In Kaimosi in Western Kenya, Isaiah lives with his disabled wife and six grandchildren, making seven to ten dollars a month from growing tea. Their neighbours Francis and Christine are both able to work, growing and selling maize, mending bicycles and making bricks. Between them they make about two dollars a day.
Ayacucho in the Peruvian Andes is one of the poorest areas of the country.
A new government programme is attempting to help the poor by giving women the equivalent of a dollar a day in cash in return for sending their children to school and getting them vaccinated.
The tradition in India, as in many Asian societies, of younger family members caring for the elderly can no longer be relied on. This is largely because of the impact of rapid urbanisation and increasing employment opportunities for women.
Ghana is one of the few African countries on track to meet the target of getting more girls into school, but the challenges are still enormous.
Mike meets Dzifa Adjanu, a young Ghanaian woman who has achieved her ambition to become an accountant, and her mother Margaret, who made huge sacrifices to get her through.
The Chinese economic boom has succeeded in lifting millions out of poverty, but many in rural areas continue to face an insecure existence.