Youth Journalism International

Youth Journalism International connects teen writers, artists and photographers with peers around the globe, teaches journalism, fosters cross-cultural understanding, and promotes and defends a free youth press.
May 14, 2012

Quick update on camera project

Youth Journalism International is in the process of ordering the photography equipment that injured shutterbug Yasser Alaa needs. He has requested the money be used to buy a lens and a particular camera bad, both of which YJI is attempting to purchase with donated funds for this project.

It appears there will be enough funding for it -- though shipping remains an unknown expense until a package is ready to go out. We anticipate, though, there will be enough to provide some extra to help another Egyptian student journalist. That's our hope anyway.

We will have a full update by early June, when we anticipate successfully closing down this project.In the meantime, there is no need to donate any more money.

We appreciate the patience shown by donors and promise a full accounting soon. We will tell exactly where the donated money was spent.

Apr 24, 2012

An Earth Day project shows YJI's worldwide reach

YJI Associate Editor Rachel Glogowski in China. Spring 2012.

 

For Earth Day today, Youth Journalism International showed both its global reach and its unique ability to mobilize a team of young reporters in many lands.

One week ago, we asked our students to go out and interview at least one person about their thoughts and plans for Earth Day and, if possible, to take a picture of whomever they spoke with. They had 48 hours to turn something in.

First to weigh was Tasman Anderson, a student in Australia who interviewed a 19-year-old woman who planned to hike the Mount Tamborine Mountains in Queensland so she could be among nature and perhaps take some photographs of glow worm caves.

Soon after, we heard from YJI reporters in Malaysia, India, the Netherlands, South Korea, Virginia, Pakistan, Uganda, Afghanistan, South Africa and more.

They painted a picture of a world where young people share a simple vision of a greener, cleaner planet – and one that would be better off if we could all just plant a tree.

It didn’t matter whether the young people were Muslims or Jews, Americans or Afghans, dark-skinned or light. What they had a common, a love for this Earth we share, was so much more important than what divides them.

We urge you to read the main story that wraps up the work they did last week – you can follow this link – as well as related stories about a Ugandan hip hop singer who wants to preserve the planet and the latest at the Bristol-based Environmental Learning Centers of Connecticut, one of the nonprofits that YJI partners with.

There is, as usual, much more that Youth Journalism International has been doing.

One of our young reporters in Brooklyn, Emma Bally, wrote a sterling piece on the reopening of a neighborhood flea market. Another, Sara Chatterjee, wrote about the unexpected death of her French college president, Richard Descoings.  Robert Guthrie, in Scotland, wrote a column about Earth Hour, when lights across the world went out for a bit.

Before that, some of our Connecticut writers wrote about an exhibit on racism at Hartford’s Mark Twain House and others helped out at the Harriett Beecher Stowe House next door for a 24-hour reading of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which led to another story and a long video news report as well.

We are so proud of these eager, idealistic and wonderful young people. Their work is amazing. Their futures are so bright.

When we pause to consider it, we realize how much of what these students do today was made possible by those who have donated to Youth Journalism International over the past year. The financial help of so many friends has allowed us to pick up the pace, extend our reach and do more for our students on many, many levels. We are grateful beyond words for all that assistance.

The only down side to YJI is that our waiting list gets ever longer. We desperately need to bring on paid staff to cope with the growing backlog and expand the opportunities we provide to students in more than 40 countries on six continents. If you or anyone you know is in a position to help, we hope you will. We’d be happy to talk to anyone who wants more information.

To keep up with YJI’s work, you can read YJIBlog.org daily and check out our website at YouthJournalism.org. We’re also on Facebook at Facebook/youthjournalism and on Twitter at @yjinternational, @jackiemajerus and at @SteveCollinsYJI. You can also find us on Tumblr, Pinterest and other social media sites.

Read our reviews at GreatNonProfits.org

Feb 21, 2012

February 2012 Update

U.S. Rep. John Larson fields YJI questions
U.S. Rep. John Larson fields YJI questions

Youth Journalism International

There is always so much going on at Youth Journalism International that it's hard to stop, stand back and figure out what's worth passing along. The work that our students churn out is featured, day in and day out, on our blog at www.YJIblog.org. In the last couple of weeks, students have written about an Armenian journalist slain in Turkey, a congressional initiative in the United States to ensure the voices of young people are heard, Burmese Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, Valentine's Day in Pakistan, the upcoming movie of Les Miserables, a cricket match in Dubai, the Super Bowl in Indianapolis, The Strokes' lates album and anti-bullying efforts in Connecticut. Whew... and that's not even everything!

If you have any questions about YJI, don't hesitate to ask. We are doing great stuff and we are so determined to make this organization grow so that it can do more. We remain heartsick that so many kids are knocking on our door whom we just can't handle without staff and resources that we don't yet possess.

But let me tell you about something that happened yesterday when we brought five YJI students to the office of U.S. Rep. John Larson of Connecticut who was leading a teleconference session between his youth cabinet and another youth panel recently created by a Missouri congressman. Our student team covered the session -- with live tweets, photos, video and, ultimately, two stories -- because it was something of real interest to young people. When it was all over, we asked Larson if he'd mind posing for a picture with our reporting squad. Like any good politician, he was more than willing, of course. Here they are:

From left, Youth Journalism International reporters Kiernan Majerus-Collins, Yelena Samofalova, Connecticut Congressman John Larson, Youth Journalism International reporters Ameni Mathlouthi, Erez Bittan and Mary Majerus-Collins on Saturday, Feb. 18 at Larson's Hartford office. 

 

What we really loved, though, was that after posing, the students kept peppering him with questions. He wound up talking with them for a long while about all sorts of things, from lowering the voting age to the medical use of marijuana. The five of them displayed a raw curiosity, a willingness to challenge one of the most powerful members of Congress and a pure delight in extracting information that may or may not wind up in a story sometime. They were, in short, real reporters there -- and Rep. Larson showed them both the professional courtesy that comes of it and the grace of a guy who's both a father and a former history teacher in dealing with the young. We were proud of them all.
What made it especially sweet was seeing one of our young journalists, Ameni Mathlouthi, going to toe to toe with the congressman. Mathlouthi is a Tunisian student who is studying in Connecticut on an exchange program. She wrote earlier this year about her participation in the Arab Spring a year earlier, when Tunisians led the way toward what they hope will be a more free country. (You can read her account here.) She did more than see how Americans can challenge their leaders and express their thoughts. She got a chance to live it. And that is what Youth Journalism International offers to young people everywhere -- the chance to be part of a worldwide organization that recognizes their natural right to liberty and embraces both that right and them. We try not to put anyone at risk, of course, but we also help knock down the barriers that keep people from being and achieving everything they can. You can rest assured that Ameni is going to make her mark on this world. After all, she already has.

 


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