White people want to become dark. Dark people want to become lighter. There are risks in both desires. I did this story in 2007 where I reported from Ghana on women who deliberately bleach their dark skin to become lighter. But using creams with steroids and other chemicals can be very dangerous. In some cases it can even kill you.
In 2006, I did a story on traumatized youth in Rwanda for a story on the World Vision Report. It was one of the more difficult assignments I’ve done and haunted me, especially the story of a survivor named Lucie. Here’s the story of how reporting this story changed my life — and left me with a daughter. That’s her on the right in the picture below with my son, Bariwanda…that’s a whole other story.
In 2007, I reported from Kampala, the capital city of Uganda where close to half of the city’s population practices urban farming, sometimes utilizing the smallest of spaces. For many of these city dwellers, the ability to raise a few vegetables or chickens can mean a big difference to their quality of life.
Here is a link to dispatches I wrote while a Knight International Journalism Fellow in Rwanda.