Fourteen journalists have been awarded funding under the winter 2015 round of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund. The Fund was set up by Irish Aid, the Government’s programme for overseas development, in memory of Irish journalist Simon Cumbers who was killed in Saudi Arabia in 2004 while on assignment with the BBC.
Over the coming months, the funded journalists will travel to 11 countries to complete a series of articles and radio items for a variety of media outlets.
Full details of the successful applicants to the winter 2015 round are as follows:
- Frank Armstrong has been awarded funds to travel to Sierra Leona to examine the prevalent vitamin A deficiency in the country and how supplementation, encouraging dietary adaptation and preservation of already depleted forests are crucial to the long-term welfare of Sierra Leone. His work will be published through The Irish Times.
- Colin Brennan has been funded to go to India to report on multi-faith schools in Kolkata (Calcutta) and what Ireland can learn. His findings will be published in a series of articles for the Irish Daily Mirror.
- Susan Cahill has been awarded funds to travel to Ethiopia to examine the climate crisis in the Horn of Africa from the perspective of Ethiopia’s small holder coffee farmers. Her work will be broadcast on Newstalk.
- Bill Corcoran has received funding to visit Kenya to look at the challenges the country faces in terms of producing a template for the United Nation’s post-2015 development strategy. His work will be published in The Irish Times.
- Jean Curran was awarded funding to travel to the Comoros Islands and Mayotte Island, off the coast of southeast Africa, to explore the issue of emigration in and around the Comoros Islands. Jean’s reports, images and videos will be published through The Irish Times, both in print and online.
- Paul Fallon has been awarded funding to travel to Bangladesh to report on the injustices and challenges faced by home-based workers, child workers and loom factory workers in the country. ie will publish Paul’s work.
- Mary Fitzgerald has been awarded funding to travel to Tanzania to examine the huge trade and investment deals between China and Tanzania through the prism of the Tanzanian experience. Mary’s report will be published by the Irish Independent.
- Aisling Hussey has been granted funding to travel to Nepal to explore how farmers in the country are coping a year since the devastating earthquake that killed more than 8,000 people and destroyed food and seed stocks. Aisling’s work will be published by the Irish Farmers Journal.
- Ray Kennedy has been funded to go to Brazil to look at the possible human costs of the Olympic Games. He will meet families who have been evicted from their homes because of the Olympics and will explore life in the drug-ridden gang-run sections of the city that tourists generally don’t see. Ray will produce a number of reports for RTÉ.
- Eimear Lowe has been awarded funds to travel to Turkey. Her project will focus on how Syrian children displaced by war and violence are coping and what psychological impact their experiences will have on them as they grow into adulthood. Eimear’s report will be broadcast by RTÉ.
- Darragh Peter Murphy has been funded to go to India to write about women from the lower caste system who run away to escape humiliation, neglect and violence. Darragh will also meet with volunteers who work with runaways and provide education, legal aid and health advice to the women. His work will be published in The Irish Times.
- Jason O’Brien and Mark Condren have been granted funding to travel to Nepal. Jason and Mark travelled to Kathmandu in Nepal in the 48 hours after the devastating earthquake in April 2015. The aim of their project is to return to Kathmandu and to track down a number of the people whose lives were devastated in the earthquake and who they interviewed at the time – and to record how life has changed since then on the back of promised humanitarian resources. Their work will be published by the Irish Independent, both in print and through videos online.
- Don Swift has received funding to travel to South Africa. Focusing on the international development theme of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and the challenges facing developing countries, this radio project aims to help member organisations and their communities to proactively raise awareness of GBV and highlight the issue in order to bring about real improvement and change. Don’s one hour documentary will be broadcast on East Coast FM.
- Didem Tali has been awarded funds to travel to Peru to report on illegal logging and indigenous rights in the country. Her project aims to highlight the message that recognition of the land rights of indigenous Amazon communities is a win-win situation, whilst exploring the struggle of Asháninkas against illegal loggers. Didem’s work will be published in The Irish Times.