Lee: ourvendors

Big Issue Taiwan vendor Yu-fu Hsieh: “I’ll continue supporting the street paper, and I hope that we will spend another decade together”

Yu-fu Hsieh is a veteran Big Issue Taiwan vendor who started selling the magazine in April 2010, after he retired from his sales rep job, from his pitch at Exit 2 of Gonguan metro station in central Taipei. He has never moved pitch since then. Hsieh delights in his work, crediting it with bringing enjoyment and happiness to his retirement, and he looks forward to many more years of working with The Big Issue Taiwan.

Big Issue vendor Oprea Ruducan: “Each person who buys the magazine from me helps me get everything I need”

It’s all happening for Big Issue vendor Oprea, 48. Originally from Romania, he has just moved to a new selling point – at Bristol’s Temple Meads train station as part of a partnership with Network Rail – where he is perfecting his sales technique, and he has a new card reader to offer digital payments. He is studying a business course at university too.

Ulične Svjetiljke vendor Ljilja Plackovic has empathy for people in the position she was once in

Ljilja Plackovic sells Ulične Svjetiljke in the Croatian city of Zagreb. She has experienced loss and hurt unlike many people. And yet, even with meagre means, she gives back to the people she sees on the streets of the city, reminding her of how things changed around for her.

Bodo vendors Ralf and Mario: “Life without dogs? Impossible!”

Perceptions of people on the streets with pets are often uncaring and narrow-minded. Bodo vendors Ralf and Mario, who sell the street paper in the German city of Bochum, are prime examples of the mental health and social benefits of having a pet on the streets can be. Their dogs – Maja, Tyson and Cassey – are their pride and joys.

Faktum vendor Anita’s reflections on life

Anita Rinkovec’s life has been a journey through many forms of darkness. She is a survivor of sexual and psychological abuse, addiction and numerous suicide attempts and has outlived three of her four children. Now, aged 79, she has found meaning and enjoyment in life and thrives on her work as a Faktum vendor. Here, she talks about moving through the darkness and about the light she has discovered in the twilight of her life.

Liceulice vendor Mirjana Vasic: “Through the street paper, I meet real friends”

Serbian street paper Liceulice’s vendor Mirjana Vasić escaped from Kosovo twenty years ago and came to the northern Serbian city Novi Sad. It wasn’t easy for her to get used to a different environment and way of life but, thanks to the magazine, she made friends again and got the support she needed.

Apropos vendor Friday Akpan: “I’m living life day by day”

“I have a job, I have food, I have an apartment, I have my passport.” This is Friday Akpan’s response when asked how he’s doing. Friday, a migrant from Nigeria, arrived in Austria in late 2014 and has worked hard to build a life in Austria. He is thrilled to call Salzburg home. Now, the 33-year-old Apropos vendor, who always has a friendly smile on his face, is working hard to secure the right to remain for his youngest son.

A holiday message from L’Itinéraire’s Daniel Grady

Having sold the street paper for 15 years, L’Itinéraire’s Daniel Grady explains the reasons why he’s thankful for it as we reach the end of another year.

Megaphone vendors on the food they cook and eat over the holidays

Put on the elastic pants and serve up a Megaphone meal using vendor recipes sourced from their food memories.

“It was an opportunity for rediscovery” – what street papers are in the words of those who sell them

Everyone who is a part of the global street paper network knows what a street paper is – that extends to the staff that put each publication together and those who buy them. But the people who truly know what a street paper is – what it means – are those who sell them. Here, a collection of street paper vendors – from Greece to Australia – tell us, in their own words, what a street paper is, personally to them.

“The street paper saved my life” – what street papers are in the words of those who sell them

Everyone who is a part of the global street paper network knows what a street paper is – that extends to the staff that put each publication together and those who buy them. But the people who truly know what a street paper is – what it means – are those who sell them. Here, a collection of street paper vendors – from North Macedonia to Canada – tell us, in their own words, what a street paper is, personally to them.

“Street papers have a sort of superpower” – what street papers are in the words of those who sell them

Everyone who is a part of the global street paper network knows what a street paper is – that extends to the staff that put each publication together and those who buy them. But the people who truly know what a street paper is – what it means – are those who sell them. Here, a collection of street paper vendors – from Brazil to Finland – tell us, in their own words, what a street paper is, personally to them.

Brasília street paper Revista Traços’s ‘Spokespersons for Culture’ have their lives reflected back to them through drama

In a new webseries produced for Revista Traços, the street paper based in the Brazilian capital of Brasília, those who sell the magazine – traditionally called vendors or salespeople across the street paper network, but at Revista Traços known as ‘Spokespersons for Culture’ – are having their lives dramatically retold on a soundstage by local actors.

“We all need to pitch in”: Marginalised communities hit hardest by climate change

INSP compiled the thoughts of those who sell street papers – made up of some of society’s most marginalised people – on how climate change, environmental disaster and extreme weather affects their everyday lives.

Apropos’s Ion Firescu: Living between two worlds

Ion has called Salzburg home for over ten years, but what is home for him is not what is home for us. Ion sleeps on the streets because his circumstances make it impossible to be officially registered in the city. There is another reason, too: he provides for his family in Romania through his work as an Apropos vendor and values his wife and children’s comfort above his own.

Big Issue Taiwan vendor Chu-fang Chuang: “Selling the magazine is my responsibility”

Those shopping in the area between Taipei City Hall Station and VieShow Cinemas pass Chu-fang Chuang as she sells copes of The Big Issue Taiwan outside a Chunghwa Telecom shop. Chuang volunteers for multiple organisations in addition to her work as a vendor and thrives on self-reliance and keeping busy.

Liceulice’s David Jankovic: The street paper was the wind at my back

David Jankovic has been working as a Liceulice vendor for 10 years. During that time, he has won the hearts of readers with his cheerful spirit and friendly manner. Here, he reflects on his childhood, his work as a Liceulice vendor and the happiness he has found in life.

Real Change’s Debbie Nichols: “I am the oddball because I am out there!”

In 1999, Debbie Nichols held a prominent job and was an active member in her community, but an abusive relationship and a drug addiction set her down a troubling path. Luckily, Nichols found street paper Real Change, which she said made a positive impact in helping her find her way back to her normal routines.

Big Issue Japan’s Nakanishi Hitoshi: “Customers have been supporting us for nearly nine years. It’s easy not to quit”

Nakanishi Hitoshi currently sells The Big Issue Japan in Kumamoto City, on the Japanese island of Kyushu, a pitch that has existed for almost nine years. He credits the public’s support with keeping him going. Although life can be emotionally tough, it is vital to keep overcoming hardships and finding a way through.

Surprise’s Taoufik Narati: “When I grew up, I knew I would have barely any chance of getting a job and living a good life in Tunisia with my disability”

Taoufik Narati, 59, came to Europe from Tunisia many years ago. He contracted polio asa young child and underwent many operations to ease his condition; however, as a young man, he realised that there would be few opportunities in Tunisia for someone with his condition. He has built himself a happy life in Switzerland and feels thankful for his work, selling the national street paper Surprise, and loving family life.

Surprise’s Zeynab Ahmed – from Somalia to Switzerland

Thirteen years ago, Zeynab Ahmed, 31, fled Somalia after living in fear under the threat of the terrorist militia al-Shabaab. She has since built a life for herself: she lives with her husband and children in Münchenstein, Switzerland and sells Surprise. She sees her future as being in Switzerland but would dearly love to see her mother in Somalia one last time.

As the Olympics come to Tokyo, Big Issue Japan vendors share their thoughts on the event and sporting memories

This year’s Olympics arrives in Tokyo despite an ongoing pandemic and outrage from some of the city’s residents. Often those at the fringes of society are forgotten about when mammoth sporting events like this begin. The Big Issue Japan asked some of its vendors to share their thoughts on the approaching games and also their own personal sporting memories and achievements.

Street Roots vendor Chris Drake: “Treat me like any other man”

Portland street paper vendor Chris Drake discusses misconceptions about trans people and what visibility means to him.

Nový Prostor vendor Dagmar: “I’m proud to still be self-sufficient”

Nový Prostor has a recurring feature where vendors talk about their pitch allows readers to discover the hidden stories of the places you pass by every day. Here, vendor Dagmar shares her experience of selling between the Lužiny and Luka metro stations in Prague and her life as a woman on the street.

“Better for vendors, as well as for customers”: Washington DC’s Street Sense goes weekly

Despite the uncertainty caused by pandemic lockdowns, Street Sense has made progress and is now going weekly. Located in the US capital, Street Sense Media will start publishing street papers every week starting today (14 April). This increase in frequency is also predicted to attract more vendors and increase their weekly earnings. Testimonials from vendors and INSP show excitement and anticipation for this growth in the street paper.

“Nobody should go without the shot”: Dispatches from vaccinated street paper vendors

With Covid vaccines being rolled out differently across the world, that means marginalised and vulnerable communities in different parts of the world are receiving immunisation at different rates. But it does mean some good news: street paper vendors are beginning to receive the jab, and with the world opening up again, that’s more than welcome.

Songs we love: Curbside Chronicle vendors shout out the tunes they hold close alongside top-tier musicians

Who doesn’t have a song that’s made a special impact on their life? The Curbside Chronicle reached out to musicians from across the US, as well as a few of their own street paper vendors, to weigh in on the tracks that have changed the way they look at the world.

Big Issue Australia vendors write letters to their younger selves

Vendors from The Big Issue Australia were tasked with writing letters of advice and wisdom to their younger selves in a twist on the long-running street paper feature.