tv Global 3000 PBS March 31, 2018 12:30am-1:01am PDT
modern-day robin hood is helping the rich give to the poor. in yemen, we meet a woman trying to help the greatest victims of the civil war -- the country's children. and we visit russia, where trying to uncover corruption is a good way to end up in court. what constitutes corruption, anyway? does it count if a tradesperson takes business from rivals by working cheaper off the books? or is it only when politicians take bribes and change laws to benefit specific companies? it's both, and more.
corruption is misusing power entrusted to you for your own private gain. and it appears at many levels of society, even at organizations like the u.n. its defining characteristic? corruption always hurts the community. more than two-thirds of the world's countries are burdened with high levels of corruption. that's according to transparency international's 2017 world corruption perceptions index, published last month. russia didn't fare well. it placed 135th out of 180 countries surveyed. reporter: dmitry sukharev works for transparency international in st. petersburg. he is heading to court. vladimir litvinenko, one of the most powerful men in russia, is suing the organization. dmitry: litvinenko wins every case. reporter: always? really? dmitry: yes, of course. >> the rector of the st. petersburg state mining university.
reporter: litvinenko heads the oldest technical university in russia. it's a very prestigious job, and it is alleged he got it in 1994 thanks to vladimir putin, who was at the time deputy mayor of st. petersburg. it's also alleged litvinenko helped putin with his doctoral dissertation. he is now a manager of the president's bid to be re-elected on march the 18th. president putin: it is nice to know that we have engineering universities of such high quality in russia. reporter: transparency claimed that litvinenko misappropriated funds. he is now suing for defamation the anti-corruption ngo and some journalists who reported on the allegations. he's demanding damages totaling close to a million euros. we wanted to film the whole hearing, but the judge would not allow that. maxim: mr. litvinenko is a public figure.
the public needs to know what he is involved in. is there any evidence of corruption? that is what needs to be addressed in the trial. irina: mr. litvinenko is a very important person in st. petersburg, very influential. i might be mistaken, perhaps the media will report on this, but how will they be able to if the hearings are held behind closed doors? reporter: what's more, media reports are not permitted to quote statements made in the courtroom. and then litvinenko does not show up for the hearing. we ask for an interview somewhere else, but in vain. just a few blocks from the courthouse is the main building of the mining university. the facade bears the imperial eagle and the order of lenin. whoever the ruler, the university has remained an important institution. this is where talent is trained for the mining, oil and gas industries. when the old building became too small, construction began in 2008 on a new one.
the municipality provided the plot of land. dmitry: the city said, you can have this real estate for a specific purpose. the university then said, we don't have any money. so we need a commercial partner as an investor. they signed a contract, and the university got part of the property and the commercial outfit also got a part. reporter: this kind of public-private partnership is not uncommon in russia. what transparency says is out of line is that the rector made millions with the project. most of the new building is condos, rather than university facilities. transparency says the privately-owned apartments make up 90% of the complex, and that some of them belong to members of staff.
>> they are great apartments. i work for the mining university and i bought one. reporter: expensive? >> not very. the university helps its staff a little. reporter: transparency says it has proof that a company owned by the wife of vladimir litvinenko owns 658 of the apartments. dmitry: the rector of the university, vladimir litvinenko, signed a contract with his wife's company. lo and behold, this company ended up owning apartments worth 230 million euros. they were built on the plot belonging to the mining university. its rector should be doing everything in his power to benefit the university. but litvinenko evidently confuses his personal interests
with those of the university and those of the state. reporter: that's the way he operates, says his daughter olga litvinenko. we went to see her in the latvian capital, riga. she says her father uses public officials for his own purposes. olga: many people who work for various government bodies were given apartments. i saw myself how it works. the prices are very low, and fake purchase contracts are drawn up. they pretend the purchasers were involved from the start in the construction project. they pay a nominal price and suddenly they are condo owners. reporter: olga litvinenko had a falling-out with her father in 2011. she was then a member of the st. petersburg city parliament, but did not vote the way her father told her to. he then got a court to take away her daughter, who was just a baby at the time. olga fled the country and has
not seen her child since. she is willing to testify against her father. olga: i am frightened. they could kill me. i am sure of that. but above all i am a mother fighting for her child. and you can't hold a mother back who is fighting for her child. reporter: back in st. petersburg, dmitry sukharev says he expects the court case will drag on for months. dmitry: we are going to prove that we are right. we are going to unmask those who are corrupt and demand that they be punished accordingly. reporter: sukharev has some degree of protection, as he works for a well-known organization. climate protection. this week takes us to uganda,
where just one person in five has access to a steady power supply. firewood is the primary source of energy here. one sustainable alternative is solar power. but panels are expensive to install, and few people here can afford them. so what are the options? reporter: it's just 6:30 in the morning, but the cooking fire is already going, like in millions of other ugandan households. grace baguma is preparing peanuts for breakfast. her children pitch in, including 21-year-old wilfred. he's training to be an electrician, and is the family's hope for a better future. grace: i see that wilfred is a good boy, and my hopes are high for him. something big is going to happen here. we'll get electricity and he will help us. i can feel it. reporter: the family has no electricity, just a small patch of land and a few chickens. wilfred is one of five children,
and luckily he's got a state scholarship to support his training. wilfred: it's true that i bring for to them electricity, especially when i am through the certification at the institute and i get some work. when i am being paid, i will make sure that i will have done something for them. reporter: every morning, wilfred baguma walks almost four kilometers to school, nothing unusual in uganda. at the technical school, young people can train for various professions, such as electrician or car mechanic. the electricity is out again today, so the students make do with manual tools. the sewing machines have also stopped. they need to get the generator up and running again. for the deputy headmaster, it's a familiar problem. fred: you know, our power is not stable.
one day it's on, another day it's off. we receive power from very far, so the distance is very long. so any instance along the way logging out our grid, that's why we have power instability up country. reporter: the power supply is centrally controlled. it's expensive and in poor condition. one solution is to use local solar panels, but few schools can afford it. during their training, the budding electricians learn all they need to know about installation. mariam angeyango wants to use her skills to help her family. she's already installed a solar panel at home. mariam: it gives us freedom of not buying paraffin, you don't lose any resources and other things. it's me who goes and mounts it, and i feel that we can do this so that i can gain that experience in mounting grid. reporter: electric ovens are a rarity in rural uganda. efficient use of firewood here is a big issue. a year ago, with the help of a
south korean bank and the ugandan government, this school got a new oven. it uses 60% less firewood than the old one, and requires less work to operate. alina: the new oven is the best for me. fantastic. no smoke, no what. i like it very much. it is fast in cooking, very fast, and you put very little firewood. reporter: justine akumu from the ministry of energy is visiting the school. she wants similar ovens to be installed across uganda, some 15,600 in the country's schools alone. the deputy headmaster shows akumu where she cooked before they got the new oven. justine: i know, deforestation is so bad. i mean, our rate of -- the percentage of forest that we have today in the country stands at 9%, you know, from 36% that we had about 15 years ago.
so in the last 15 years we have had a rate of deforestation at about -- we've lost about 25% of our forest cover, it's so much. and if you look at the root cause at deforestation, it is harvesting wood for energy, for cooking energy, because we use wood as our primary source of energy for cooking, in schools, at households, in restaurants, in all institutions, even in the industries as a source of process heat. reporter: trees are felled everywhere, whether it be for charcoal, or clearing large areas for agricultural land. 200 kilometers south of kampala lies the new africa primary school. the school uses a lot of firewood. the headmaster says they can't afford a new oven.
justine akumu tries to convince the headmaster to get one. she argues that it's possible for schools to take out loans with favorable conditions. justine: so far with improved cookstoves we've been able to construct more than 100 cookstoves in education institutions, and that was on a demonstrations basis, whereby we just wanted to create awareness about improved cook stoves so we did demos across the country so that other schools within those regions can benchmark. reporter: but the school has already taken out a loan for solar panels to provide light in the bathrooms. there's also a light bulb hanging in the classroom now, the result of an initiative from the school, parents and community. james: actually, the government has no hand so far.
we are struggling with loans to put up with buildings like this one because we cannot teach the children when they are outside. so what we do is we go to banks to get loans and put up classes so that children, ugandan children are able to access quality education. reporter: like mariam angeyango, the young woman who, thanks to her good education as an electrician, was able to install one solar panel on the roof of her family home. her family of 12 hopes there are more to come. host: for 13 years now, the washington-based ngo fund for peace has published a fragile states index that measures social, political, and economic stability in states around the world. its most recent findings
indicate things have grown especially critical in south sudan, somalia, and yemen, where a proxy war between saudi arabia and iran has been smoldering since 2015. it's marked an entire generation of children. around two million of them aren't going to school. 1.8 million children are underfed. of those, around 400,000 are suffering acute malnourishment and desperately need medical care. reporter: it's the start of a long and busy day for pediatrician ashwag moharram. today she will be making house calls in the countryside. but she's first asked to help here, at the entrance to the central clinic in hodeida. this elderly woman doesn't know how she will get home. she has no money. moharram calls her driver over and tells him to find a taxi and give the woman 2000 riyals to cover the cost of her ride home.
a father has brought his emaciated daughter to the pediatrician. moharram's occupation requires her to remain optimistic, but she's frustrated. during the three years of fighting, the number of undernourished children has exploded. for her, the suffering is unbearable, especially when the children are brought to the hospital when it might already be too late. moharram drives to the harbor in hodeida to find out what kind of humanitarian aid has been delivered this time. but when she arrives, she can hardly believe her eyes. the united nations has sent this ship. ashwag: is that it? that's all there is for yemen? that's the medicine from unicef? for the entire country?
reporter: moharram asks the harbor workers if they know why such a small ship was sent, but they say they don't know the reason. ashwag: it's not enough. unicef sent that ship? we need unicef for medicine, for food to fight malnutrition in children, for treating cholera, diphtheria. can unicef only lease ships this small? is that supposed to be enough for 27 million people? reporter: hodeida is the largest and most important port in the area held by houthi rebels. it's under constant attack by the saudi-led coalition. moharram says this, in itself, is bad enough. but even more criminal are the bombardments of civilian homes. ashwag: this district is close to military bases. the airport is nearby. that's why it's always being
bombed, including the university medical faculty. reporter: moharram drives to a village south of hodeida. people in the countryside are especially afflicted by the war. the few aid deliveries that do arrive barely make it out of the city. that is why the doctor regularly makes these trips. addimnah is near the coast. very poor fishermen live here. moharram is able to help them because of her relatively good income. when she arrives, she can see how grateful they are. moharram is pretty much their only contact to the outside world. the war's effects are highly visible here, in terribly undernourished children. >> i used to be able to give my child milk every two days.
but i haven't received anything for two months now. reporter: the parents are grateful to moharram for treating their children for free, and give her henna. it's a small gesture, a sign of respect and thanks, presented with dignity. moharram has made it her mission to help people. but it's becoming increasingly difficult to do so. she sees no end to the war, and has made a professional decision. ashwag: the health of the children is deteriorating because they are not getting adequate treatment. i've decided that if we can't provide food to adults, we have to at least guarantee it to the children, because they need nourishment more urgently. reporter: moharram says the precious little that does exist must be given to the children. that's the only option. that's why she only brings powdered milk when she visits addimnah. ashwag moharram says it is the children who must survive,
because they are yemen's only hope. host: what would the world be if there were no heroes with big hearts out there? the people who make it their mission to help others in need? there are many more moving stories about people who help others on our facebook page. follow us on dw global society. in the un's universal declaration of human rights, a fundamental one is the right to adequate shelter. around 1.6 billion people worldwide, however, still don't have safe housing to call their own. around 150 million are homeless, and live rough out in the street. how can they be helped? they first have to at least receive warm sleeping bags, tents, or other temporary
housing, along with mobile showers. and of course, food. providing those basic necessities to all begins with solidarity, especially in the world's growing cities. reporter: this is not a cigarette machine but a way to help others, as the waiter is happy to explain. when you put money in, you give someone a free shower, some bread, or a cup of coffee. it's just one of the features in the robin hood restaurant, where the rich pay for the poor. outside, it looks like any other eating place in madrid. but the entire profits made during the day go to providing free meals for the poor in the evening. the proprietor is father angel, a catholic priest who's made it his mission to fight poverty and hunger. father angel: the most important things here are community,
friendship, and dignity. reporter: dignity might seem like a distant dream to many living on the street. madrid has several thousand homeless people. the modest upturn in the spanish economy has yet to reach them. but they can get help in what's become known as the church of the poor. here in st. antony's, anyone who needs it can bed down, get a meal, or simply celebrate mass. the church is always open. father angel has long been concerned about the needy and the marginalized in society. it's a concern shared by pope francis. father angel: the first thing i heard him say was that he wanted a church that is itself poor, and a church that is there to help the poor. reporter: pensioner luis vincente gets food vouchers in
the robin hood. the church encourages those who come to look after themselves as best they can. these days he's happy to make an effort. luis: for two years i didn't wear a suit or anything like that. no tie, no bow tie. then one day my daughter said to me, dad, today you will be like a king when you go to the restaurant. a king, i said? me? whatever do you mean? and she made sure i dressed properly so that i would get some respect, and out of respect for father angel. reporter: luis vincente lost his job, then his marriage collapsed. he lives on the streets, but he doesn't want to show us that part of his life. instead, he's invited us to come back to the restaurant in the evening, when he will get his meal. right now the restaurant is still cooking lunch. diners during the day pay 11 euros. the profits are then used to provide food for free in the evenings.
as always, luis vincente has dressed up for the occasion. father angel takes it very seriously that everyone is equal in the eyes of god. a person's worth, he says, should never be decided by the amount of money he has. father angel: so often we cross the street to avoid the homeless. it's a problem the politicians can't solve. it's about human rights. it doesn't matter whether people have money or not, their dignity needs to be preserved. reporter: volunteers also come here to serve the poor in the evenings. >> they give us volunteers so much more than we give them, that's the way i see it. and they're so grateful. we may be fine at the moment, but any of us could lose our way at any time. we could easily be in their position tomorrow.
reporter: just before 8:00, the tables are laid inside and the guests start to arrive. the whole project is aimed at helping people to find their place in society again. and today there's good news for luis. the city authorities have found him a room. not just a hot meal eaten in dignified surroundings, but a don't forget, though, that we love hearing from you, so get in touch. send an email to email@example.com, or drop us a line on facebook. thanks for watching. goodbye for now. ♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy.
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