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Abandoned Children 01
Sofia, Bulgaria
By Simon Letellier
02 Jul 2014

A nurse watching over disabled children as they nap at Shumen Institution, the oldest one in Bulgaria. Built in 1935, it has previously housed hundreds of children. Because of de-institutionalization, they are now less than a dozen children within its walls, all with disabilities. Children with lighter disabilities come to spend the day there before heading back to their homes at night.

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Abandoned Children
Sofia, Bulgaria
By Simon Letellier
02 Jul 2014

Shumen Institution is the oldest one in Bulgaria. Built in 1935, it has previously housed hundreds of children. Because of de-institutionalization, they are now less than a dozen children within its walls, all with disabilities. Children with lighter disabilities come to spend the day there before heading back to their homes at night.

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Abandoned Children 05
Sofia, Bulgaria
By Simon Letellier
02 Jul 2014

A little girl plays in the garden of Shumen Institution. Shumen institution is the oldest in Bulgaria. Built in 1935, it has previously housed hundreds of children. Because of de-institutionalization, they are now less than a dozen children within its walls, all with disabilities. Children with lighter disabilities come to spend the day there before heading back to their homes at night.

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Abandoned Children
Sofia, Bulgaria
By Simon Letellier
02 Jul 2014

A little girl rests in her sister's arms. Roma children have the highest rates of abandoned children in Bulgaria.

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Abandoned Children 08
Sofia, Bulgaria
By Simon Letellier
02 Jul 2014

A nurse plays with a little girl playing in the garden of Shumen Institution, the oldest institution in Bulgaria. Built in 1935, it has previously housed hundreds of children. Because of de-institutionalization, they are now less than a dozen children within its walls, all with disabilities. Children with lighter disabilities come to spend the day there before heading back to their homes at night.

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Abandoned Children 09
Sofia, Bulgaria
By Simon Letellier
02 Jul 2014

Shumen Institution is the oldest one in Bulgaria. Built in 1935, it has previously housed hundreds of children. Because of de-institutionalization, they are now less than a dozen children within its walls, all with disabilities. Children with lighter disabilities come to spend the day there before heading back to their homes at night.

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Abandoned Children 14
Sofia, Bulgaria
By Simon Letellier
02 Jul 2014

A doctor and a nurse in front of a sleeping disabled child. Shumen Institution is the oldest one in Bulgaria. Built in 1935, it has previously housed hundreds of children. Because of de-institutionalization, they are now less than a dozen children within its walls, all with disabilities. Children with lighter disabilities come to spend the day there before heading back to their homes at night.

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Abandoned Children 16
Sofia, Bulgaria
By Simon Letellier
02 Jul 2014

A little girl playing in the garden of Shumen Institution, the oldest institution in Bulgaria. Built in 1935, it has previously housed hundreds of children. Because of de-institutionalization, they are now less than a dozen children within its walls, all with disabilities. Children with lighter disabilities come to spend the day there before heading back to their homes at night.

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Abandoned Children 17
Sofia, Bulgaria
By Simon Letellier
02 Jul 2014

A doctor and a nurse in front of a sleeping disabled child. Shumen Institution is the oldest one in Bulgaria. Built in 1935, it has previously housed hundreds of children. Because of de-institutionalization, they are now less than a dozen children within its walls, all with disabilities. Children with lighter disabilities come to spend the day there before heading back to their homes at night.

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Abandoned Children 21
Sofia, Bulgaria
By Simon Letellier
02 Jul 2014

A doctor walking in the courtyard of Shumen's oldest institution. Shumen Institution is the oldest one in Bulgaria. Built in 1935, it has previously housed hundreds of children. Because of de-institutionalization, they are now less than a dozen children within its walls, all with disabilities. Children with lighter disabilities come to spend the day there before heading back to their homes at night.

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Abandoned Children 23
Sofia, Bulgaria
By Simon Letellier
02 Jul 2014

A little boy playing in the Shumen Institution garden. Shumen institution is the oldest in Bulgaria. It was built in 1935. In the past there were hundreds of children lived here. Because of de-institutionalization, they're now less than a dozen, all with disabilities. During the day, children with light disabilities come to spend the day and then go back to their home at night.

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Abandoned Children 24
Sofia, Bulgaria
By Simon Letellier
02 Jul 2014

A little girl playing in the garden of Shumen Institution, the oldest institution in Bulgaria. Built in 1935, it has previously housed hundreds of children. Because of de-institutionalization, they are now less than a dozen children within its walls, all with disabilities. Children with lighter disabilities come to spend the day there before heading back to their homes at night.

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Abandoned Children 26
Sofia, Bulgaria
By Simon Letellier
02 Jul 2014

Children playing in the garden of Shumen Institution. Shumen Institution is the oldest one in Bulgaria. Built in 1935, it has previously housed hundreds of children. Because of de-institutionalization, they are now less than a dozen children within its walls, all with disabilities. Children with lighter disabilities come to spend the day there before heading back to their homes at night.

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Abandoned Children 03
Sofia, Bulgaria
By Simon Letellier
01 Jul 2014

Dani Dukova welcomes abandoned children in her home for one year before they get adopted. Here, she shows painted hand-prints of all the children she has hosted.

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Abandoned Children 15
Sofia, Bulgaria
By Simon Letellier
01 Jul 2014

Dani Dukova playing with little Anna. Dani Dukova's apartment smells like chocolate cake. When she opens the door, a small brunette with two braids enters. It is Anna, age four. Dani has been in Dukova's care for one year. "It is the fifth child I have at home since I decided to become a host family," explains Dukova. "When the girl first arrived from the institution, she used to bang her head against the walls. It was hard to watch. Now, she's much better. " Dukova knows that one day, Anna will leave when foster parents in Bulgaria or in the United States decide to take her on. "I cry when they leave, but I am very proud of how they have changed in my care," she adds.

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Abandoned Children 18
Sofia, Bulgaria
By Simon Letellier
01 Jul 2014

Dani Dukova playing with little Anna. Dani Dukova's apartment smells like chocolate cake. When she opens the door, a small brunette with two braids enters. It is Anna, age four. Dani has been in Dukova's care for one year. "It is the fifth child I have at home since I decided to become a host family," explains Dukova. "When the girl first arrived from the institution, she used to bang her head against the walls. It was hard to watch. Now, she's much better. " Dukova knows that one day, Anna will leave when foster parents in Bulgaria or in the United States decide to take her on. "I cry when they leave, but I am very proud of how they have changed in my care," she adds.

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Abandoned Children 19
Sofia, Bulgaria
By Simon Letellier
01 Jul 2014

Dani Dukova playing with little Anna. Dani Dukova's apartment smells like chocolate cake. When she opens the door, a small brunette with two braids enters. It is Anna, age four. Dani has been in Dukova's care for one year. "It is the fifth child I have at home since I decided to become a host family," explains Dukova. "When the girl first arrived from the institution, she used to bang her head against the walls. It was hard to watch. Now, she's much better. " Dukova knows that one day, Anna will leave when foster parents in Bulgaria or in the United States decide to take her on. "I cry when they leave, but I am very proud of how they have changed in my care," she adds.

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Abandoned Children 20
Sofia, Bulgaria
By Simon Letellier
01 Jul 2014

Dani Dukova welcomes abandoned children in her home for one year before they get adopted.

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Abandoned Children 22
Sofia, Bulgaria
By Simon Letellier
01 Jul 2014

Dani Dukova playing with little Anna. Dani Dukova's apartment smells like chocolate cake. When she opens the door, a small brunette with two braids enters. It is Anna, age four. Dani has been in Dukova's care for one year. "It is the fifth child I have at home since I decided to become a host family," explains Dukova. "When the girl first arrived from the institution, she used to bang her head against the walls. It was hard to watch. Now, she's much better. " Dukova knows that one day, Anna will leave when foster parents in Bulgaria or in the United States decide to take her on. "I cry when they leave, but I am very proud of how they have changed in my care," she adds.

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Abandoned Children 25
Sofia, Bulgaria
By Simon Letellier
01 Jul 2014

Dani Dukova welcomes abandoned children in her home for one year before they get adopted. On her computer, she shows an older child who was adopted last year.

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Climate change bangladesh 12
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
28 Jun 2014

Rohim Shekh, 72, walks through an area devastated by Cyclone Aila in 2007. He was displaced by the Cyclone, which many now see as a result of climate change.

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Climate change bangladesh 13
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
28 Jun 2014

This community was devastated by cyclones Aila in 2007 and Sidr in 2009. People here still face hardships from these catastrophic events, some of them traveling miles for fresh water.

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Climate change bangladesh 10
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By zakir hossain chowdhury
28 Jun 2014

This community was devastated by cyclones Aila in 2007 and Sidr in 2009. People here still face hardships from these catastrophic events, some of them traveling miles for fresh water.

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North Korea in Color 004
By Ulrik Pedersen
13 Jun 2014

A framed family portrait in a local house in northern North Korea.

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North Korea in Black and White 018
By Ulrik Pedersen
05 Jun 2014

family walking during harsh sunshine on the streets of Pyongyang . Pyongyang, North Korea.

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Andrea's family
By Ulrik Pedersen
12 Mar 2014

Andrea is eating lunch with her mother and her father. She says she doesn't know if she will stay in Pungesti when she grows older. She thinks there is no future in Pungesti if Chevron continues its fracking activities because it will destroy the area's natural resources. The majority of villagers in Pungesti are farmers who depend on agriculture to survive.

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Andrea's family
By Ulrik Pedersen
12 Mar 2014

Andrea is eating lunch with her mother and her father. They took part in protests against Chevron. Police officers are constantly patrolling outside their house.

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Rumah Singgah: A Home for Jakarta's A...
Depok, Greater Jakarta, Indonesia
By Elisabetta Zavoli
01 Mar 2014

Photo essay and video Video length - 7:01 "Rumah Singgah" literally means “shelter house." A project developed by Mami Yulie (aka Yulianus Rettoblaut), the 53 year-old leader of the Indonesian waria (transgender) community, the shelter hosts elderly transgender with no means of living on their own for free. 'Waria' is literally a combination of the words wanita meaning woman and pria, man. At Rumah Singgah, they create a sort of microcosm, a small community ruled by tight family-like bonds. Rumah Singgah is also Mami Yulie's home, where she lives with her own family: her foster children, her husband and sometimes her relatives.

Almost all waria in Indonesia are chased away from their families of origin when relatives find out they are transgender people. When they are young they can survive thanks to prostitution, but when they become old and sick, many are left without others to help care for them. Rummah Singgah is a space where elderly waria care for each other and are looked after by Mami Yulie and the shelter's caretaker.

“When I was at school, I used to play with the girls. I used to draw flowers, houses, weird stuff…. When I grew up and become an adult, my parents understood that I was a transgender so I was chased from home," said Mumun, the 68-year-old caretaker of Rumah Singgah. "I was ordered to go away. They didn’t want their son to be a transgender. My parents disowned me asking me to leave the house. I was beaten up with wood and bamboo sticks and fell down in the rice field. I was beaten up there, so I ran away. I left. I took a train to Bogor. When I arrived I didn’t have relatives to go to nor did I know anybody”, she said.

This is a common situation among many “waria” in Indonesia. Most of their stories starts like that of Mumun: they experienced exclusion and abandonment by their families when they came out as transgender. Their new life, the choice of becoming who they feel themselves to be, always starts on the street. Waria people consider themselves women trapped in men’s bodies. They say that their soul and heart are that of a woman, so a waria is a man with a woman’s soul. Becoming transgender is not a choice for them. It comes from the heart. Many people in Indonesia think if someone hangs out with a group of transgender, he/she can become a transgender. This only furthers the stigmatization of the waria, many of whom already live under precarious circumstances.

“The problem in the waria community is that people forget there are many old transgender," said Mami Yulie. "This is a problem because when they get sick or die, they don’t have a proper place for burial. The community rejects them. They are taken to the police, who take them to hospital and bury them in a mass grave. This happens again and again, and it prompts me to think that I have the responsibility to help them."

When transgender become old, making a living becomes very hard for them. “I am sixty eight year old now. I am too old to make a living in the evening. I am not sellable anymore,” Mumun said.

In Rumah Singgah, a lot of elderly waria have been helped to become independent, to improve their skills and to be able to create a home industry. However, the shelter’s capacity is limited. Only about ten to fifteen people can be accommodated according to a rotation system. If there are five or ten people coming in, five or ten people must leave. The great challenge of this project is to find enough financial support to pay for food, medicine, electricity and water for them all: and the transgender community in Jakarta has eight hundred and thirty one elderly waria who need to be taken care of. Residents also pray and practice their own religion at the shelter house. This vital time helps them prepare for the day when they will die. They can share their thoughts: at the shelter house, their main job is to provide peer support to each other. This process helps to create new strong family-like bonds between them, and the tiny community becomes a new big family for people who often have no one left in their life.

Mami Yulie, originally born in Merauke, Papua, moved to Jakarta when she was chased from her family home. She began her life in Jakarta working on the street as a prostitute, where she met her partner fifteen years ago. Since then they have been inseparable. Mami Yulie was the first Indonesian transgender to graduate at University. Leaving the street life behind, her biological family welcomes her again. They come to visit her and stay in Rumah Singgah from time to time.

“At this age, I have been given a long life," Mami Yulie said. "I was able to study, to appear on TV, to go in and out of government offices. This wouldn’t be possible without the will of God. He is the only one to help, me because I believe there is nothing impossible in God’s name."

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A Trip to the Heart of Polygamy in th...
Centennial Park, Arizona
By Lola García-Ajofrín
25 Feb 2014

Text, Photos and Video by: Lola García-Ajofrín
(Available in Spanish upon Request)

VIDEO AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

Some weeks after a judge struck down parts of the polygamy law in Utah, we traveled to the heart of “Plural Culture" as some locals call polygamy. There are an estimated 38,000 Mormons who practice polygamy in the U.S, according to the advocacy group Principle Voices.

In the Cawley house, the dad, Michael, plays with his two-year-old daughter, asking her to guess who is who in front of a family portrait.

"Who is Momma Teresa?" he asks. "She is...", the girl in her father's arms babbles. "And Mama Rose? Do you find her?" "Mmm ...", she stammers, moving her finger in circles around the 18 faces in the image. She points to one of the three wives and Michael applauds.

It is an outdated but recent picture. At present there are 24 members in the family: Michael, his three wives Rose, Connie and Teresa, and their 19 children, 20 if you count one expected to be born next month. They belong to the polygamous community of Centennial Park, Arizona, on the border with Utah. The town is home to 1,500 fundamentalist Mormons.

The size of the families in this U.S. town can be guessed by the size of the houses and the number of bikes stacked next to the door. Seven bedrooms, five bathrooms, two laundry rooms and two living-rooms are spread over 300 square meters of the Cawley residence. Each room belongs to one of the wives, one for to the husband, and the rest to the children. At the entrance, there are at least eight bikes and a tricycle.

There are an estimated 38,000 Mormons who practice polygamy in U.S, mostly in Utah and the Western U.S., according to the advocacy group Principle Voices. At the pace of births by Centennial Park's residents, the figures will multiply in a matter of months.

“Something interesting about our lifestyle,” Michael muses, “is that the family continues to grow. Now I'm 45, and I hope to continue having children for the next 15 or 20 years." He smiles. He is following in the footsteps of his father, who currently has eleven wives and who gave Michael 36 siblings. Utah has the youngest population nationwide with an average of 29.2 years old according to the 2010 census. This is 22% younger than the national average of 37.2 years.

The Utah Case

On 14 December, a U.S. District Court Judge ruled in a historic decision to strike down parts of Utah’s Polygamy Law. The case was brought to court after a Utah ruling in favor of the Browns – one husband, four wives and 17 children who starred in TLC’s reality show, "Sister Wives" on their daily life in a polygamous family. U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups upheld the court’s decision that the section of Utah’s anti-polygamy laws prohibiting the “cohabitation" violated the constitutional guarantees of religious freedom.

The Utah ruling comprises a 91-pages document where the term “private” is used 37 times and “freedom” on 14 occasions.

“This decision is fraught with both religious and historical significance for the State of Utah, because it deals with the question of polygamy, an issue that played a central role in the State’s development and that of its dominant religion, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons),” the ruling states.

About 79% of Utah’s population identifies as religious, compared to the national average of 49%. Out of this 79%, about 69% identify as Mormons, according to the 2013 state census.

The judgment only refers to the “cohabitation.” Polygamy, in the literal sense of the term – if the husband acquired several marriage licenses at a time - is still illegal in Utah and the rest of the U.S. As these husbands usually only officially get married to their first wife and “spiritually united" with the others, the judgment is a gesture to polygamous families, who have been persecuted recently.

Priscilla Hammon, a resident of Centennial Park, considers the judgment to appeal to her right "to live the way we believe that we have to live.” Since meeting her husband, this 56 year-old polygamous wife knew she wanted to “bring other ladies home.”

“We had both grown up in polygamous families and we felt that this was the way we wanted to raise our children,” she explains.

She has been married for 40 years and jokes about the fact of living with other wives.

“The difference in the style of monogamous life is that here things are magnified,” she said. “We have larger birthday parties, huge laundries, and when we make a salad, we use 14 dishes.” She acknowledges that jealousy exists. “Of course, we are human,” she adds, “but we must deal with [eachther]. If not, we would not be here."

A Divine Command

These families continue the teachings of Joseph Smith, who wrote in 1843 that plural marriage was a command from God. In 1890, the mainstream of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints abandoned polygamy, but some sects continued this practice, including the great-grandfather of Republican Mitt Romney, who left the U.S. to circumvent the laws against polygamy. Romney 's father was born in Mexico because of this.

Currently, three sects of fundamentalist Mormons embrace plural marriages in the U.S., specifically the Apostolic United Brethren (AUB) and the Independent Polygamous and Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS). The FLDS is the best known and most hermetic sect. It rose to fame with the scandals of its leader, Warren Jeffs, accused in 2006 of incest, rape, emotional and psychological abuse.

At the time of his verdict, Jeffs had about 90 wives, some of them his stepmothers before his father died. The evidence presented at trial included an audio recording he made while raping a 12 year-old girl. Between groans heard in the recording, he recites prayers. “A good woman is ready to welcome her husband and follows the spirit of peace,” he implores, and ends with, “In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.”

Several followers of Warren Jeffs live in Colorado City and Hildale, adjacent communities to Centennial Park, right on the border between Utah and Arizona. The two groups were separated in 1980 after a leadership dispute, and one of them left Colorado City, Arizona, to settle in Centennial Park, Utah. Crossing the meters dividing both municipalities is like stepping back in time several decades. If in Centennial Park, polygamous families talk openly about their lifestyle, in Colorado City, silence reigns.

In the Land of the Prophet with 80 Wives

A truck with a woman driving and seven kids inside stops at one of the few establishments in Colorado City, a balloon store. She wears her long blonde hair tied in an elegant braid and sports a dark blue ankle-length dress with long sleeves. Some minutes later, the same scene is repeated: half a dozen kids get out of the vehicle with long braids and long dresses. NThey walk to "Craigo's," a takeaway shop in which several women in flowered shirts and bow ties prepare lemon cakes in the shape of a flower. FLDS women do not cut their hair because they believe that they will use it to wash the feet of Christ. In their dress code, the color red is prohibited. All of them refuse to talk. The tour ends with the goodbye of a Sheriff who patrols the area saying "I hope you do not break the law.”

"I'd like to let people know that not everyone in plural cultures belongs to FLDS,” laments Hammon. “It makes me very sad that today his face (Warren Jeffs ) is polygamy's face, because we know we (polygamists) have done things that are not right and neither believe nor support it.” She raises her voice to point out, “I'm not a victim, and I don't need to be rescued! I'm here because I chose to be here.”

"I Chose Heaven"

"Do you know what are the only choices that these girls have?” Kristyn Decker, 61, anti-polygamy activist and former polygamous wife asks. “Between heaven and hell. I go to heaven if I do and to hell if do not.”

Decker is the author of the book50 ‘Years in Polygamy: Big Secrets and Little White Lies,’ in which she speaks of the abuses and humiliations she experienced within a polygamous family. She is the niece of Rullon Allred, a former leader of the polygamous AUB sect, imprisoned several times for practicing bigamy, and she is the daughter of his successor.

She was five or six years-old when his half-brother Rick asked her, in the bathroom to play a game where she had to be very still. “Be a good girl and let me do it,” he told the child. “I'll buy you a candy bar when I go to the store.” Another day, an older cousin, Craig, cornered her in the kitchen and put his hands under her blouse “and up to [her] newly developing breasts,” as she recounts in her book.

She was disgusted, but she felt compelled to respect her elders. He abused her for years, but she never told anyone. “I felt it was a kind of lesson,” she says. “It was God’s will. We had to suffer and be helpful," she recalls in her bright home in New Harmony, where she has rebuilt her life with a new husband.

"When I encouraged my husband to bring another woman home, I also thought it was my choice,” says Decker. She emphasizes, “I was 25 years old. Now I know it was not, because I had nothing else in my life to choose between.”

In her book she recalls the first day she shared her husband. "I trembled inside with nausea and anger while I imagined his and Diana's bodies intertwined ( ... ), not just tonight, in her romantic honeymoon, but in the morning, again and again for the rest of our lives.” She remembers waking up at midnight and seeming to hear the panting in her hotel room, while her mother's words pounded her head: “This is God will."

Her life became a constant struggle between “divine will” and the daily face of polygamy. At first, when it was "Diana's night" –they took turns- she heard noises in the house and asked God if they were not gasps. When the doctor diagnosed her with a vaginal infection, after the second wife arrived, she realized that they would have to share everything. She became very sick to her stomach and thought about suicide several times.

“But I had to do as my mother did,” she said, “‘stretch up, put a smile on your face and behave yourself.’”

From the porch of her current home hangs a sign that reads “Decker Paradise" and a wind chime hanging from the door plays its music in the wind. Her new monogamous husband, LeRoy, makes coffee. Kristyn looks at the horizon and says, “Now I have many wonderful friends who come to my house and hang out together; but I know they are guests, and I will not have to share my husband with them in any sexual relationship.” Kristyn Decker abandoned polygamy 11 years ago. She says that this time, she chose heaven.

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Funeral of Maidan Hero 20
Chernivtsi, Ukraine
By Max Kozmenko
23 Feb 2014

Last goodbyes to Olexander Shcherbanyuk prior to his burial.

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Another Sky: An Uruguayan journey 26
Montevideo, Uruguay
By Francesco Pistilli
05 Feb 2014

Women escaping domestic violence, drug addiction and crime in a shelter and rehab center in Montevideo make dust rags. Domestic violence is widespread across Latin America including in this small, mostly rural country with an average of 68 reports of gender based violence made daily in Montevideo.

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Another Sky: An Uruguayan journey 27
Montevideo, Uruguay
By Francesco Pistilli
05 Feb 2014

Stella, 32, comes from the Uruguayan countryside (Tacuarembo area). She and her autistic son were beaten and abused by her husband for 4 years. Since her husband was jailed for attempting to kill her, Stella lives with her son in a shelter for women escaping violence and addiction.

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Another Sky: An Uruguayan journey 11
Del humedal, Montevideo 12600, Uruguay
By Francesco Pistilli
04 Feb 2014

Aniceto, his daughter Andrea and his grandchildren pose in a small fishing village called Santiago Vasquez just 30 minutes from Montevideo. Aniceto's family is part of the Afro-Uruguayan community (more then 10% of Uruguay's population). Andrea is a medium who practices Umbanda an Afro-Brazilian religion originating in Nigeria and Benin that blends African religion with Catholicism, Spiritism, black magic and indigenous lore. Umbanda has spread across southern Brazil and parts of neighboring countries like Uruguay and Argentina.

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Bam: 10 Years After an Earthquake 11
By Ulrik Pedersen
29 Jan 2014

Pictures are still clear of a whole family who died during the earthquake 10 years ago.

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Another Sky: An Uruguayan journey 28
Maldonado, Uruguay
By Francesco Pistilli
26 Jan 2014

Franco (18) and Helena Maria (2) came from poor rural families to be adopted by Daniel M. (52) and Walter MA (38), activists in the LGBT community who have been adopting underprivileged children at the biological parents' behest.

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Another Sky: An Uruguayan journey 29
Maldonado, Uruguay
By Francesco Pistilli
26 Jan 2014

Daniel M. (52) and Walter MA (38) have the biggest homosexual family in Latin America. After 20 years as a couple, they have adopted four children: Franco, Mayara, Maria Pia and Helena Maria. The children arrived from poor families where they couldn't survive. In these last 20 years, desperate mothers have asked to Walter and Daniel to adopt their children. "They're not Desaparecidos!" Daniel says, "they have constant contact with their biological families". Daniel and Walter have been active in the LGBT community in Latin America for 25 years. Today, adoption by same-sex couples is legal in 16 countries, including Uruguay.

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India-- 11 children go missing every ...
New Delhi
By Bijoyeta Das
27 Nov 2013

He almost ran after her. He followed her through the alleys of East Delhi, stopping as she stopped, angling to catch a glimpse of her face. “Maybe it is my lost daughter,” Azhar Mohammad recalls thinking when he saw the teenage girl, her hair braided and two red ribbons tied.
“There is no closure,” he says wiping tears. His daughter has been missing for five years. He remembers every detail of that day when she did not come home from school. The family searched every corner of the government school, hoping she was locked in a toilet. They met all her friends and asked a thousand questions, he says. Mohammad’s oldest son selected the best photograph of Gudiya from their battered family album and made 125 copies.
“The police said she ran away. But where will an 11 year old, cheerful girl go?” he asks, He says his hair grayed in a week, the fateful week when the family spent all their savings to look for Gudiya. No news came that night. Nor later. Even after five years, Mohammad still believes his daughter will come home someday. “Till then all I pray is wherever she is, she should be happy and well taken care of.”
Mohammad is not alone. In India eleven children go missing every hour and seven are never found.
Often children rescued in one state could be missing in another. But there is no centralized database to connect them.