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Life

Meet the people selling street papers around the world

In celebration of World Homelessness Day, we spoke to street paper sellers across the globe to find out about their lives and their work.

The Big Issue is one of many street papers being sold around the world, so we decided to take a trip to meet some of the people selling them and learn about their work.

David Jankovic sells Liceulice in Belgrade

I have been selling Liceulice since 2011. Things went really well when I started out, I would just walk around Belgrade and sell copies.

The city has changed a lot during the last 10 years. People have changed too, and now everyone knows about Liceulice.

I have my regular customers. Whenever I’m gone for a while, everyone asks about me straight away. I have a few interests. In the mornings I visit my mum, and later on I sell the magazine. Every morning I get up early in order to work and earn enough to buy an ice-cream in the summer or a drink or coffee.

You don’t need any form of luxury to make your life beautiful, but small things. I would like to have a shelf full of books when I have a house. That’s where true wealth is.
Words: Milica Terzić, translated by Natasa Knighton Photo: Sara Ristić

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Take a print or digital subscription to The Big Issue and provide a critical lifeline to our work. With each subscription we invest every penny back into supporting the network of sellers across the UK. A subscription also means you'll never miss the weekly editions of an award-winning publication, with each issue featuring the leading voices on life, culture, politics and social activism.
Daryl sells The Big Issue Australia in Melbourne. Courtesy: The Big Issue Australia / INSP.ngo

Daryl sells The Big Issue Australia in Melbourne

Back in 2004, I was long-term underemployed, living by myself in an apartment in Frankston. At that stage, I owed a lot in back rent. I was struggling.

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If it wasn’t for things such as soup vans and community kitchens and that, I wouldn’t have been able to eat. So I started at The Big Issue. I remember my first day, I was saying to myself, “Okay Daryl, if you don’t sell anything that’s okay cos it’s only your first day.”

And then it was pretty good. I started to have money: I got pizza the first couple of nights. Then I actually started to have money where I could buy enough groceries to last each fortnight, or more than enough.

I was able to pay off all my bills a lot quicker. And that made me feel pretty good. It’s having that sense of dignity that comes with having an income. It’s actually me, you know, doing something for myself.
Words: Amy Hetherington Photo: James Braund

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Chu-fang Chuang sells The Big Issue Taiwan in Taipei. Courtesy of The Big Issue Taiwan /insp.ngo

Chu-fang Chuang sells The Big Issue Taiwan in Taipei

Selling is much better this month than last month. Probably because of the pandemic and the rain, I only sold a handful of issues on a daily basis last month. That was a tough time!

I live on my own and rely on myself. When you get older, you’ll realise that you’ve got to go outside and keep yourself busy, and not just go days without doing anything!

I’m a volunteer for three different organisations at the moment, so I’m only able to sell magazines in the evening. As a volunteer, I go to the hospital with people in need, and I guide visitors in a design research institute during the day.
Words: Yu-ruei Lu, translated by Sunny Tseng Photo: Yu-ruei Lu

Courtesy of Liceulice / The Big Issue Taiwan / The Big Issue Australia / INSP.ngo

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Support The Big Issue and our vendors this Christmas

Every time you buy a copy of The Big Issue, subscribe or donate, you are helping our vendors to work their way out of poverty by providing 'a hand up not a hand out.' You’re helping Big Issue vendors achieve their #BigWish

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