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Dec 22 & 25, 2011: from Seoul, South Korea - Monrovia, Liberia - Kenya - Manila - Zambia

From our correspondents around the world....

Members of a North Korean family clap as they watch news of the 2009 test launch of a nuclear-capable rocket.  It was declared a triumph though western sources said it fizzled.  Photo/AP-Kyodo News

The bleak legacy of Kim Jong-il.  He made North Korea the most secretive country on earth but a few citizen journalists risk their lives to defy it.

We're on patrol with the world's only female peacekeeping units, in a country where police can't be trusted with guns.

What happens to the goat you bought from that charity for a needy village?

A Canadian filmmaker treks to Africa to find his.

We're also in Haiti, where education is rising from the wreckage.

One man's fight against sex trafficking in the Philippines. When to kick, when to run. 

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A fence along the North Korean border near Dandong, China. Photo/AP

North Korea's digital underground

The death of the despotic Kim Jong-il is one of the few truths the state has ever reported to North Koreans.

Like food and human rights, accurate information is scarce in one of what's long been one of the most secretive countries in the world.

The situation was made worse this year, with a new law that jails any citizen who telephones anybody outside the country, and banishes their family to internal exile.

And some already have, according to the Daily NK, a website based in Seoul, South Korea.

It's one of several new media organizations trying to crack the information barricade Kim Jong-il has erected around his repressive regime.

Turns out getting information in and out of the north is quite a cloak-and-dagger process, as journalist Robert S. Boynton writes in this month's edition of The Atlantic magazine.

  Listen to our talk with Robert

Robert S. Boynton is a Professor with the Literary Reportage concentration, at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, at New York University.


Kids at the République des États-Unis school in Port-au-Prince enjoy a meal at the school which gets considerable aid from Canada in providing much-needed food to students. Photo/David Common

A small, shining story of good news from Haiti

Almost two years since the earthquake in Haiti, and still so much to do.

If you just looked at the big picture, you might despair.

It helps to consider small ones too, as CBC correspondent David Common did at a school in the capital city.

Hear David's mini dispatch


As David says, moments of optimism in Haiti are there if you look hard enough at the small pictures. But, next week; CBC correspondent Connie Watson rejoins us with a big one: how some are getting away with murder and pushing people off their land.


Women keeping the peace

Rewti Arjunan, Indian police officer and member of landmark all-female peacekeeping unit in Liberia, teaches Indian dancing to teenage girls in Monrovia Photo/Bonnie Allen

The west African state of Liberia is rebuilding after a protracted civil war, and a special unit of UN peacekeepers is there to see that it does.

Liberia is another of the UN's largest deployments, and embedded in it is a police unit most others don't have. 

It is entirely female, and it says it brings something to the dangerous game of peacekeeping that men just can't, as we hear from Canadian journalist Bonnie Allen. 

Click here for Bonnie's dispatch





Jorge de Guzman spends his holidays giving seminars to girls at risk from sex trade recruiters. Photo/CBC

Sex trade salvation 

If you ever meet Jorge de Guzman, watch how he moves. Like a cat. Maybe it's the martial arts training.

He arrived in Canada from the Philippines thirty-five years ago, and trained as a graphic artist. He also gives self-defence lesson at the "Y" in Sarnia, Ontario, where he volunteers.

But about ten years ago, de Guzman found his true calling; saving children from a life in the sex trade.

Most years, he returns to the Philippines to teach them to defend themselves against child traffickers. When to kick, and when to run.

He's schooled thousands, and not without risk. Posing as a John in some seedy situations, he's personally rescued a dozen kids.

And when he headed out on his latest mission, to the capital city of Manila, Dispatches had its microphone on him.

Jorge's mission...

Jorge de Guzman was a finalist in the CBC's Champions of Change tribute to Canadian volunteers last year. He tells us he took the $10,000 bursary and used it to conduct another summer of seminars in the Philippines. They reached some 8,000 girls.


Christopher Richardson in Zambia in search of the goats he donated from Canada Photo/Henge Productions


Where's my goat?

The holiday season is here and you've seen those flyers from charities urging us to give the gift of a goat to a needy person in the developing world.

They like to call it an "ethical donation."

But what happens between the giving and the getting? Does it make any real difference?

Christopher Richardson decided to find out. He donated goats in the names of fifty of his clients, rather than give them hats or pens or that kind of swag.

But, he found too many of them wondering if there really was a goat!

And being a filmmaker, he turned his quest into the new documentary entitled Where's My Goat.

Christopher Richardson was in St.John's...  Listen to his chat with Rick

Check out the trailer for Where's my Goat?

This program is the work of producers Dawna Dingwall, Alison Masemann and Steve McNally. With technical producers Tim Lorimer and Victor Johnston. Our senior producer is Alan Guettel.

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