New resources for East African journalists in exile

New resources for East African journalists in exile
Thursday, 16 April 2015 Written by Rory Peck Trust

The Rory Peck Trust has launched new online resources in Swahili, Somali and French for East African freelance journalists who have been forced into exile. 

These comprehensive resources provide a one-stop shop of information on the refugee process in Kenya and Uganda, practical tools to help journalists improve their safety, plus detailed guides on where to find support locally and regionally.

Hundreds of journalists - most of them freelance - have been forced into exile in East Africa in recent years. Most flee to Kenya and Uganda from Somalia, Eritrea or Ethiopia where violence, death threats and imprisonment for journalists is commonplace. Rather than finding safety, most are plunged into a new hostile environment where they face harassment, racism and poor living conditions. Security is a big problem, as many of those fleeing violence continue to be threatened because of their work.

"These resources are the result of several years' on-going work consulting with partners on the ground and with freelance journalists who have been forced into exile", said Vincent Guermond, Rory Peck Trust's Researcher for Sub-Saharan Africa. "We have been supporting large numbers of East African freelancers with individual assistance grants, but we wanted to do something that would help them in the long term. Most fleeing journalists have had no time to prepare for life in their new country and arrive without any real knowledge of how to register as a refugee or find a place to live. These resources will help them navigate all that and give them the tools they need to help them manage their own security. By translating them into Swahili, Somali and Amharic they will be easily accessible to those who need them most."

The resources - which are also in English - will also soon be launched in Amharic. They have a dedicated URL: http://exiledjournalists.org.  RPT are currently reaching out to local partners, contacts and journalist organisations to raise awareness of the resources across East Africa. They will be updated and adapted as needed.   

Image: Daniel J Gerstle  |  Humanitarianbazaar.org

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