Our top global photos from 2022 were heartfelt and hopeful : Goats and Soda : NPR

An infant, a father, a look of exquisite tenderness on the father’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 father 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


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 is especially beneficial for preterm and low birth weight babies.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds for NPR


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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 is especially beneficial for preterm and low birth weight babies.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds for NPR

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 US 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 US 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

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 is the annual 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 is the annual 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

Angola thought women could not 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

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 university 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 university graduate, but has been unable to find employment.

Tommy Trenchard for NPR

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 analyzed 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 analyzed for various toxins and help inform future antidote development.

Guy Peterson for NPR

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.

Tommy Trenchard for NPR

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 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 helped her get through all of her trials. She brought her Bible with her when the family fled Kharkiv.

Gabriela Portilho for NPR

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 Shabair for NPR


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Fatima Shabair for NPR


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

Fatima Shabair for NPR

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


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.

Tommy Trenchard for NPR

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