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Giving the homeless a voice

Homeless people are perhaps the most marginalized group in society. Those who sleep rough on the street are often ignored by the wider public, but Paris local Martin Besson has more empathy than most.

Despite having a home to go to, the 18-year-old chose to spend a night on the street to see what it was like to be homeless. The experience was confronting, and spurred the high school student into action. Last year he launched Sans A, an organization that aims to draw attention to the plight of homeless people – by giving them a voice on social media.

Martin spends his free time getting to know the less fortunate in Paris, and uploading their stories for the public to read. The idea, he says, is to break down the barriers between homeless people and the rest of society.

Listen to the report by Fabien Jannic-Cherbonnel in Paris. 

Martin Besson

Martin Besson helps the down and out in Paris (Photo: F. Jannic-Cherbonnel)

Sans A facebook page

Sans A shares the stories and portraits of Parisian homeless people online

Martin & Cyril

Martin wants the public to get to know homeless people like Cyril (Photo: F. Jannic-Cherbonnel)


Sans A hopes to lend an ear to the less fortunate (Photo: Fotalia)


Tuesday 22.04.2014 | 13:05



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Crowdfunding for clean water

Most of us wouldn’t think twice about being able to drink a glass of water whenever we want to. But having clean water on tap is a luxury almost 800 million people around the world don’t have.

The need for clean water is especially high in Uganda, as Anna Vikky found out. The 27-year-old from Dusseldorf in Germany, launched her own aid organization in 2009. Now she and are working together with a Ugandan NGO to improve access to water and sanitation in a rural region of Uganda.

It was important to Anna to find a partner project that had a grassroots approach. And her funding has also taken a similar path – she’s raised a large portion of the needed funds via social media.

Listen to the report by Natalie  Muller in Dusseldorf:

Anna Vicky's parents fled the civil war in Sri Lanka, so she has a special understanding for people in crisis situations (Photo: Falco Peters)

Anna Vicky’s parents fled the civil war in Sri Lanka, so she has a special understanding for people in crisis situations (Photo: Falco Peters)

Photographer Falco Peters created this photo series for the website, to convey the group’s work and the need for clean water in Uganda:

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Tuesday 08.04.2014 | 13:35



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German teen tackles racial stereotypes on YouTube

High school student Sidney Frenz’s mother was German while his father came from Ghana. Tired of being asked about his dark skin color, he’s made a clever YouTube video aimed at promoting tolerance.

Watch the video from DW’s Germany Today.

Sidney Frenz


Friday 05.07.2013 | 08:50



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