Sixteen journalists have been awarded funding under the summer 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.
Following the announcement of successful applicants, Minister for Development, Trade Promotion and North-South Co-operation Sean Sherlock, TD said: “It is hugely important that issues affecting the developing world are reported in the Irish media.
“I am heartened that so many Irish journalists and media outlets are interested in covering these matters as this gives Irish people an insight into the developing world and helps them to better understand the successes, hopes and challenges people there are experiencing. I wish each of the successful applicants well in their projects.”
Over the coming months, the funded journalists will travel to 12 different countries to complete a series of articles and radio items for a variety of media outlets.
Full details of the successful applicants to the summer 2015 round are as follows:
- Jenny Barker was awarded funds to travel to Haiti to produce a photographic social documentary that will show how Haitian women in poor areas are changing their lives for the better, through business and entrepreneurship programmes. Her work will be published through the Irish Independent.
- Mary Boland was granted funding to travel to Cambodia to examine how far Cambodia has moved on since the Khmer Rouge genocide and how the country has dealt with such a violent legacy. Mary will also look at press freedom in Cambodia. Her project will be published by The Irish Times.
- Rosita Boland has been funded to go to India to look at the complex issue of gender inequality in a highly developed modern Indian society, specifically in Delhi, the capital. Her findings will be published in an article in The Irish Times.
- Fergal Browne was awarded funds to travel to Cuba to undertake a three-part project, entitled “Cuba’s Health Diplomacy”. It will explore alternative methods of healthcare provision and the benefits of an international outlook on health. The project will be published by TheJournal.ie.
- Francesca Comyn received funding to visit Cuba to uncover the social and economic impact of digital poverty in communist Cuba at the dawn of a new era in US-Cuban relations. She aims to highlight the technical, financial and political challenges facing Cuba’s Internet expansion programme and explore issues such as the impact of digital poverty on education. Her work will be broadcast on Newstalk.
- Dave Donnellan was awarded funding to travel to East Timor to produce a film documentary, entitled “Gay Lives in East Timor”. It will include stories about what it was like for LGBT people during the fight for independence from Indonesia and how the human rights of gay people are respected in East Timor today. Dave’s documentary will be broadcast by RTÉ.
- Deirdre Donnelly received funding to travel to Ethiopia, where she will focus on how the Irish and international business world is contributing to the move ‘From Aid to Trade’ in Ethiopia. Deirdre’s project will also explore how sustainability and self-sufficiency are the way forward and the best way to create employment and a future. Her work will be broadcast on Newstalk.
- Jennifer Duggan was awarded funding to travel to Nepal to report on the impacts of climate change there, ahead of the UN climate change talks in Paris later this year. Average temperatures across Nepal have risen by 1.6C in the past 50 years, which is twice the global average. Jennifer’s project will also look at the recovery efforts in Nepal six months after the devastating quakes and the effectiveness of the international aid effort. Her work will be published in The Irish Times.
- Laura Fletcher was granted funding to travel to Cameroon to explore the human cost of the conflict with Boko Haram in Nigeria and what is being done to support those who have fled in Cameroon. Laura’s work will be broadcast on RTÉ.
- Louise Kelly has been funded to go to Guatemala to highlight the situation there where women do not widely take part in the decision making process, and where very high levels of violence against women exist. Louise’s project will examine the position of Mayan women in society; the high rate of women being killed there, and how Twitter can and is being used in Guatemala to raise awareness and change attitudes among men and women that women have the right to be respected and treated accordingly. Louise’s article will be published through the Irish Independent.
- Paul McCambridge was awarded funds to travel to Nepal and India, to produce a multimedia project that will explore why human traffickers in Nepal, Bangladesh and West Bengal kidnap from their own communities and the impact this has. The project will be published by the Sunday World.
- Darragh Peter Murphy was awarded funds to travel to Tanzania to look at environmentally sustainable farming and explore the nexus between environmental conservation and the goal of reducing poverty in Tanzania. His feature will be published in The Irish Times.
- Jason Murphy received funding to visit Malawi to look at eight millennium goals through the eyes of young people in Malawi. The project will include narration and interviews with young people in Malawi relating to how these goals affect them or their community. It will be broadcast on Spin South West.
- Deirdre O’Shaughnessy has been funded to go to Cambodia to examine developmental issues there, especially universal primary education. She will reference Anita’s Orphanage, a facility in Cambodia which is part funded by an annual exhibition in St Luke’s in Cork city. Her work, which will be published in the Irish Independent, will also track the progress being made on workers’ rights within the garment industry.
- Caitriona Perry was granted funding to travel to Cuba to explore life in Cuba as it begins a thawing of relations with the US. Caitriona will produce pieces for RTÉ.
- Declan Whooley has received funding to visit Lebanon. Focusing on a refugee camp there, his project will look at the vital part mobile phone technology plays in the lives of Syrian refugees and how the growing use of mobile technology is helping the humanitarian effort. It aims to explore how many refugees have access to the internet; how many have a smartphone and how they afford the expensive internet connection costs. Declan’s work will be published by the Irish Independent.