Lee: ourvendors

Our vendors: Radomir (Surprise, Basel, Switzerland)

Radomir, 28, sells Surprise at Basel train station in Switzerland. He’s always grappled with life and has stood out since childhood as a result of being different to others. This spirit continues in his adult life and even extends into his work as a Surprise vendor, where he delights customers with his unconventional sales methods that include juggling and dancing.

Our vendors: Benoit Chartier (L’itinéraire, Montreal, Canada)

Benoit Chartier sells L’itinéraire from his pitch at the corner of Bercy Street and Ontario Street East in Montreal. He has been a vendor for 20 years and credits his work with providing him with respite from feelings of isolation by enabling him to meet people and to be part of the wider community. He has a message for both L’itinéraire and his customers: “Bravo!”

Big Issue Australia vendors on the bushfires ravaging their country

As fires continue to burn a path through the Australian bush, claiming lives and homes and displacing communities, those who are homeless have few, if any, options to escape the smoke. Two Big Issue Australia vendors give first-hand accounts of the impact of the devastation.

Our vendors: Jin-feng Shiu (The Big Issue Taiwan, Kaohsiung, Taiwan)

Mr. Shiu is a Big Issue Taiwan vendor from Kaohsiung who sells copies of the magazine from his pitch in front of the KFC at the crossroads beside the entrance gate to Kaohsiung Medical University and Shihcyuan Road. He started working with Big Issue Taiwan in May, and Shiu is embracing the prospect of becoming self-reliant through his work.

Our vendors: Elena and Fagaras (Apropos, Salzburg, Austria)

Elena Onice and Fagaras Banu are originally from Romania and are building a life for their family in Salzburg, Austria. But one family member is missing: their six-month-old daughter, Sara-Elena, is in hospital in Romania as she is disabled and needs additional support. Here, the couple talk about their hopes for the future, what happiness means to them and their hope that they will soon be able to visit their young daughter in Romania.

Our vendors: Karin Pacozzi (Surprise, Zurich, Switzerland)

Karin Pacozzi, 52, is a Surprise vendor who sells copies of the street paper on local trains. After suffering a breakdown in her early twenties, memories of her traumatic childhood re-emerged. This, combined with poor treatment from her psychiatrist and family during her recovery, made her turn to drugs. Now in control of her addiction, living independently and working as a Surprise vendor, Karin is proud of the financial freedom she attains through her work and of her daughter’s achievements.

Our vendors: Julie B. (The Contributor, Nashville, USA)

Julie B. has made a name for herself in the Contributor office for being determined and resilient. Here, she reflects on her Native American heritage, talks about the hard work being done by street paper vendors and discusses what life is like with a brain cancer diagnosis.

Our vendors: Samuel Osaigbovo (zebra., Bolzano, Italy)

Samuel Osaigbovo, 34, is originally from Edo State, Nigeria, and now calls Bolzano home. He tells zebra about what moved him to leave his native Nigeria, his journey to Europe and life in his adopted hometown of Bolzano, the capital city of Italy’s South Tyrol province. He is hopeful that his work as a vendor will help him to negotiate the path to secure employment.

Life on the streets: Foot health, a never-ending struggle

Portland’s Street Roots has a periodic column about the parts of homelessness most people don’t talk about. When you’re on your feet all day, wearing tatty, worn out and often sodden shoes, and then sharing space with groups of people in shelters that aren’t exactly kept in the best state, it’s no wonder people on the street struggle with maintaining healthy feet. Street Roots spoke to vendors about this often overlooked problem.

Big Issue Japan vendor Toshihiko Sakata to his 25-year-old self: “Your future is as deep, vast, and full of hidden potential as the Pacific Ocean”

To mark the end of INSP’s 25th anniversary year, we have been asking vendors across the street paper network to write a letter to their 25-year-old self. This is the final instalment in the #VendorLetters series, and features veteran Big issue Japan vendor Toshihiko Sakata writing lyrically about his life.

Trott-war’s German Conversation Circle participants practice their German to contribute to INSP’s #VendorLetters series

To mark the end of INSP’s 25th anniversary year, we have been asking vendors across the street paper network to write a letter to their 25-year-old self. Trott-war vendors came out in their numbers to contribute to this instalment of the #VendorLetters series.

#VendorLetters: Street Roots vendors are philosophical about when they were 25

To mark the end of INSP’s 25th anniversary year, we have been asking vendors across the street paper network to write a letter to their 25-year-old self. Today’s instalment features Street Roots vendors Nettie and Mark.

#VendorLetters: “My 25-year-old self would probably punch me in the face”

To mark the end of INSP’s 25th anniversary year, we have been asking vendors across the street paper network to write a letter to their 25-year-old self. Six Nový Prostor vendors imagine waking up as a 25-year-old again.

Hus Forbi vendor Dirk: “I’m not the right person to give any advice to young people”

To mark the end of INSP’s 25th anniversary year, we have been asking vendors across the street paper network to write a letter to their 25-year-old self. Hus Forbi vendor Dirk talks through how Danish politics and society shaped his life.

StreetWise vendors give their 25-year-old selves a pep talk for INSP’s #VendorLetters series

To mark the end of INSP’s 25th anniversary year, we have been asking vendors across the street paper network to write a letter to their 25-year-old self. Today, we hear from three StreetWise vendors.

Shedia vendor Maria to her 25-year-old self: “I want to tell you that life is in front of you and that you can achieve whatever you choose”

To mark the end of INSP’s 25th anniversary year, we have been asking vendors across the street paper network to write a letter to their 25-year-old self. Shedia vendors Leonidas and Maria still have a fondness for the people they were at 25.

#VendorLetters: Four diverse Real Change vendors write to their 25-year-old selves

To mark the end of INSP’s 25th anniversary year, we have been asking vendors across the street paper network to write a letter to their 25-year-old self. In this instalment, four Real Change vendors write about life at 25.

#VendorLetters: Straßenkreuzer’s Steve, speaking up for fellow vendors

To mark the end of INSP’s 25th anniversary year, we have been asking vendors across the street paper network to write a letter to their 25-year-old self. Straßenkreuzer vendor Steve reckons his 25-year-old self would be proud of the person he has become.

#VendorLetters: Mi Valedor vendor gets poetic writing to his 25-year-old self

To mark the end of INSP’s 25th anniversary year, we have been asking vendors across the street paper network to write a letter to their 25-year-old self. Four Mi Valedor vendors contributed to the #VendorLetters series, one of which chose to write something more poetic.

#VendorLetters: Two Big Issue North vendors reflect on being 25-years-old

To mark the end of INSP’s 25th anniversary year, we have been asking vendors across the street paper network to write a letter to their 25-year-old self. Today’s vendors are Nicolae and Dave of Big Issue North.

Liceulice vendor Mara: “My wish for everyone, not just 25-year-olds, is to behave nicely, fight every day and enjoy their lives”

To mark the end of INSP’s 25th anniversary year, we have been asking vendors across the street paper network to write a letter to their 25-year-old self. Two Liceulice vendors write to their 25-year-old selves about the importance of family and hard work.

One Step Away #VendorLetters in their own handwriting

To mark the end of INSP’s 25th anniversary year, we have been asking vendors across the street paper network to write a letter to their 25-year-old self. This instalment in the series features One Step Away vendors, three of which submitted their letters in their handwritten form.

#VendorLetters: Apropos vendors transformed by the street paper

To mark the end of INSP’s 25th anniversary year, we have been asking vendors across the street paper network to write a letter to their 25-year-old self. Apropos vendors Luise and Andrea talk about being able to gain independence in the years since turning 25.

L’Itinéraire vendor Maxime to his 25-year-old self: “You are empathetic because you’ve been there and back”

To mark the end of INSP’s 25th anniversary year, we have been asking vendors across the street paper network to write a letter to their 25-year-old self. Today, L’Itinéraire vendor Maxime writes words of encouragement to his younger self.

Asfalt vendor Kjetil: “You’re too young, too head strong – come on”

To mark the end of INSP’s 25th anniversary year, we have been asking vendors across the street paper network to write a letter to their 25-year-old self. In his letter, Asfalt’s Kjetil tells his 25-year-old self to calm down.

Kralji Ulice vendor Taubi to his 25-year-old self: “What about last night’s needle in the park, do you even remember?”

To mark the end of INSP’s 25th anniversary year, we have been asking vendors across the street paper network to write a letter to their 25-year-old self. This is a frank missive from Kralji Ulice vendor Taubi, singling out his behaviour as a young man.

Kupfermuckn vendor Bertl: “When I was 25, the whole world was my oyster”

To mark the end of INSP’s 25th anniversary year, we have been asking vendors across the street paper network to write a letter to their 25-year-old self. Kupfermuckn’s Bertl has lived a storied life at sea and around the world. Now 69, he sells the street paper at a weekly market in Linz.

#VendorLetters: For Faktum vendor Lars, his faith brings him “hope and joy”

To mark the end of INSP’s 25th anniversary year, we have been asking vendors across the street paper network to write a letter to their 25-year-old self. Faktum vendor Lars writes about how he finds strength in his faith and that he would tell his 25-year-old self to find a way to do the same.