30/12/2016 2:21 AM AEDT | Updated 01/11/2017 1:16 AM AEDT

6 Stories From 2016 That Made Us See The World Differently

Yiceth, 18, spent four years with the FARC. Now she wants to finish high school and go on to study nursing after demobilizing as part of the peace deal. Aug. 13.

While The WorldPost is best known for publishing first-person voices from around the globe, we also regularly commission reported features from journalists abroad, covering a broad range of issues of global resonance. 

Here’s a sampling of some of our best features from our contributing reporters this year:

1. This Is What India’s Devastating Drought Looks Like Up Close

Illustrating his report with striking photographs, Vivek Singh traveled across Bundelkhand, a vast rural landscape in central India, and described how drought is crippling the region with parched land, farmer suicides and forced migration.

Vivek Singh for The WorldPost
In the sweltering heat in Bundelkhand, a man and his wife remove silt from the bottom of a dried-out pond.

2. On The Front Line Of The Migrant Crisis, This Doctor Has Saved Countless Lives

Angela Giuffrida visited the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa to profile Pietro Bartolo, a doctor who’s treated refugees fleeing mostly from North Africa for decades. Over the past couple years, he has witnessed more and more lives lost and more serious injuries incurred than ever before.

Pietro Bartolo
Bartolo holds a 9-month-old Nigerian girl named Favour.

3. 55 Years After Agent Orange Was Used In Vietnam, One Of Its Creators Is Thriving Here

Dien Luong reported from Ho Chi Minh City about a new push by biotech giant Monsanto to spread its genetically-modified seeds to Vietnam after its toxic defoliant was sprayed by American forces during the Vietnam War.

Pham Duc Duy is cradled in the arms of his mother in Hanoi in 2007. Vietnamese doctors believe Duy, whose grandfather served in the Vietnam War, is a victim of exposure to dioxin passed down the generations.

4. In Iraq, Death Comes For A Technician Defusing Bombs By Hand

Sophia Jones, The WorldPost’s Middle East Correspondent, followed a Kurdish Peshmerga unit during the U.S.-backed operation to drive the so-called Islamic State from Mosul. She found that U.S. allies who are defusing ISIS’ bombs don’t have basic protective gear and that’s costing them their lives. 

Sophia Jones/The WorldPost
A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter holds the remnants of an ISIS-made improvised explosive device after dismantling it in Hasan al Sham, a village between Erbil and Mosul, in October.

5. FARC Rebels Prepare To Leave Behind Guns, Drug Trade And The Life They Know

Sibylla Brodzinsky went to the rural Yari Plains in southern Colombia to write about the guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, as they readied to leave behind their decades-old rebellion for a new life, pending a cease-fire with the government.

LUIS ACOSTA via Getty Images
FARC guerrillas dance during an event at their encampment in Llanos del Yari, Colombia, on Sept. 21.

6. Norway Proves That Treating Prison Inmates As Human Beings Actually Works

Baz Dreisinger reported from Bastoy Island in Norway, where she examined how the country’s model prison system treats inmates humanely — and gets results. As the governor put it, “’Treat people like dirt, and they will be dirt. Treat them like human beings, and they will act like human beings.’”

This was produced by The WorldPost, which is published by the Berggruen Institute.

Marco Di Lauro via Getty Images
An inmate sunbathing in front of a wooden cottage in Bastoy Prison in Norway in April 2011.