Author: Katherine Gallagher

Katherine writes for The Borgen Project from Honolulu, HI. She grew up in a very small town in Northern California (St. Helena, CA). Katherine has a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature from Chapman University. She also has a passion for art and travel.

SEATTLE — Many girls in developing countries miss or completely drop out of school when they start their periods. Disposable sanitary pads are almost non-existent due to their availability and high cost, and reusable pads can be unsanitary if not thoroughly washed or dried (with most girls using old clothing and even leaves). Social stigmas and a lack of separate bathroom facilities cause girls to miss school for fear of being teased. According to UNICEF, one in 10 girls in sub-Saharan Africa misses school because of their period, which adds up to missing about 20 percent of the entire school…

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SEATTLE — WomenStrong International is a powerful consortium of non-profit organizations that span over five different nations (Ghana, Haiti, India, Kenya and the U.S.) and support women-led and women-oriented solutions to poverty. The organization provides resources to help meet the “six essential needs” that women and girls require to succeed: health, safety, shelter, education, economic empowerment and urban environment. Ghana: Women’s Health to Wealth What started as a small women’s clinic in busy downtown Kumasi, Women’s Health to Wealth (WHW) has grown into an essential landmark for women’s well-being in the Ashanti region of Ghana. The non-governmental organization strives to…

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SEATTLE — In June of this year, UNICEF issued an official press release expressing “deep” concern for the children of Venezuela due to violent protests and demonstrations in the country. Children have been killed or hurt; schools and health centers have been closed. A few weeks later, UNICEF issued yet another press release, stating that “UNICEF urges the leaders, conveners and participants in public demonstrations to make these events peaceful and, together with families, guide children and adolescents to avoid exposure to dangerous situations.” The country’s shortage of electricity, food and water has caused multiple schools to shut down, often…

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JUBA, South Sudan — Despite the nation’s rich oil supply, decades of civil war have made South Sudan one of the least developed places on earth. The world’s youngest country has faced unspeakable violence, famine and economic collapse since the overwhelming majority of its citizens voted to gain independence from Sudan in 2011. After years of displacement and struggle, those same people are being forced to flee the country that they fought so hard to create. The number of South Sudanese refugees recently reached one million. Since the most recent civil war in South Sudan first erupted in 2013 following…

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DODOMA, Tanzania — Africa’s poaching crisis is increasing at devastating rates, with thousands of endangered animals slaughtered every year for just a single body part worth huge sums of illegal money. Many people believe that rhino horns can cure hangovers and impotence, and many carve elephant ivory into jewelry and utensils. The Conservation and Society Journal names socioeconomic status as one of the leading motives for poachers. “In particular, poverty is widely considered the leading driver that causes a household’s inhabitants to take up poaching in protected areas.” The illegality of poaching and resulting evasion from detection by poachers causes…

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SEATTLE — Imagine lacking the ability to turn on a tap and find clean drinking water, or not being able to go into a store and purchase a bar of soap. For millions of people living below the poverty line, this is a very real, alarming reality. A July 2017 report by the World Health Organization and UNICEF revealed that three in 10 people (2.1 billion worldwide) don’t have access to clean water at home, and six in 10 lack safely managed sanitation. The report exposed the connection between hygiene and poverty, with a drastic discrepancy in the access and…

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SEATTLE — The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) estimates that 250 million children either drop out of school or do not have basic reading, writing, and math skills by grade four. Although there has been substantial improvement in global education over the past decade, the quality of education in developing countries is suffering. While noteworthy organizations such as the GPE and UNESCO have made strides towards getting more children into school, another problem has manifested itself in the form of whether those children are actually learning anything. A 2015 study called the Africa Learning Barometer showed that sub-Saharan African children…

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SEATTLE — The United Nations ranks the elimination of global poverty at the top of its list of Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved by 2030. The reality of this goal, however, is subject to whether traditional poverty measuring techniques can provide the data required to track progress and reveal the areas most affected by poverty. New technologies to measure poverty will undoubtedly be essential in reaching the number one U.N.target. The World Bank sets the standards for poverty data collection and has used the same method for tracking poverty for more than 35 years: going from house to house…

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SEATTLE — The U.N. reports that the world’s population will rise to 8.6 billion people by 2030, so scientists need to be vigilant in both monitoring Earth’s most necessary resources and finding ways to prolong them. As fresh water becomes more scarce as populations grow, advances in desalination are necessary for keeping up with this global population increase. At least 26 countries in Africa are predicted to double in population by 2050, and India is on track to surpass the world’s largest populated country of China by 2024. Nigeria is likely to go from ranking seventh to surpassing the United…

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DODOMA — Tanzania is a country that made prominent strides with school enrollment over the past few decades. 2001 saw an end to primary school enrollment fees and a legal requirement for children to attend school in the country. These laws resulted in a 35 percent increase in enrolled primary-aged children between 2000 and 2011. Children’s education in Tanzania continues to rise. More Students, Unforeseen Problems However, the country’s increase in the number of students presented unforeseen challenges to the education programs, most notably a drop in the overall quality. Education workers were clearly not equipped with the resources or…

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