Dear RISC supporters and friends,
Thanks to your generous donations to our campaign on GlobalGiving over the past two years, we were able to fund one entire RISC course in battlefield first aid. That means 24 freelance journalists working in conflict zones are safer today because of your support. They have the knowledge and equipment to save themselves, their colleagues, and civilians around them from succumbing to the four most common preventable deaths on the battlefield: hemorrhage, blocked airway, tension pneumothorax, and hypothermia.
We just opened a new campaign on GlobalGiving to help us train another 24 freelancers. If you're considering renewing your support for RISC, today is a good day to do it: GlobalGiving is matching gifts at 40% up to $1000 starting at 9am. Your $30 becomes $42 and $100 becomes $140, while the funds last. Make your donation here: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/train-24-freelance-war-reporters-in-first-aid.
I founded RISC so that other journalists' families and friends wouldn't have to go through the pain that we did when my good friend Tim Hetherington died while covering the conflict in Libya in 2011. We have now trained 144 photographers, writers, and documentary filmmakers. I am confident that the trainings and equipment we provide are making a difference by making the journalism community more responsible for each other's safety. Thank you for making it possible for us to do this important work.
As journalists covering Ukraine continue to face attacks, detention, and abduction, RISC is heading to the region to offer a battlefield medical response course in Kosovo on July 28-31. Kosovo's centrality makes it a convenient location not just for the many photographers, print reporters and broadcast journalists covering the big story in Ukraine, but for freelance journalists based throughout Europe and the Middle East. Many of these journalists have been unable to cover the costs of traveling to New York City for our courses. The four-day course in Gjakova, Kosovo, will be led by the original RISC training team from Wilderness Medical Associates: U.S. combat medic Sawyer Alberi, WMA Executive Director and emergency physician Dr. David Johnson, and travel medicine and risk specialist Bill Frederick. As always, each of our graduates will receive a RISC medical kit to take with them back into the field.
We kicked off the second season of our benefit speaker series, War Correspondents at the Brooklyn Brewery, on May 22 with NPR's Middle East correspondent Deborah Amos. Scott Anderson takes the stage next on June 17. For a full list of the speakers and dates, click here.
RISC is proud to announce that National Geographic Television, one of our original corporate donors, became a continuing sponsor this spring with a pledge of $25,000 to be donated over the next five years. Our other sustaining corporate donors are ABC News and NBC News. We are grateful to all of our corporate sponsors, as well as individual donors, for your support as we enter our third year of operations. For more information about where our money comes from, and where it goes, please check out our 2013 annual report.
Our next course is scheduled for October 4-7 in Nairobi, Kenya. Please consider making a donation to help us make that RISC training available to journalists covering conflicts in Central African Republic, Congo, Nigeria, and other parts of Africa. Thank you and have a wonderful summer!
RISC kicked off the 2014 training season back at the Bronx Documentary Center with our sixth course, bringing the total number of freelance conflict journalists we have trained to 144. Among our trainees in the course this February 25-28 were acclaimed photojournalists American Andrea Bruce and Chilean Carlos Villalon, Italian videojournalist Laura Silvia Battaglia, and a host of brave, young professionals who are making their way in the world of freelance journalism. We closed the training with another incredible group show, with videos, photos and readings from Syria, Yemen, Gaza, Egypt, Libya, Mexico and more. Check out our Facebook page for photos from the course.
After a brief hiatus, our War Correspondents at the Brooklyn Brewery speaker series will begin again on June 11. Speakers this year include Philip Gourevitch of The New Yorker, Magnum photojournalist Susan Meiselas, and our very own RISC founder/director Sebastian Junger. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates.
Upcoming RISC courses are being planned this October in Nairobi, Kenya and next February in Chiang Mai, Thailand. We will continue to hold 3 courses per year in locations throughout the world. Please help us by continuing to show your support with donations through GlobalGiving, and join us for our War Correspondents series and group shows held throughout the year.
Thank you for helping us to train more journalists around the world in the lifesaving techniques that keep them safe!
All photos © RISC alum James Lawler Duggan
Marking a major milestone for our organization, RISC held its first course outside of the United States in October. We trained 24 mostly Europe- and Middle East-based journalists at the Frontline Club, a hub for correspondents in central London. Among our trainees was Manu Brabo, part of the team of AP photographers who won a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of the Syrian civil war, and Sebastian Junger, RISC's founder. "Not only was it a very powerful experience for me," said Junger, "but I was able to evaluate, first hand, the course that I concieved of almost three years ago, after Tim got killed." Junger is working closely with our instructors to make small but important changes in the course that will make the experience even more realistic and valuable to our trainees.
We are now working to establish partnerships with venues in the Middle East to train more journalists there. Syria remains the most dangerous country in the world for journalists, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Unrest in Egypt continues, sporadic car bombs rock Beirut, and renewed clashes in Libya have brought more danger to reporters in the region. November 22 marked one year since journalist James Foley, who participated in our first RISC course last April, was seized in Syria by armed men. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. Please sign the petition for his release at www.freejamesfoley.com.
RISC's "War Correspondents at the Brooklyn Brewery" series has continued to pack the house with audiences eager for stories from the front lines. CJ Chivers of The New York Times spoke on September 11 about his experience covering the World Trade Center attacks 12 years ago, reporting in Afghanistan and Iraq following the attacks, and working in Syria today as the spate of journalist kidnappings has reached unprecedented levels. On September 30, ABC News's Bob Woodruff told his incredible tale of survival after being wounded in an IED explosion in Iraq. And on November 9, Jon Lee Anderson of The New Yorker interviewed veteran photojournalist and RISC alum Robert Nickelsberg about his experience covering Afghanistan over the past quarter-century. Our last event of the year features photojournalist Ashley Gilbertson and VICE Editor-in-Chief Rocco Castoro. If you're in town, come on out for beer and war stories: http://www.togather.com/community/details/32.
It has been just over a year since we started collecting donations here on GlobalGiving. Please consider making a year-end pledge to help us train more journalists in more locations. Even the small amounts make a difference for these freelancers. Your support is greatly appreciated.
Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season!
RISC will hold its first training session overseas this October 6-9 at the Frontline Club in London, marking a major milestone for us. Making RISC courses more accessible to freelance reporters based outside of the United States has been a central goal since our founding. We were only able to make this course a reality thanks to our generous donors and a consistently strong relationship with our dedicated team of instructors at Wilderness Medical Associates International.
We held our fourth first-aid training session early this summer at the Bronx Documentary Center in New York, bringing to 96 the total number of journalists we've trained since our first course in April 2012. We continue the tradition of organizing a group show on the last night of each training, to showcase our trainees' recent work for the public. The group show in June featured work from Mali, Syria, Burma, Iraq, and other areas in conflict, as well as two moving tributes to missing journalists James Foley and Austin Tice.
We've had three packed events this spring and summer in our War Correspondents speaker series at the Brooklyn Brewery featuring Sebastian Junger, Janine di Giovanni and Jim Frederick, and Michael Kamber. The series will continue this fall with New York Times journalist C.J. Chivers on September 11, ABC's Bob Woodruff on September 30, and The New Yorker's Jon Lee Anderson in conversation with photographer (and RISC alum) Robert Nickelsberg. Please join us for these events if you are in the New York area. All ticket proceeds go to help us train more journalists in first aid. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.togather.com/community/details/32.
Thank you for your continued support.
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