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People cheered the release of Nigeria’s Chibok girls but thousands of others were kidnapped

Mon, 2017-06-19 15:23
In early 2014, Yakinge Kolomi faced a nightmarish dilemma. Boko Haram extremists had recently rampaged through areas close to her village in northeastern Nigeria, massacring men who refused to join them and abducting young women — then forcing them into marriage. Kolomi knew that her 12-year-old daughter, Hafsa, would make an easy target. {image-1} She listened to friends who urged her to find Hafsa a husband who could potentially protect her and weighed their advice against her desire to save her daughter’s childhood and keep her in school. After much deliberation, she reluctantly married her off to a middle-age neighbor in hopes it would save the girl’s life. Weeks later, Boko Haram attacked their village. The Islamist

People cheered the release of Nigeria’s Chibok girls but thousands of others were kidnapped

Mon, 2017-06-19 15:23
In early 2014, Yakinge Kolomi faced a nightmarish dilemma. Boko Haram extremists had recently rampaged through areas close to her village in northeastern Nigeria, massacring men who refused to join them and abducting young women — then forcing them into marriage. Kolomi knew that her 12-year-old daughter, Hafsa, would make an easy target. {image-1} She listened to friends who urged her to find Hafsa a husband who could potentially protect her and weighed their advice against her desire to save her daughter’s childhood and keep her in school. After much deliberation, she reluctantly married her off to a middle-age neighbor in hopes it would save the girl’s life. Weeks later, Boko Haram attacked their village. The Islamist

People cheered the release of Nigeria’s ‘Chibok girls’ — but thousands of others were kidnappe

Mon, 2017-06-19 15:23
In early 2014, Yakinge Kolomi faced a nightmarish dilemma. Boko Haram extremists had recently rampaged through areas close to her village in northeastern Nigeria, massacring men who refused to join them and abducting young women — then forcing them into marriage. Kolomi knew that her 12-year-old daughter, Hafsa, would make an easy target. {image-1} She listened to friends who urged her to find Hafsa a husband who could potentially protect her and weighed their advice against her desire to save her daughter’s childhood and keep her in school. After much deliberation, she reluctantly married her off to a middle-age neighbor in hopes it would save the girl’s life. Weeks later, Boko Haram attacked their village. The Islamist

Are Qatar’s reform efforts falling short?

Mon, 2017-06-19 11:54
When Ranjit Kumar Sah finished his schooling in Nepal, Qatar was the natural next step. Though his village is so remote it takes half-an-hour to reach a paved road, it’s located in an area that has become one of the epicentres of Nepal’s labour migration boom. Between 2009 and 2015, migration from Dhanusha District more than doubled, and today it sends abroad more migrants than any other district. Nearly all go to the Gulf, and most go to Qatar. For two years – the length of a typical contract – Sah worked as a construction worker. He carried bags of cement and rebar in the searing desert heat. Though the working day was set at eight hours, Sah

Rural Indian girls get discrimination-fighting tool: soccer

Sun, 2017-06-18 11:05
HUTUP, India — The aging bus meanders through the narrow streets of a tiny village in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand, the smell of manure wafting through the air. A thick darkness blankets the neighborhood ahead of the early morning sunrise. It’s 5 a.m., and the young girls hop on the bus, one by one. They range in age from slightly older than toddlers to young women approaching their 20s. Some carry soccer balls. They are heading to an immense empty field where they will hold their daily soccer practice, the younger ones eager to perfect their ball-handling skills while the teenagers act as coaches, earning money to pay for their education. For all of the girls,

With a forgotten temple city, Myanmar hopes to strike tourism gold

Thu, 2017-06-15 11:03
When time began there lived a lonely monkey who met a peacock, who laid an egg from which was born a mighty prince who built a city on the spot of his birth and called it “monkey egg”. Whatever the myths around its creation, by the 15th century, Mrauk U (Monkey Egg) was the capital of a powerful kingdom and one of the richest cities in Asia. Up to the 18th century, it was a vital trading port for rice, ivory, elephants, tree sap and deer hide, cotton, slaves, horses, spices and textiles from India, Persia and Arabia. In the centuries since, it crumbled into a backwater town in Myanmar’s troubled Rakhine state. But the city

Apply Today to Report on Gender and LGBTI Rights

Mon, 2017-06-12 13:40
{image-1} Photo by Sara Hylton, a 2017 Fellow reporting from Canada. Sara can be followed on Twitter and on Instagram. About This Fellowship The International Reporting Project is accepting applications from professional journalists to report on gender and LGBTI rights around the world. Applications will be reviewed in cycles on a rolling basis. Applicants may propose any stories that focus on gender rights or LGBTI rights (or both). Topics might include:    • gender- and orientation-based discrimination;    • reproductive, sexual and maternal health;    • land rights;    • access to justice;    • shrinking civil society;    • threats against women human rights defenders;    • peace and conflict resolution processes;  

Interested in reporting with IRP? View our current fellowship opportunities.

Mon, 2017-06-12 13:40
The International Reporting Project offers a variety of journalism fellowships each year, including group trips and solo reporting opportunities. Check this page frequently for updated information on open opportunities and approaching deadlines, and sign up for our newsletter to be informed of new calls for applications. {image-1} Photo by Sara Hylton, a 2017 IRP fellow. Sara's work can be viewed on her website, Instagram, and Twitter.    We are currently accepting applications for the following: 2017 reporting fellowships on peacebuilding and conflict resolution in Africa Deadline: Friday, June 30th, 2017 at 11:59pm EST   2017 reporting fellowships on global religion issues Deadline: Currently open with a rolling deadline.    2016-2017 reporting fellowships on gender and LGBTI rights  Deadline: Currently

Apply Today to Report on Global Religion Issues

Mon, 2017-06-12 13:39
{image-1} About This Fellowship The International Reporting Project is accepting applications from professional journalists to report on global religion issues. Applications will be reviewed in cycles on a rolling basis. Some of the areas on which proposals might focus include the relationship of religion to:  conflict and peace  environment and sustainability  political economy and development  health and education  gender, race and sexuality  law and human rights  social movements  migration  humanitarianism. Time spent in the destination country is flexible; fellowships typically last between two and seven weeks. Staffers and freelancers alike are encouraged to apply, and should note their projected outlets for publication as part of their pitch. The fellowships are intended for experienced professional journalists who have a record of

Nigeria adrift as leader in London for month of treatment

Wed, 2017-06-07 10:35
Nigeria, West Africa's economic and military powerhouse, is adrift as President Muhammadu Buhari has been in London for medical treatment for a month as of Wednesday, worrying many that his undisclosed health problems have left Africa's most populous country without strong direction. The president's prolonged absence has created "a vacuum," said Dapo Alaba Sobowale, the head of a small IT company in Lagos' sprawling Computer Village, where small shops and vendors line the streets selling mobile phones and computer gadgets. "A lot of people are relying on him," Sobowale said. He said he isn't bothered about who, exactly, is sitting in office. "I'm bothered about the person being there making the right choices," he said.

From fighting AIDS to demanding rights: LGBT activism in Senegal

Tue, 2017-06-06 10:55
Listen to the full story on RFI. {image-1}   Senegal is one of Africa’s success stories when it comes to fighting HIV and AIDS: less than one per cent of the population is infected today. As part of the public health effort, officials recognized the need to reach out to those most at risk of passing on the virus: sex workers, drug users and gay men.  They encouraged them to get organised. As a result, today there are nearly a dozen LGBT groups in a country that is predominantly Muslim, and where homosexual acts are illegal. And gay men and women are increasingly thinking about rights, beyond public health.  

In Agadez

Tue, 2017-06-06 10:34
The young men of Agadez in central Niger have been many things: armed rebels in the Touareg rebellion (2007-9), soldiers in Gaddafi’s army, uranium miners, desert tour guides and, most recently, migrant smugglers and informal gold miners. But last September, the Nigerien government began to enforce a law, passed at the behest of the European Union, that criminalizes the transport and housing of migrants. In March, it closed the region’s largest informal gold mine, leaving hundreds of young men in Agadez suddenly out of a job. Since September more than 100 drivers and ‘ghetto’ owners who once housed migrants have been arrested and over 100 vehicles confiscated. Locals, along with activists in neighbouring countries, complain that

Migration After Rebellion in Niger

Tue, 2017-06-06 10:34
The young men of Agadez in central Niger have been many things: armed rebels in the Touareg rebellion (2007-9), soldiers in Gaddafi’s army, uranium miners, desert tour guides and, most recently, migrant smugglers and informal gold miners. But last September, the Nigerien government began to enforce a law, passed at the behest of the European Union, that criminalizes the transport and housing of migrants. In March, it closed the region’s largest informal gold mine, leaving hundreds of young men in Agadez suddenly out of a job. Since September more than 100 drivers and ‘ghetto’ owners who once housed migrants have been arrested and over 100 vehicles confiscated. Locals, along with activists in neighbouring countries, complain that

For women left behind in Senegal, the exodus to Europe brings rewards, risk and regret

Tue, 2017-05-30 09:30
Walking along the dirt track in the centre of Maka village in Tambacounda province in eastern Senegal, one need not ask which house belongs to the family with a son in Europe. Amid a cluster of square mud-brick houses with thatched roofs, only one is made of cement, towering above the flat scrubland; a spacious veranda wraps around the front. Yessa Camara, who lives inside, was married at 15. Today, she is 30. For the entirety of her marriage, her husband has lived in Spain, sending money home to pay for the house and the family’s children’s education. Ms. Camara looks after her only daughter and six nieces and nephews. All of them call her husband father. As

For women left behind in Senegal, the exodus to Europe brings rewards, risk and regret

Tue, 2017-05-30 09:30
Walking along the dirt track in the centre of Maka village in Tambacounda province in eastern Senegal, one need not ask which house belongs to the family with a son in Europe. Amid a cluster of square mud-brick houses with thatched roofs, only one is made of cement, towering above the flat scrubland; a spacious veranda wraps around the front. Yessa Camara, who lives inside, was married at 15. Today, she is 30. For the entirety of her marriage, her husband has lived in Spain, sending money home to pay for the house and the family’s children’s education. Ms. Camara looks after her only daughter and six nieces and nephews. All of them call her husband father. As

The struggle of women amid civil war, droughts and floods in Mozambique

Mon, 2017-05-22 10:10
ESPUNGABERA, Mozambique - Samere Mashava could not hide his anger and frustration as he narrates how his wife fled from their village in Mozambique’s Espungabera area near the border with Zimbabwe. Mashava’s wife is one of the many women in this part of Mozambique who were forced to flee their homes as a result of the bloody civil conflict in the country. In small remote villages in Espungabera area, homes were burned down; livestock were taken by armed men believed to be from Mozambican National Resistance Army (Renamo), a militant organisation and political movement founded in 1975. It is led by Afonso Dhlakama. {image-1} The civil war in Mozambique has been on and off since 2013 after the

The Steady Beat of Wars and Heavy Rains

Mon, 2017-05-22 09:38
With just a thin dark grey shawl thrown over her shoulders, Leocadio Simango, was soaked and shivering as she trudged through the streets of Chimoio, the fifth-largest city in Mozambique, on a rainy morning. Leocadio was selling an assortment of small wares- biscuits, sweets, canned drinks and some potato crispy. She carried these items in a dish covered by a dirty piece of plastic to protect the wares from getting wet. The incessant rains could not deter her as she roved through a labyrinth of parked mini buses, which are used for public transport in this city. She chatted with potential customers through the mini bus windows. “I can’t stay home, even in this rain. I need

Facing Sri Lanka’s Ghosts

Fri, 2017-05-19 09:52
VAVUNIYA, Sri Lanka — At some point during its brutal 26 years, the Sri Lankan civil war brought terror or loss to virtually everyone in the country. For Kasipillai Jeyavanitha, a mother of four, the defining moment of the conflict came in March 2009, just two months before the war ended eight years ago today. She and her family were among thousands of civilians who had been living in the rebel-held territory, and who now found themselves trapped inside a conflict zone as the military made its final, terrifying advance on the group that had fought for her people's independence. Kasipillai and her 17-year-old daughter, Jeromy, were running toward safety during a shelling attack when a pickup truck approached. Several men

The Women Left Behind

Fri, 2017-05-19 09:34
VAVUNIYA, Sri Lanka — It was midnight in 2008 when several members of Sri Lanka's security forces barged into Rajendran Geetha's house and took her husband, Sekar, from bed. "We only need him for a brief inquiry," she recalls them saying as they blindfolded him and tied his hands with a black rope. In front of his wife, two babies and 10-year-old, he was then whisked away into the night. Now nine years have passed – more than 100 months of desperate pleas and inquiries and paperwork – and yet Geetha still has no idea what happened to Sekar, a mechanic who she describes as a hard-working introvert. Without his income, she's forced to work on a farm and

The Women Left Behind

Fri, 2017-05-19 09:34
VAVUNIYA, Sri Lanka — It was midnight in 2008 when several members of Sri Lanka's security forces barged into Rajendran Geetha's house and took her husband, Sekar, from bed. "We only need him for a brief inquiry," she recalls them saying as they blindfolded him and tied his hands with a black rope. In front of his wife, two babies and 10-year-old, he was then whisked away into the night. Now nine years have passed – more than 100 months of desperate pleas and inquiries and paperwork – and yet Geetha still has no idea what happened to Sekar, a mechanic who she describes as a hard-working introvert. Without his income, she's forced to work on a farm and

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