Testimonials

Many extraordinary freelancers have received bursaries from the Forum. These are just a few of the many comments they send us:

"Thanks to the Freelance Forum Fund, I was able to attend a hostile environment course in the United Kingdom with TYR Solutions. Over the four days, I learned simple medical skills that can save lives, including my own, and developed a risk assessment strategy that’s become part of my workflow on assignments. 

"As a freelancer with a family, my primary goal on assignment is always to come back — to return home safely, to tell another story. Providing financial support to freelancers through the FFF goes a long way towards keeping us safe  so we can keep telling stories.  - Joshua Hergesheimer (FFF Bursary, 2015)


"Over the past year, since attending AKE’s hostile environment course in September of 2014, I have had photography and film assignments covering the conflict in the Central African Republic, Ebola in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, the war in Mali, girl’s rights on the Somalia-Ethiopia border, and most recently, Boko Haram’s insurgency in north Nigeria. The security training I received was indispensable in keeping me alert and safe throughout the duration of my reporting. I was able to better take care of myself and colleagues in assessing risk, managing crisis situations or potential threats, and providing emergency medical aid with the kit I carry in the field.

"I would not have been able to attend the course had I not been supported by the Forum Freelance Fund and the Rory Peck Training Fund. I am freelance and when you are starting out it is hard to get the institutional support and training that in fact you need most critically at that moment, in those early reporting trips when you find yourself mostly on your own. As a young female journalist traveling throughout Africa and South Asia often by myself, the training has given me the tools I need to navigate my way through assignments, whether I am covering conflict or documenting everyday life."              - Tanya Bindra (FFF Bursary 2014)


"I wanted to reach out and extend a huge thanks to you, Giselle, and the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma for sponsoring me to take the course this past week at the DART Center. It was an incredible experience I will remember forever. The skills and knowledge I acquired over recent days will serve me not just in my continued work in Brazil, but throughout my life as I continue my work as an activist and filmmaker. I cannot say enough good things about the experience, it exceeded all my expectations and I am forever grateful to all of you, and the whole team at Columbia who worked so tirelessly to host all of us course participants over the past week.”
 - Jason O’Hara (Portenier Human Rights Bursary 2015)


"In April 2013, thanks to funding from the Forum Freelance Fund, 
I attended a Hostile Environment Awareness Training course run by Pilgrims Security in Redhill, England. The training consisted of a mix of classroom learning, focused mostly on planning, situational awareness, and first aid, and mock scenarios in the wooded farmlands surrounding the Pilgrims office. I've been working as a freelance journalist in Afghanistan and other conflict zones for almost five years and so this was a somewhat belated education on my part. Nevertheless, I found the lessons at Pilgrims both instructive and consistent with my own experiences.They impart precisely the kind of practical skills and attitudes that are normally gained through risky apprenticeships in conflict zones. The first aid training was particularly useful and potentially life-saving. As freelance journalists, we would not normally have access to this kind of professional instruction and resource, and I have no doubt that the assistance of the Forum Freelance Fund has better equipped me to report from conflict zones in the future.”
- Mathieu Aikins (FFF Bursary 2012)

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 "As always, you sent great people from Canada and we look forward to further collaboration. - Judith Matloff, Instructor, Columbia Journalism School