Mary Kom, a flyweight boxer from Manipur in north-east India, didn’t win gold in the London Olympics – yet her performance inspired her state and her country.
Panos London Newsletter
Welcome to the monthly round-up of our best blogs and features. In conflict-stricken Manipur in Northeast India, Anjulika Thingnam describes how boxing bronze medallist Mary Kom’s Olympic efforts briefly united its people – something years of conflict-resolution efforts had failed to do. Magnificent Mary has inspired other women in India to get into the ring, as our feature from Kolkata explains. Plus: community gardening in Buenos Aires, inspiring sporting images and blogs from Mali’s hunger frontline.
For almost a year we have been following the life of Kaidia Samaké who lives in the village of Gwelekoro in Mali. With a food crisis currently sweeping the Sahel, Kaidia’s blogs trace how the annual ‘hungry season’ intensified, pushing her family and other villagers to the brink of starvation.
In Kaidia’s latest blog she tells us that children are the worst affected by the hungry season. Malnutrition means they are more susceptible to illnesses, such as relapses of malaria, and are unable to work in the fields to sow the next season’s crops.
Good news from Gwelekoro: so far the rains have been good and Kaidia has started planting crops for the next season. But without a bull to help plough her land she has to choose between sowing the seeds late or sowing them without ploughing.
Sport has an important role to play in development and rehabilitation processes. To celebrate the London 2012 Paralympics, we selected a series of photographs of inspirational sportsmen and women around the world for whom disability is no barrier.
Sport is used around the world today to rehabilitate people with disabilities. In this photograph, amputee footballers, many of whom were victims of the country’s civil war, practice on the beach in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Goalball is a team sport designed for blind and visually impaired athletes and is played in silence: the only way for the blindfolded athletes to work out where the ball is is by the tinkling sound it makes as it travels across the pitch at speeds of up to 40mph.
With food price rising around the globe, more people want to grow their own fruit and vegetables. Ana Bell reports on an urban gardening scheme in Argentina that feeds more than 3.3 million people.