Cynthia, 10, Nalini, 9, and Paul, 11, wash their dishes after lunch at the orphanage, with help from caretaker Malar Selve Thangaraj. At the Mary Diana Samuel Foundation there are three meals a day with vegetables and sometimes meat, a luxury the children had not had prior. Of the 37 charges, only two are boys, siblings of girls who are are truly orphans. Daughters are still beholden to India's dowry system and easier to discard as sons bring in money to the family.

Schoolchildren listen intently to a demonstration on waterborne illness at a community meeting house in their rural Meghalaya village in Northern India. WaterStep, a non-profit dedicated to water purification, health and hygiene, has trained a number of local women who now travel and give workshops in the region.

Nineteen-month-old Brooke Tuders stands in front of her extended-stay motel home in Jasper, Tenn., while her brother Austin, 10, plays with a toy gun in the fading light. Their family has been living week-to-week on the outskirts of town, sleeping in their car when there is not enough money, a growing trend in the economic recession in the United States.

Andhi, 5, stands in one of her three dresses in the front of the classroom at the Mary Diana Samuel Foundation in Thiruvallur, India. She and her younger sister have been at the orphanage for a year now, still small enough to fit into these same matching dresses in which they arrived.

Sequoyah High School Air Force JROTC cadets practice in the Ridgeland High School parking lot for the armed exhibition event at a regional competition in Rossville, Georgia, USA.

Two thousand coca farmers from the region gathered in the cathedral square. They spent five hours in the sun in the square listening to debate between leaders. They came to elect a new representative to the country's Ministry of Coca. The talk was of rights to grow what they have been growing for centuries and the desire to maintain a way of life. They came to choose a strong leader, who could assume a high position within the ministry. And so they listened intently - the old and the young together.

Five-year-old Lydia struggles to pin together her favorite pink dress after a bath at the Mary Diana Samuel Foundation in South India. The appointed older sister of the room, Julie, 11, helps to fasten the remaining clasps in the back.

“The greatest obstacles that our kids face are generational poverty and the issues that come with that: no healthcare, no transportation, areas they live in, crime in those areas, loss of hope,” Southern Leadership Academy assistant principal Angie Doyle said. “I think the other thing is just things that have happened to them before they got here.” She cited evictions, involvement in the court system, inconsistent education and sexual/physical abuse as some of the key contributors.
“It’s all this cycle, and it’s any given kid that comes up here.”
Students at the failing school used to have over 1,000 suspensions a year.  This year there have only been 210. A child sits in a desk as part of an in-school suspension, an effort to keep children in the classroom and learning but separated from their peers.

The girls at the Mary Diana Samuel Foundation are in classes through most of the day, though they are on vacation from school. Education is valued highly for these girls who will have to support themselves in a society built on multi-generational households. Now labelled as orphans, the girls have no prospects of marriage within their traditional society.
Maria, 9, left, Jannan, 8, and Karen, 11, take notes and discuss during an English lesson.
Sister Georgine Grabenstein from the Ursuline order has been serving St. Matthews Area Ministries for longer than anyone can remember. She has been one of their most loyal supporters in the 40 years the ecumenical organization has spent serving its neighbors. Now well into her 90s, she is a welcome and uplifting figure in the food pantry each week.
Linda Llyod catches grandson Trevor, 4, escaping as the three brothers get ready in the morning.  Only her daughter Shaina, 7, and Trevor are old enough to go to school, the other two children stay home with Linda's other daughter Ashley, 21, who often sleeps until 11 a.m.
In recent years, the United States has seen an increase in the number of multi-generational homes, some as a result of the economic recession and others due to increased drug use in rural areas. A methamphetamine user, Ashley has had three children already and is unable to care for them indepenent of her mother's income.

Two children walk home across a wooden bridge in Tai O, Hong Kong. Houses on stilts line the canals of this sleepy fishing village on Lantau Island.

The playground is sheer chaos. Ruby, 7, laughs out loud as she comes down the slide with constant traffic..Once the caretakers turn their backs, the decibels increase. Running, pushing, tickling and yelling, the social life of the girls comes rushing out past their polite classroom manner. The Mary Diana Samuel Foundation is responsible for the growth, education, and continued happiness of its young, Indian charges.
The children of the Bolivian coca farmers get restless in the field as the day wears on. Mercedes Yani chews the dried coca her aunt brought along, then spits it out, giggling.

A pilgrim climbs toward the Chamundi temple at the top of a mountain outside of Mysore, India. The festival celebrating the deity drew thousands of people, many of whom climbed the 1,000 stairs, leaving fingerprints of incense on each one.

Two sisters sing from a Karsi-language hymnal on Easter Sunday in a rural village in Meghalaya, India. The Presbyterian church serves as a community meeting point and has served as an invaluable connection to WaterStep. The organization has been working to bring water purification systems and health and hygiene education to the area for several years.

The family's youngest son stretches after a climb up the side of the village water tank in rural Meghalaya, India. The unsecured and uncovered water supply has often caused waterborne illness within the local population. Thanks to efforts by WaterStep, the village now has access to long-term filtration systems and this water now supports exclusively crops and livestock.

In the rural areas outside Shillong, Meghalaya, in India, waterborne illness is the greatest cause of death among children. Children are referred to by their birth order, second son or third daughter. One woman introduced herself as "Maybefirstgirl," indicative of the uncertainty of life without access to clean water. WaterStep continues to parter with hospitals in the northern state to improve water quality and health initiatives.
Mercy Samuel, 7, sits outside the orphanage drawing with sidewalk chalk after an afternoon thunderstorm. She says she does not miss the older sister and four younger brothers she left behind, nor her single mother whose profession as a nanny did not provide enough food.
Though she will be unmarried and on the fringes of this traditional society in many ways, Mercy now has the support that allows these girls to dream of a future. They says they want to be doctors, nurses, engineers or perhaps even flight attendants, professions to which they would not otherwise aspire as the daughters of house servants and grass cutters.

A father and daughter stand at opposite ends of the family on the Chennai, India, coast in the fading sunlight. Throngs of people cover the beach in the evening, escaping the heat of the city. They wade into the water fully clothed - a sea of saris.