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In the January-February 2017 issue of New Internationalist Chris Brazier completes a unique journalistic project by returning to the village in Burkina Faso, in west Africa, that he first visited in 1985 while making a film.

He visited in 1995 and 2005 to report on changes in the lives of individuals and on the progress of development in the community. The previous magazines have offered an intriguing insight into the lives of people battling against poverty and have reported on substantial positive changes in the life of the community – from the opening of a health centre and a primary school in the village to the first appearance of mobile phones.

Have the past 11 years of change brought further progress? And are the individuals that we have tracked over the three decades still healthy and happy?

January 2017, Issue 499

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From the magazine

Each month we publish some of the best stories from New Internationalist magazine.

  • Journey's End

    Journey's End

    Chris Brazier returns to the village in Burkina Faso that he has visited every 10 years since helping to make a film there in 1985.

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  • Map of Sabtenga - and 30 years of change in Burkina Faso

    Map of Sabtenga - and 30 years of change in Burkina Faso

    How the village has grown - and some facts about how things have changed.

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  • Then & Now

    Then & Now

    A photographic account of changes over the years in: housing; water; education; health; sanitation; food and farming; technology; and women.

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  • An Audience with the Chief

    An Audience with the Chief

    Former military pilot François Moné has taken on the traditional role of Chief. He explains how he is using this to pursue the development of the village.

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  • Autumn of the Patriarch

    Autumn of the Patriarch

    The latest instalment in the lives of Adama, his four co-wives and their 26 children.

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  • The Perils of Charity

    The Perils of Charity

    When rich and poor worlds collide, money is inevitably a problem.

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  • Great Expectations

    Great Expectations

    Mariama’s sons are all trying to make their way in the wider world. But how do you explain to Africans that the rich world is now shutting its doors to migrants?

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  • Trump can be beaten because he is the Establishment

    Trump can be beaten because he is the Establishment

    We must respond with a genuine vision for ending the corrupt politics of privilege, writes Mark Engler.

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  • The Unreported Year 2016

    The Unreported Year 2016

    Stories and photos you may have missed in the last 12 months. Compiled by Jo Lateu.

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  • My Daily Mail badge of honour

    My Daily Mail badge of honour

    Chris Coltrane on how to be hated by the Daily Mail.

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  • Letter from Cochabamba

    Letter from Cochabamba

    Working children have more pressing concerns than the law, discovers Amy Booth.

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  • Country profile: Nicaragua

    Country profile: Nicaragua

    Mira Galanova uncovers a country at a crossroads.

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  • Worldbeaters: Donald Trump

    Worldbeaters: Donald Trump

    Ego? Tick. Money? Tick. Power-hungry? Tick. A disaster for the world? Tick.

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  • A word with Naseema Assada

    A word with Naseema Assada

    Lydia Noon talks to the Saudi women's rights activist about guardianship, Twitter hashtags, and suing the government.

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For over 40 years our multi-award winning, independent magazine has been shining a light on the unjust power relations between rich and poor. Learn more »

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