To celebrate International Friendship Day, we looked at some unique friendships around the world.


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Photo: UNDP Indonesia

Sometimes your best friends are those you work with. Not only do they see each other every day, but Istiqomah, Marni and Endang share a common bond — they’re all trying to make a living as farmers, working to produce palm oil sustainably in Indonesia. But unlike their male colleagues, they face constant setbacks just because they’re women. See how we’re helping to close the gender gap for women like Istiqomah, Marni and Endang.


A good friend always makes sure you’re happy and healthy. In Peru, children participate in the National School Feeding Program Qali Warma where they eat nutritious meals, and encourage their friends to exercise good hygiene like thorough hand-washing.


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Photo: UNDP Cyprus

Ali and Takis have an unlikely friendship. Traditionally, their two cultures have been embroiled in a conflict lasting more than four decades. But they don’t let historical rivalry get in the way of their quest to preserve the unique cultural heritage of the Cypriot people. It’s living proof that friendships have the power to bridge divides — even between race or religion.



Remember at school when the whole class erupted into giggles? Well, these girls at Shohada Al Maghaazi school in Gaza have an extra reason to celebrate — their classroom is one of six in the school that has been restored after it was damaged through conflict.

Sierra Leone

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Photo: Olivia Acland, United Nations.

Friendships can form even amidst the most tragic circumstances. John, Alhaji and Cyril volunteered in Sierra Leone during the Ebola Crisis. Their job was to bury people who had lost their lives, in a safe and dignified way — and it was this harrowing experience that brought them closer together. Today, their friendship flourishes as they study at University together.

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