a charity can transfer funds for financial aid. They may not have the ID — say, a birth certificate — required to cash a check at a bank.

And in an emergency situation — say, the aftermath of an earthquake — banks may not even be operating.

Could a single global digital currency — one that can be transferred through mobile phones — be a solution?

Stroll down the menstrual products aisle of your neighborhood drugstore, and you'll see a dizzying array of disposable pads and tampons in dozens of brands, shapes, colors and sizes.

Tucked away on one of the shelves, you might see a lesser-known option: the reusable menstrual cup.

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In June, an unusual email arrived in the inbox of an NPR global health correspondent.

It's a brand new ranking.

Called the Sustainable Development Goals Gender Index, it gives 129 countries a score for progress on achieving gender equality by 2030.

Here's the quick summary: Things are "good" in much of Europe and North America.

And "very poor" in much of sub-Saharan Africa.

In fact, that's the way it looks in many international rankings, which tackle everything from the worst places to be a child to the most corrupt countries to world happiness.

It's a cotton T-shirt. It costs $395. It's from Balenciaga, the luxury brand. And it bears the logo of the World Food Programme, the U.N. agency that provides food aid to disaster zones.

The shirt is part of a line of WFP-emblazoned streetwear, with some of the proceeds going to the charity. The collection, which also includes a $790 sweatshirt and $850 fanny pack, launched last year, and people in the aid community are debating: Is this a good way for a charity to promote itself?

May 23 is Red Nose Day in the United States.

March 15 was Red Nose Day in the United Kingdom.

Both are charity events involving red foam noses sold as part of fundraising campaigns to fight child poverty around the world.

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May 19, 2019

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Selamawit Lake Fenta, a midwife from Ethiopia, would like to change a lot of things about her profession — including its name in her country.

And she has made an impact in another crusade: fair pay.

This week, Fenta was one of five midwife champions selected by the International Confederation of Midwives for the International Day of the Midwife on May 5. The group picked the five from nominations submitted by members from 122 countries. The goal was to honor midwives who've made an impact in their community.

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