(Image: Cristi Hegranes)
3) Project: Global Press Institute
Team: Cristi Hegranes (United States)
Project Aim: To empower women in Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea, Morocco and Tunisia, through journalism using a unique training-to-employment programme.
As a foreign correspondent who founded Global Press Institute (GPI) seven years ago, Cristi Hegranes realised that she lacked certain qualities to be able to fully cover a community. Some of it included the language of locals who she was writing about, access to resources to cover some key events and the trust of the community. Therefore, instead of telling the stories herself, she decided to become a trainer to train local people to tell stories about their own communities through their own lens.
Women from 26 developing countries go through a six month training programme and are offered full time employment as a journalist at their news outlet, the Global Press Journal, upon completion.
Since 2007, they have successfully employed over 130 women and created a global audience of over five million people annually. Their unique training-to-employment programme ensures their beneficiaries receive the highest quality training. In return, the woman are guaranteed long term employment, a strong living wage, and opportunities to benefit their communities by telling real and important stories that take place.
Journalism is a challenging occupation but Cristi is adamant that if women are leaders and change-makers of their communities, they can and should have equal opportunities to join empowering and dignified professions like journalism. She is determined that language can shape the world and women in developing countries need not always be doing handicraft and farming most of the time.
“The desire to produce ethical and authentic journalism is universal. In journalism, we are learning new things every day. Even if a situation gets you jaded, the passion to write carries you forward,” she adds.
Her inspirational pitch about the potency of language won her the Global Reach Award, with a grant of US$10,000.
Project Inspire serves as a reminder for people, especially those living in developed regions to be thankful for life’s simple pleasures and the things we take for granted all the time, ranging from good sanitation and high quality of life to technological advances which has become intertwined in our lives. Here’s to a greater appreciation of the material and immaterial things in modern Singapore.
(Image: Project Inspire judging panel along with the four award winners of Project Inspire 2013 –at the Grand Finals event held in Singapore. The four award winners of Project Inspire 2013 are – Sonal Kapoor, leading the PROTSAHAN India team who was crowned the Grand Prize Winner of US$25,000 grant, Susan Asio, representing Beekeeping for Young Disabled Women who was awarded the Project Inspire Inspiration Award of US$10,000, Cristi Hegranes, from the Global Press Institue who won the Project Inspire Global Reach Award of US$10,000, and Margarita Guiterrez, representing Ilaw ng Tahanan who was named the People’s Choice Award. Source: www.facebook.com/ProjInspire)
(Image: one of the booths which showcased the materials made by women from Pastoral Women’s Council in Northern Tanzania)
More information about Project Inspire can be found at:
· Project Inspire Official website: http://www.5minutestochangetheworld.org/
· Project Inspire Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ProjInspire
· Project Inspire Twitter handle: @Proj_Inspire
· Project Inspire’s Inspired Blog : http://5minutestochangetheworld.org/blog/
· Project Inspire Official YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/ProjectInspire5mins