Stories

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Dynamic and award-winning Tongan athlete, ‘Atamaama Tu’utafaiva, believes here is no such thing as “man’s” or “woman’s” sport. Photo: Talitha Project/Alokoulu Ulukivaiola   My name is ‘Atamaama Tu’utafaiva. I am 24 and come from the village of Kolofo’ou in Tonga. I play for the Ha’apai Island national rugby team. The first time I played rugby was in 2016 for the 15s team for the village of...
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Siunipa Pahulu after a rugby training session in Tonga. Photo: Talitha Project/Alokoulu Ulukivaiola   My name is Siunipa Pahulu. I turn 20 in November I come from the small Island of Ha’apai in Tonga, but I reside in Ha’ateiho, Tongatapu. I’m a seamstress and I want to be a fashion designer one day. I undertake rugby training every morning and afternoon, and during the day I sew clothes to support myself and my family. I started playing rugby in February this year...
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Father-daughter duo Kotoni and Vasa ‘I Vao Feleti, have been playing sports together since Vasa was in Class 1, in Tonga. It was very early on that former international rugby player Kotoni, saw “incredible potential” in his young daughter and decided to nurture it. Photo: Talitha Project/Alokoulu Ulukivaiola Vasa ‘I Vao Feleti   My name is Vasa Feleti, and I am 13 years old. I really like playing rugby 7s. The first time I played rugby, I...
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Maria Mahmood has spent the past 13 years improving the Pakistani police force to respond to the needs of women and girls. She is the role model for many women police officers. Photo was taken on 13 March 2021 in Islamabad, Pakistan. "When I started working as a police officer, I thought the process was simple and just. But I was shocked to see the deep-rooted bias of a patriarchal police force. The criminal justice system is discriminatory, and also stigmatizes victims of violence and does not provide efficient support for them."
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In the early 2000s, suicidal attacks and explosions became a daily occurrence here in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, north-west Pakistan. Acts of violent extremism affected everyone in my community, be it socially, economically or psychologically. Young people got recruited into violent extremist organizations (VEOs).
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The first female with disabilities from Pakistan to win the much sought after U.K. Government’s Chevening scholarship, Akram has continued to push for change,...