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Editors' picks: Our best global photos of 2022 range from heart-rending to hopeful

New father Yappe Pako gets help with his kangaroo care carrier from a midwife. His newborn son is named Ambo Crisostome. They're in the kangaroo care ward at the University Hospital Medical Center at Treichville in the Ivory Coast. A new program teaches the technique to moms and dads. It's especially beneficial for preterm and low birthweight babies.
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds for NPR
New father Yappe Pako gets help with his kangaroo care carrier from a midwife. His newborn son is named Ambo Crisostome. They're in the kangaroo care ward at the University Hospital Medical Center at Treichville in the Ivory Coast. A new program teaches the technique to moms and dads. It's especially beneficial for preterm and low birthweight babies.

An infant, a father, a look of exquisite tenderness on the dad's face.

This is one of the heart-stirring photos in a story we published this year on kangaroo care: When a baby is born prematurely, a good way to help the baby survive and thrive is simply to hold it close to a parent's naked chest.

That photo tells you everything you need to know about the bond between a parent and a vulnerable child. The dad is Yappe Pako of the Ivory Coast. His wife gave birth to triplets who were five weeks premature. One died. The two survivors were not thriving. Kangaroo care was a godsend. "I started taking part myself to give the love of a father to my children," says Pako.

This portrait by Andrew Caballero-Reynolds is one of many heartfelt photos featured this year in Goats and Soda: from a steadfast female de-miner in Angola to a Ukrainian opera singer holding the sheet music she brought as a reminder of her beloved home as she fled a brutal war.

Here are some of our notable photos — and photo-stories — from 2022.


There's a global call for kangaroo care. Here's what it looks like in the Ivory Coast


If you had to leave home and could take only 1 keepsake, what would it be?

Olha Abakumova, an opera singer from western Ukraine, came to the U.S. with her daughter. (Her husband was not able to migrate.) Olha brought her most treasured sheet music for Ukrainian arias. "They connect me with my motherland, culture and my roots," she says. "When I'm singing, I see pictures in front of my eyes," she says. "The words and music move through me and take me back to Ukraine."
/ Jodi Hilton for NPR
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Jodi Hilton for NPR
Olha Abakumova, an opera singer from western Ukraine, came to the U.S. with her daughter. (Her husband was not able to migrate.) Olha brought her most treasured sheet music for Ukrainian arias. "They connect me with my motherland, culture and my roots," she says. "When I'm singing, I see pictures in front of my eyes," she says. "The words and music move through me and take me back to Ukraine."


In this nomadic tribe in Iran, the women persevere despite hardships

Fereshteh, 14, is photographed in the central Zagros mountains, where her tribe spends spring and summer. They travel many hours on rough paths throughout the year, from pasture to pasture — and then there's the yearly 10-hour journey from their summer home to their winter home. She says she does not like the nomadic way of life but feels she has no choice but to accept and endure it.
/ Enayat Asadi for NPR
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Enayat Asadi for NPR
Fereshteh, 14, is photographed in the central Zagros mountains, where her tribe spends spring and summer. They travel many hours on rough paths throughout the year, from pasture to pasture — and then there's the yearly 10-hour journey from their summer home to their winter home. She says she does not like the nomadic way of life but feels she has no choice but to accept and endure it.


Angola thought women couldn't clear landmines. These women proved them wrong

Esperanca Ngando is in charge of three all-female demining teams in Angola. "In the past, people thought this was just a man's job," says Ngando. "But we've changed that attitude."
/ Tommy Trenchard for NPR
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Tommy Trenchard for NPR
Esperanca Ngando is in charge of three all-female demining teams in Angola. "In the past, people thought this was just a man's job," says Ngando. "But we've changed that attitude."


Diamond diggers in deserted mines break the law — and risk their lives

Jefferson Ncube, an illegal diamond miner from Zimbabwe, works on his latest tunnel at an abandoned De Beers mine near Kleinzee, South Africa. Ncube is a univeristy graduate, but has been unable to find employment.
/ Tommy Trenchard for NPR
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Tommy Trenchard for NPR
Jefferson Ncube, an illegal diamond miner from Zimbabwe, works on his latest tunnel at an abandoned De Beers mine near Kleinzee, South Africa. Ncube is a univeristy graduate, but has been unable to find employment.


At Guinea's only specialized snakebite clinic, doctors need luck and antivenom

A forest cobra is harvested for its venom at the Research Institute of Applied Biology of Guinea. Its venom will be analysed for various toxins and help inform future antidote development.
/ Guy Peterson for NPR
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Guy Peterson for NPR
A forest cobra is harvested for its venom at the Research Institute of Applied Biology of Guinea. Its venom will be analysed for various toxins and help inform future antidote development.


South Africa's 'train of hope' is a godsend for millions. But new threats loom

A pharmacist on the Phelophepa health-care train takes payment for a patient's prescription.
/ Tommy Trenchard for NPR
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Tommy Trenchard for NPR
A pharmacist on the Phelophepa health-care train takes payment for a patient's prescription.


Ukrainian refugees feel surprisingly at home in Brazil's 'Little Ukraine'

Ukrainian refugee Anastasiia Ivanova reads the Bible on the terrace of the apartment in Prudentópolis, Brazil, where she now lives with her mother and siblings. The devout 22-year-old says her faith is what's helped her get through all of her trials. She brought her Bible with her when the family fled Kharkiv.
/ Gabriela Portilho for NPR
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Gabriela Portilho for NPR
Ukrainian refugee Anastasiia Ivanova reads the Bible on the terrace of the apartment in Prudentópolis, Brazil, where she now lives with her mother and siblings. The devout 22-year-old says her faith is what's helped her get through all of her trials. She brought her Bible with her when the family fled Kharkiv.


A 70-year-old man in Gaza needed open heart surgery. It was a race against time

Yousef Al-Kurd waits to be seen for his heart disease at Shifa Hospital in Gaza.
/ Fatima Shbair for NPR
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Fatima Shbair for NPR
Yousef Al-Kurd waits to be seen for his heart disease at Shifa Hospital in Gaza.


Inside Cape Town's 'hijacked' buildings: 'All we want is a place to call home'

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Boys play in a stairwell in Cissie Gool House, an abandoned hospital now home to over 1,000 people. By painting, decorating and maintaining the building, its new residents have managed to turn it into a decent home for themselves and their families within striking distance of central Cape Town.
/ Tommy Trenchard for NPR
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Tommy Trenchard for NPR
Boys play in a stairwell in Cissie Gool House, an abandoned hospital now home to over 1,000 people. By painting, decorating and maintaining the building, its new residents have managed to turn it into a decent home for themselves and their families within striking distance of central Cape Town.

Marc Silver
Marc Silver, who edits NPR's global health blog, has been a reporter and editor for the Baltimore Jewish Times, U.S. News & World Report and National Geographic. He is the author of Breast Cancer Husband: How to Help Your Wife (and Yourself) During Diagnosis, Treatment and Beyond and co-author, with his daughter, Maya Silver, of My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks: Real-Life Advice From Real-Life Teens. The NPR story he co-wrote with Rebecca Davis and Viola Kosome -- 'No Sex For Fish' — won a Sigma Delta Chi award for online reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists.
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