Fifteen journalists have been awarded funding under the summer 2014 round of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund.
Following the announcement of successful applicants, Minister for North-South Cooperation, Trade Promotion, and Development, Sean Sherlock, TD said, “Irish Aid is extremely proud to support the Simon Cumbers Media Fund. The media plays a crucial role in shining a light on injustice and inequality globally. They also highlight the huge progress that is being achieved right across Africa and the developing world.
“With these successful applicants travelling to developing countries and sharing the stories of the people they meet, the Irish public has the opportunity to better understand the challenges facing communities in those countries and the very significant progress which is being made. I wish all of the journalists every success with their projects.”
Over the coming months, the successful journalists will travel to 15 different countries to complete a series of articles and radio items for 19 different media outlets.
Full details of the successful applicants to the summer 2014 round are as follows:
- Elaine Byrne was awarded funding to travel to the island of Kirabati in the Pacific Ocean, where she will explore the realities of climate change through the prism of the Kirabati experience and the impact of climate change on the every-day lives of I-Kirabati people. Elaine will produce a feature article which will be published in the Sunday Independent.
- Rosita Boland and Frank Miller received funding to travel to the Italian island of Lampedusa to focus on the issue of mass migration to the island from North Africa – particularly Eritrea, Somalia and Libya – which results in huge numbers of people risking their lives by travelling in unseaworthy boats. The feature article, which will be published in The Irish Times, will focus on how they are treated when they land; what is likely to happen to them; and what the Italian government is doing to cope.
- Lar Boland was funded to travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he will capture student ecopreneurs at work in the Luki Biosphere reserve in the Experimental Botanic Gardens as they grow, harvest, market, and sell their quality controlled medicinal crops. Lar will produce a photo essay from his trip, which will be published in the Irish Medical Times and on WorldandMedia.com.
- Lar also received funding to produce an exhibition of photographs from his project which will be exhibited in The Organic Centre in Co. Leitrim.
- Fergal Browne will travel to Colombia to look at the difficult living conditions faced by displaced women in Bogota, the Colombian capital, and how they are empowering themselves. Fergal will produce a feature article which will be published on TheJournal.ie.
- Tríona Campbell received funding to travel to Palestine to explore the struggle for emancipation and gender equality facing many young Arab women. The project will focus on Dalia, a 17-year-old girl who is faced with an arranged marriage, but wishes to continue with her education. Triona will produce a series of podcasts and videos which will be broadcast on Newstalk and Spunout.ie.
- Ruairi Casey will travel to Mozambique to look at the progress being made in the region to reduce poverty. Ruairi will produce a cross-media project which will be published in the Irish Examiner and broadcast on Newstalk.
- Graham Clifford was funded to travel to Western Sahara to look at the impact of war and violence on the children there. The project will focus specifically on children in the Tindouf Refugee Camp, one of the oldest camps in the region. Graham’s feature article will be published in the Irish Independent and on Independent.ie.
- Jennifer Duggan received funding to travel to Burma / Myanmar ahead of the 2015 presidential election, to examine how the country is faring politically and economically since emerging from half a century of military rule. Jennifer will produce a cross media project which will be published in The Irish Times and on broadcast on RTÉ World Report.
- Niamh Griffin will travel to Bangladesh to explore the ways in which women in Bangladesh are fighting for better working conditions. Her project will look at how women in Ireland can help them to overcome these challenges. Niamh will produce a cross media project which will be published in the Irish Mail on Sunday, on Worldandmedia.com, and broadcast on NearFM.
- Hannah Hamilton was awarded funding to travel to Ethiopia, where she will explore the Government’s plan to exploit water resources in the interest of natural energy security. Hannah will look at the construction of mega-dams on the Omo and Blue Nile rivers and what potential impact this will have on the people in these regions. This feature article will be published in the Irish Independent.
- Daire Higgins received funding to travel to Kenya and Tanzania, where she will examine the ‘rise’ of Africa in the context of media and new technologies and how they have radically changed the way people living there access information and news; and participation in society. Daire’s article will be published in The Irish Times.
- Cian Kearns will travel to Sierra Leone to examine firsthand what micro-financing means to the people of the region. This radio documentary, which will be broadcast on Limerick’s Live 95FM, will seek to contrast the apparent advantages of micro-finance with the ethics of profiting from the poorest people.
- Cathal McMahon was funded to travel to the Philippines to explore the region where Typhoon Haiyan hit last year and look at how it is recovering, including with the support of Irish people and the Irish Government. Cathal will produce a cross media project which will be published in the Irish Daily Mirror and broadcast on UTV Radio.
- Joseph O’Connor received funding to travel to Palestine, where he will look at the role that Palestinian women are playing in technology and how innovation and entrepreneurship is helping them break down barriers socially, politically, and culturally. Joseph O’Connor will produce a cross media project which will be published on Silicon Republic, Worldandmedia.com, and Business Ireland, and broadcast on NearFM.
- Michael O’Kane will travel to Vietnam to report on two young Vietnamese nationals who are presently studying in Ireland at the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. The two students will be returning to Vietnam in late-2014 to support the development of local entrepreneurs and meet the needs of marginalised groups. Michael will produce a radio piece which will be broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1.