Reports from Remote African Village to Icy Lake Superior
Each day, Youth Journalism International students give us all reason to be proud and to feel hopeful about the future. They’re such an outstanding group that we’ve come to expect excellence. But sometimes, a piece of work rises so far above that it makes us wish everyone on the planet could see it. Nigerian YJI student Linus Okechukwu’s January story of a small village struggling to overcome a horrific massacre did just that.
Reporting from a place so remote it’s not on any map we could find, Linus interviewed survivors of the murderous attack, and wrote of their suffering but also about how they were healing by celebrating Christmas. It’s a remarkable piece. To get the story – which was barely noticed in the local media and not at all outside Nigeria – Linus visited the village several times, snapping photos with his cell phone, even climbing a tree to get an aerial view! Linus now leads a small group of new Nigerian student reporters for YJI.
Of course Nigeria is not the only place where YJI reporters are busy. The polar vortex – and a tough winter in general – had students trekking through the snow and ice with their cameras in Chicago, Toronto, Minnesota,Georgia and Connecticut, sharing the troubles and beauty of winter with readers worldwide.
From India, reporter Harsha Mishra marked the one-year anniversary of the brutal gang rape in Delhi with a tribute to the victim’s bravery and a scathing rebuke of the system slow to punish the attackers. Jenny Neufeld, a YJI student in upstate New York, cleverly compared the glitches in the Obamacare website with the troubles she and other high school seniors faced with the online Common Application.
YJI reporter Yelena Samofalova, an American who was born in Ukraine, wrote about her own sadness in watching the chaos there and from Venezuela, YJI’s Mary Granella did her best to explain that food shortages and an economic crisis are at the root of public protests there. Coverage of the Lunar New Year came from YJI students in China and Vietnam, along with movie reviews, news and more from the U.S., U.K., Nepal and Pakistan.
Connecticut YJI writers Ambriel Johnson and Alan Burkholder detailed a wild rumpus: the New Britain Museum of American Art’s tribute to artist Maurice Sendak and his Where the Wild Things Are. And, sporting YJI’s first White House press credentials, newcomer Sherry Sah covered President Barack Obama’s March speech at Central Connecticut State University. All this and more is posted at www.yjiblog.org . Please check often so you don’t miss anything!
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If you’re wondering what Youth Journalism International does with your money, the best answer is to take a look at what its students are doing right now.
In the past three months along, students in 15 countries have written stories about everything from the death of Nelson Mandela to windmills in Portugal. They’ve detailed the stories of a girl slaughtered in the Westgate Mall attack in Kenya, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the ongoing trauma from the gang rape of a woman in Delhi and what it’s like at Dealey Plaza 50 years after President Kennedy was shot there.
They’re building on a legacy that includes stunning pieces on the Arab Uprising, Hurricane Katrina, teen suicide, school shootings and so much more, not all of it so serious.
But don’t let us describe what these amazing young people are doing, take a look for yourselves at some of the stories they’ve done in just the past three months:
Afghans Worry About What Will Happen To Their Country When Troops Leave (Oct. 21, 2013)
Turning Disposable Into Sustainable (Nov. 18, 2013)
Far From Her Kenyan Home, Student Follows News Of Terrorist Attack On Nairobi Mall (Sept. 28, 2013)
A Year After Gang Rape, Delhi Youth Want Attackers Punished And Society Educated (Dec. 21, 2013)
Remembering The Courage Of Nirbhaya, Victim Of Notorious Delhi Gang Rape (Dec. 16, 2013)
Jerusalem Roads Reopening After Snowstorm (Dec. 16, 2013)
Nairobi Football Teams' Biggest Loss Was When Terrorists Killed An Exeptional Girl (Oct. 11, 2013)
To Nairobi Student, The Westgate Mall Attack In Kenya Was 'The Scariest Thing In The World' (Ot. 9, 2013)
Coming Of Age In Nepal's Festival Season (Nov. 20, 2013)
Nigerians Put Troubles Aside On Christmas (Dec. 23, 2013)
Nigerian Students Relieved Strike Is Over (Dec. 19, 2013)
Finding Inspiration While Mourning Mandela (Dec. 10, 2013)
'I Have Drunk From His Cup Of Wisdom,' A Nigerian Youth Bids Farewell To Mandela (Dec. 6, 2013)
Nigerian Universities Still Empty Despite Government Orders To Resume Classes (Dec. 4, 2013)
Striking Professors Keep Eager Students Out Of Class At Nigeria's Public Universities (Nov. 24, 2013)
Pakistani College Women Study Heart Health (Oct. 5, 2013)
Filipino Students Pitch In With Relief Efforts (Nov. 25, 2013)
After Haiyan, Philippines Face Tough Road (Nov. 19, 2013)
Hungry Filipinos Take Desperate Measures (Nov. 13, 2013)
Typhoon Hits Philippines With Wind, Rain (Nov. 9, 2013)
Nelson Mandela's Day Is Done, But His Inspiring Legacy Lives On Forever (Dec. 10, 2013)
Portraits Of Portugal's Ancient Windmills (Oct. 8, 2013)
Mourning Period For Mandela Fittingly Ends On Reconciliation Day In South Africa (Dec. 16, 2013)
South African Sculpture Shows Different Perspectives On Nelson Mandela (Dec. 15, 2013)
American Student In South Africa Swept Up By A Nation Grieving For Nelson Mandela (Dec. 15, 2013)
Losing Madiba: South Africa Grieves (Dec. 6, 2013)
Ugandan Children Use Art To Show Respect, Admiration For An African Hero, Nelson Mandela (Dec. 11, 2013)
Celebrating Halloween In Uganda (Oct. 31, 2013)
Like Obamacare Website, Glitches In Common App Add To College Stress (Dec. 17, 2013)
Mandela's Life Proves Nothing Is Impossible (Dec. 5, 2013)
After Fifty Years, Sadness Lingers At A Dallas Site Where An Assassin Killed JFK (Nov. 19, 2013)
Nature's Paintbrush At Work In Connecticut (Nov. 13, 2013)
Hanoi's Got The Christmas Spirit (Dec. 25, 2013)
'Suits' Is Smart And Witty TV Worth Watching (Dec. 6, 2013)
Typhoon Haiyan Loses Power In Hanoi (Nov. 12, 2013)
Heavy Rains In Hanoi As Haiyan Approaches (Nov. 10, 2013)