PROCOSI network participants. {Photo by MSH staff.}Photo by MSH staff.

Home to over 8.3 million people, Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. According to the World Bank, approximately 67 percent of the population is poor, with low levels of education, health and nutrition. For the many NGO's working to improve the health of Bolivia's rural poor, maintaining support for their initiatives is a perpetual challenge.PROCOSI, a Bolivian consortium of 24 member non-governmental organizations, is no exception.

Finding ways to maintain hope amid the realities of township life in Mdantsane, South Africa's second largest township, is daunting, but young leaders there have taken a bold step towards progress and change. Built as a homeland township by the apartheid government, Mdantsane now houses 600,000 black South Africans who grapple daily with the challenges of unemployment, poverty, crime, and rampant diseases like tuberculosis and AIDS.

Photographs show small caves blown apart by bombs and women and children displaced by war. It is almost impossible today to open a newspaper and not see a story about Afghanistan. Amidst the front page columns detailing the ongoing war and the sad life of Afghans under the Taliban regime, the rich culture and strong spirit of the Afghans persevere — especially evident in the hope of Afghan women that through newfound freedom they will carve out safety and health for their families.Laurence Laumonier-Ickx is a French doctor who understands the plight of these Afghan women.