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12 projects funded under summer 2018 round

Women’s reproductive rights and migration in The Philippines, how autistic people in refugee camps in Turkey cope with their situation, sexual violence in Haiti and land ownership in South Africa are just some of the topics that will be explored by the successful applicants to this year’s Simon Cumbers Media Fund summer round.

Twelve media professionals representing a variety of local and national media outlets will travel to developing countries across Africa, Asia, North America, South America and Europe.

A total of 22 project proposals were received for the summer round of the Fund. The funding awarded to the 12 successful applicants is in excess of €39,000.

Details of the successful applicants are as follows:

  • Kayle Crosson has been awarded funding to travel to Ethiopia to report on Ethiopia’s new border with Eritrea, and to explore the theme of fragile states and situations in an Ethiopian context. This project will be published in The Irish Times.
  • Tom Farrell has been funded to travel to Sri Lanka to report on the rehabilitation of Tamil fighters. His project will look to assess the success of re-introducing former insurgents in Sri Lanka into day-to-day working and family life. This project will be published in The Irish Times.
  • Bairbre Flood has been awarded funds to travel to Israel and Palestine to produce a documentary on how marginalised Palestinian and Israeli communities have more in common with one another than is usually portrayed in western media. The documentary will air on UCC98.3FM
  • Jackie Fox has been funded to travel to Saudi Arabia to report on the liberalisation of women’s rights in the country in 2018. Her TV reports for RTÉ News and radio reports for RTÉ Radio 1 will look at reforms, as the ban on women driving is lifted, women are now allowed to attend sports games and to set up their own businesses. This project will explore other symbols of segregation and will look at what is next for Saudi Arabian women.
  • Niamh Griffin has been awarded funds to travel to Sierra Leona to report on how education can help girls to improve their quality of life in a country where teen pregnancies and gender discrimination cause further obstacles to education. Her project will focus on the strengths of Sierra Leone schools that survived the Ebola outbreak and civil war: teachers, many of whom have been assisted by Irish nuns in their training. This piece will be published in the Irish Mail on Sunday.
  • Fergal Keane has been funded to travel to Eritrea to report on the recently settled border dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea. His project will look at the political change and a move to openness in the country. It will also look at how aid from Ireland can help small, sustainable farmers. These reports will be broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1.
  • Della Kilroy has been funded to travel to Haiti to report on sexual violence in the country. Medical aid agencies say sexual violence is a neglected medical emergency, yet there are no official figures to show the scale of the violence against women and girls. This project will look at the impact of gender-based violence in a developing nation, and the long-term impact a natural disaster can have on women and girls. This series of reports will be broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1.
  • Samantha Libreri has been awarded funds to travel to South Africa to explore land reform in the country, almost a quarter of a century after the end of apartheid. The South African parliament is looking at a constitutional clause on land reform to allow acquisition of land without compensating owners. This project will examine the impacts that this could have on the country and will run on RTÉ TV, radio and online.
  • Darragh Murphy has been funded to travel to Timor-Leste to report on how the county and its people are faring 20 years on from securing independence. His project will explore the economic growth and construction boom that peace has brought. He will explore the political instability that persists in a country that is considered the freest in South East Asia. His work will be published by The Irish Times.
  • Michael Sheils-McNamee has been awarded funds to travel to Colombia to report on the how the country’s new leadership could drive leftist former guerrillas away from the negotiating table. He will examine parallels with Northern Ireland. His article will be published in the Irish Independent.
  • Margaret Ward has been funded to travel to The Philippines to report on women’s reproductive rights in the country, and the impact of migration on the families left behind. Her project will be published by The Irish Times.
  • Victoria White has been awarded funding to travel to Southern Turkey to explore autism in a refugee context. This project will examine the strategies that are used by families and agencies to alleviate the stress of ASD people in these circumstances. Her work will be published in the Irish Examiner.