The Favelas of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, are slums made up of self-built houses. Life here is largely controlled by criminal gangs. It’s the poorest members of society who live in the Favelas; they simply try to survive amid violent gunfights between drug lords and law enforcement.
Some call it, “The Mine”, to others, it’s “the beast”, an infamous rubbish dump in Guatemala City, Central America’s biggest capital. For thousands of poor people it provides a livelihood. Raw sewage flows through the massive landfill and twice a year, floods cause deadly landslides.
For 100 years, Jharia town in India has lived on top of a perpetually burning coal field. Once green and beautiful, the region is now scorched and barren, while its people are suffering from respiratory diseases. Despite the danger, most families daren’t relocate because coal provides their only means of income.
According to a medieval Albanian tradition, a woman can take a man’s place as the head of a family if she renounces her womanhood, following strict rules laid down by a centuries-old code. Surprisingly, a few women, known as "sworn virgins" still observe the custom.
Like most students in rural Nepal, Durge Kami is a diligent pupil who tries to listen to his teachers. He differs from his school mates in just one respect, he is 69! At such a ripe old age, he was determined to realise his life’s ambition to complete his education. Not everyone supported him at first but by doing what he loves he’s become an inspiration for kids and adults alike.
In Vietnam, Phuc Tong made a cemetery for unborn babies. His country, where poverty and social stigma push women to terminate unplanned pregnancies, has the highest abortion rate in Asia. He has dedicated his life to helping young mothers and their babies. He offers shelter and tries to convince women to keep their children, even if that means raising them himself.
When kids are accused of witchcraft in Africa’s Democratic Republic of the Congo, they’re thrown out of their homes. They beg and steal in the streets, where might is right. The aim of the country’s first centre for homeless children is to bring them back to their families. But superstition in Congolese society is hard to combat.
They joined the army driven by a desire to serve their country and its people. However, the wars they were sent to made them re-evaluate everything they believed in. Now, US veterans are trying to come to terms with their past and learn how to live among civilians again. It turns out, they’ve no one to rely on but each other.
The old saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” has a very literal meaning for the residents of one small town on the outskirts of Cairo in Egypt. Zabbaleen is home to a large community of rubbish collectors who gather and sort all of the capital’s waste. The process provides work for whole families.
Recently, the German city of Cologne made the news for a string of attacks against women that many blamed on migrants. The deepening refugee crisis is polarising German society. Still, no social tensions can stop the sweet celebration of Cologne’s famous Carnival, even if this year’s also came with a bitter pill.
Child prostitution in Kenya has reached a shocking level. Extreme poverty and sex tourism lead to the sexual exploitation of children on a massive scale. RT Doc investigates what is being done about the problem and who profits from it.
At the age of 15, Oleg and Polina have to get used to the adult responsibilities of parenthood. To help them adapt to their new life, Yulia steps in, a foster mother who has brought up 7 children and now hopes to make a difference for these young people and their baby daughter.
Tiny Migingo is one of the most densely populated islands in the world. In the middle of Lake Victoria, it’s home to Ugandan and Kenyan fishermen and their families. RT Doc’s Peter Scott paid a visit to find out how more than a thousand people live on a rock half the size of a football pitch.
For some people, the so-called ‘Tower of David’ is just an unfinished
skyscraper. For others, it’s an asylum for robbers and murderers. About
800 families call this place home. RTD presents a film about people that
live in this tower.
Egypt is a land where the concept of gender equality has barely taken root. When Sisa’s husband died, leaving her alone to bring up a young daughter, she came up with a novel solution; she became a man! For the next 43 years she pretended to be male. She says it was a far better choice than taking another husband.