Syrian President Bashar Assad delivers a speech at an iftar dinner with political and religious figures in Damascus, Syria, on Aug. 4. In Syria, many different religious groups live in an often uneasy mix. While the country is primarily Sunni Arab, the government is run by minority Alawites like Assad — adherents of an offshoot of Shiite Islam. AP/SANA hide caption

toggle caption AP/SANA

The protesters who opposed Hosni Mubarak two years ago, like these demonstrators in Cario's Tahrir Square on Feb. 8, 2011, have been pushed to the sidelines in the current confrontation. Emilio Morenatti/AP hide caption

toggle caption Emilio Morenatti/AP

A prostitute in Johannesburg waits for a client on a street corner. An estimated two-thirds of sex workers in South Africa are HIV positive. Yoav Lemmer/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Yoav Lemmer/AFP/Getty Images

A nurse takes a blood sample from Nkosi Minenhle, 15, in a mobile clinic set up to test students for HIV at Madwaleni High School in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Stephane de Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Stephane de Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images

Jan Scannell, former accountant, has taken on a new identity as "Jan Braai," a South African TV show host and media personality promoting the idea of National Braai (barbecuing) Day, celebrated each year on Sept. 24. Courtesy of Stephanus Rabie hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of Stephanus Rabie

Priest Ifagbemi has an elaborate shrine to Yoruba's gods in his home near Seattle. Christopher Johnson/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Christopher Johnson/NPR

Security forces and medics wheel a stretcher transporting former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak from a military helicopter into an ambulance at a Cairo military hospital after his release from prison Thursday. AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption AFP/Getty Images

Bernard Omondi got $1,000 from GiveDirectly. Jacob Goldstein/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jacob Goldstein/NPR

Planet Money

The Charity That Just Gives Money To Poor People

There are no strings attached. People can spend the money on whatever they want, and they never have to pay it back.

Listen Loading… 7:47
  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor