Sunday 24 March 2024

iNews: ‘I fear being shot every time I leave my house’: Inside Haiti’s violent reality

Every time Nixon Boumba steps out of his house in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, he anticipates being shot. “I know so many people, so many people who died or went to hospital because they got hit by a balle perdue [stray bullet],” he told i.

The social justice activist says the risk of being accidentally hit in crossfire or kidnapped by gangs that now control 80 per cent of the city means public spaces, supermarkets, banks, bars or restaurants – everywhere outside home – is dangerous. “We don’t know at any moment what could happen,” he said...

Read the full story on iNews.

Thursday 29 February 2024

Devex: How virtual reality takes donors to the heart of development causes

A potential donor at a charity event in London takes off his virtual reality headset. He blinks a few times as his eyes readjust to the light. The immersive film he just watched transported him to Somaliland in East Africa, where he stood in the shelter of a family driven from their home by drought. It was a patchwork of plastic sheets and textiles tethered down by ropes, in a windy, dusty plain.

“The roof was so fragile,” he says, reaching up as if he were still in the hut. “It all felt so real. I’ve traveled a lot in Africa, but this experience has brought it all home.”

VR technology has existed for decades. But as the VR market expands — it is projected to grow from $25.11 billion last year to $165.91 billion by 2030 — so too has its use in global development fundraising and awareness-raising. An August 2023 survey of more than 300 U.K. charities and nongovernmental organizations found that 58% had used VR, augmented reality, or online games to encourage donations in the past year...

Read the full story on:

Friday 23 February 2024

iNews: ‘They’ve forgotten who they are’: Race to save children abducted from Ukraine

Like hundreds of other abducted Ukrainian children, Denys Berezhnii believed what the Russian soldiers said. It was October 2022 and the Kremlin’s army had occupied his home city of Kherson. The bus outside the 16-year-old’s orphanage would take him to a camp for a short break in Russian-occupied Crimea. The soldiers did not mention that it was a one-way trip.

Mr Berezhnii finally left Russian soil this month. Almost a year and a half later, having turned 18, he contacted the charity Save Ukraine and asked them to get him out. The organisation has been at the forefront of rescuing forcibly deported or displaced Ukrainian children from Russia, of which there are more than 19,500 according to the Ukraine’s National Information Bureau. Only 388 have returned so far...

Read the full story on

Tuesday 6 February 2024

Devex - How the response to hunger crises has changed since Ethiopia's famine

Forty years ago, more than 400 television stations worldwide broadcast BBC news footage warning that 1 million people were starving to death in Ethiopia. It garnered a global response, including the famed Live Aid fundraising concerts in the United States and United Kingdom which raised more than $100 million.

But hunger remains a serious problem in Ethiopia, the Greater Horn of Africa, and elsewhere around the globe.

Last month, Save The Children UK and the Hungry for Action campaign screened a similarly cautionary film at an event in London about drought-devastated communities in Somaliland. This time, the message is starker: Since 1984, 18.3 million people have died globally from hunger, according to the alliance’s estimates. The organizers warned that the mainstream media is not reporting enough on the issue, nor are governments acting on it.

So what are the differences between the wider hunger crisis in East Africa today and the former in Ethiopia? And how can the global development sector encourage governments, the media, and the public to fund it and take action?...

Read the full story on

Friday 8 December 2023

Telegraph: Strangling Putin’s legal system could bring about his downfall

For the second time, the State of Qatar has negotiated the repatriation of Ukrainian children deported to Russia. The country has become the go-to mediator in hostage crises too, having played a key role in brokering a deal between Israel and Hamas. But can Qatar also succeed, where others have failed, to help return thousands of Ukrainian hostages imprisoned in Russia?

As the world watches horrors unfold in Gaza and Israel, the plight of Ukrainian imprisoned civilians like Mykyta Buzynov have fallen from view. In March 2022, Russian soldiers took the 25-year-old taxi driver from his uncle’s yard in the Chernihiv region. Witnesses said occupying forces searched his phone, accused him of being a traitor, threatened to shoot his girlfriend, then drove him away. Months later, his family discovered he had been held in a pretrial centre in the Russian city of Belgorod. Now his location is unknown...

Read the full story on:

Tuesday 3 October 2023

Devex: Why a holistic approach is vital to tackling childhood malnutrition

Mam Nodanile lives in a so-called last-mile community in Nomadolo, South Africa. The grandmother cares for 12 grandchildren in a rondavel, a traditional one-bedroomed circular hut.

The parents of her grandchildren have all either died or left the remote homestead for the city. “I struggle to put together food, to feed them even simple porridge,” she told staff from charity One to One Africa, which is addressing cases of malnutrition among the family.

Since 2000, global cases of stunting and wasting — common measures of childhood malnutrition — have reduced. But jointly-researched data from UNICEF, the World Health Organization, and the World Bank warns alarming rates among children aged under 5 still persist. Stunting affected an estimated 22.3% of children in this age group in 2022 — about 148 million. Wasting threatened the lives of an estimated 6.8% or 45 million.

But beyond the statistics, the reality is that tackling poor early childhood nutrition is highly complex — solving physical deficiencies alone does not address the extent of the problem…

Read the full story on Devex.

Friday 1 September 2023

TVN Warner Bros Discovery and Tygodnik Powszechny


I gave an interview to Polish television channel TVN's Fakty Po Południu about how children in Ukraine are coping during the war, to mark the beginning of a new school year. 

I also spoke to Polish weekly magazine Tygodnik Powszechny about children, you can read the article online (with a subscription). 

"Jestem pod wrażeniem tego, jak dzieci są zmotywowane do nauki, nie pozwalają, aby wojna zmarnowała ich przyszłość." 

"I'm always amazed by how children are motivated to continue their studies, and do not allow the war to ruin their futures."

Wednesday 2 August 2023

Freelancing For Journalists Podcast


I spoke on the Freelancing For Journalists podcast about my work covering how the war in Ukraine is impacting children's mental health and education.

This followed my receiving the Freelancing For Journalists 2023 Best Print Journalist Award. 

You can listed to the podcast here

Monday 12 June 2023

Equal Times - Around the world cities are seeing the benefits of creating more space for children to play


Adriana Quiñones’ neighbourhood on the eastern side of Cali in Colombia, is a mass of irregular vertical housing blocks. Children’s play areas seldom appear among the exposed brick, flat roofs and concrete roads. But the main reason the 16 year old grew up afraid to play outside was the violence.

“My neighbourhood provoked a lot of fear,” she says in a video describing the impact of an initiative to improve the community for children. “Fear of going out and not knowing whether someone would shoot you.”

Read the full article on Equal Times.

Sunday 12 March 2023

iNews: Russian volunteers risking their safety to return kidnapped children to Ukraine

Before his
 country invaded Ukraine, Russian priest Grigory Mikhnov-Vaitenko volunteered in jails with Ukrainian political prisoners accused of pro-Ukrainian activism. Today his work focuses on a different kind of alleged detainee: Ukrainian children...

Read the full story on

My regular reporting on Ukraine for iNews is available on my author page

Friday 17 February 2023

Telegraph Comment: Putin's forgotten victims deserve our support

Today, like every day, 16-year old Daria will learn online instead of attending her school

in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine. She is undeterred by the fact lessons will likely be interrupted

by air raids. Last Friday, she sheltered in a corridor from 4am for the entire day after

Russia hurled at least 18 missiles in her direction. Alarms in her region have sounded

almost every day since. 

About 4.7 million children enrolled in education in Ukraine live like Daria. Power outages

dictate their schedules. Air raid alarms signal the end of lessons rather than school bells.

But who would know? Children’s new normal – a life of wartime disruption, fear and

trauma – is considered by too many as old news...

Read the full piece on

Tuesday 7 February 2023

Telegraph Podcast - Ukraine: The Latest


Understanding the struggle for Ukraine's children, after nearly a year of war.

Today, freelance journalist Gabriella Jozwiak told The Telegraph's Ukraine: The Latest podcast about the experience of children in Ukraine, one year on from the start of the full scale invasion.

Listen on Apple Podcasts or YouTube, and the Telegraph website.

Tuesday 3 January 2023

Children & Young People Now: Escaping The War In Ukraine: A New Life For Children In Care


Within days of Russia invading Ukraine in February last year, orphanage “mother” Nadiia Kudriavtseva told the nine children in her care to pack a single backpack of belongings and prepare to flee.


“We could hear the explosions and feel the whole earth shaking,” she recalls. “At that moment we decided: it's time to leave.”

The children were among more than 50 children and young people aged two to 18 who were helped to leave Ukraine by small Scottish charity Dnipro Kids. They are understood to be the first and only group of care-experienced young people evacuated to the UK...

Read the full story on

Monday 19 December 2022

Nursery World: Ukraine kindergartens appeal for help in winter power crisis

Nursery managers in war-torn Ukraine are appealing to UK early education providers for urgent help, as they cope with a crippling power supply crisis over the winter.

Settings across the country have been left without heating, lighting and electricity after Russia’s forces destroyed about half of the country’s energy infrastructure.

Some areas also have no running water as winter brings snow storms and sub-zero temperatures.

Meanwhile missile strikes continue to force people to spend hours taking cover in bomb shelters every day…

Read the full story on Nursery World

Tuesday 15 November 2022

Telegraph Podcast - Ukraine: The Latest


My appearance on the Telegraph's daily podcast to highlight the impact of the war on children in Ukraine.

Listen on YouTube

I made this appearance as part of my work for the 2022 Early Childhood Global Reporting Fellowship at the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma at the Columbia Journalism School.

Friday 21 October 2022

Equal Times - What impact has the war had on Ukraine’s child-focused workers?

Maryna Mykolayivna’s eyes are hot with tears. She stabs the air angrily with pointed fingers as she describes how on 24 February 2022, the day Russia invaded Ukraine, her employer at an orphanage in the eastern city of Lusychansk told her to immediately evacuate five children to another institution in Lviv – more than one thousand kilometres away.

“I didn’t want to go,” says the assistant educator. “I have two daughters and three grandchildren.” Maryna has been in the western city of Lviv, just 70 kilometres from the Polish border, for nearly eight months now. “I miss my home. I’m living in the orphanage 24 hours a day. I can’t rent my own place – I’m paid, but not enough. You couldn’t understand what I’m going through unless you’d gone through it yourself. I’m on the brink of leaving.”

As she speaks, the shrieking of children in the room intensifies. The group of 11 children aged three to eight years at the Lviv Children’s Shelter are stressed themselves. The state placed these children into institutional care after judging their parents unfit to care for them. They have already suffered domestic traumas; now they are living in a state of war...

Read the full story on Equal Times.

This article was written as part of my work for the 2022 Early Childhood Global Reporting Fellowship at the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma at the Columbia Journalism School.

Tuesday 30 August 2022

Daily Telegraph - Metal bars, heavy sandbags and air raid shelters – the battle to reopen schools in Ukraine

Back to school preparations have never been more grim. Svitlana Bozhko and her colleagues at the Lviv District Gymnasium spent the summer installing metal bars across windows and blocking others from potential missile blasts with heavy sandbags. Then, the teachers boxed and hauled up the entire school library from its basement to the third floor, to create an enormous air raid shelter.

But despite the risks that lie ahead, Bozhko laughs joyfully at the prospect of the new

term beginning on September 1. “We are really looking forward to it,” she said. “If I

were a teacher in Kharkhiv I wouldn’t be so happy, believe me...”

Read the full story on

And the follow-up piece: Joy and trauma meet as Ukraine’s children return to classrooms.

This article was written as part of my work for the 2022 Early Childhood Global Reporting Fellowship at the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma at the Columbia Journalism School.

Friday 26 August 2022

Devex - In Ukraine, children and parents are battling trauma; help is elusive

LVIV, Ukraine — Like millions of Ukrainians, Daria — 33 and pregnant — fled her home with her husband and 3-year-old daughter Sofia, whose real name is concealed to protect her privacy, to avoid deadly Russian missiles flying overhead. 

“We decided to leave in March after I saw on television that women were giving birth in shelters and underground stations,” Daria tells Devex, resting her arm on her rounded belly. “I didn’t want that to be me…”

Read the full story on (You'll need to register to read). 

This article was written as part of my work for the 2022 Early Childhood Global Reporting Fellowship at the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma at the Columbia Journalism School.

Friday 5 August 2022

Nursery World - Finding hope: reporting from Ukraine's war-torn kindergartens

The scene is the same as the start of any sunny June nursery day. Parents drop off their children at the gate. Nursery workers greet them warmly, help them remove their backpacks, check their sunhats are on. And off the children run to play on the trampoline or climbing frame, with a cheerful shriek. But a closer look reveals something different: a pile of sandbags by the kindergarten’s wall. The children’s bags kept nearby in case an air-raid siren goes off. Parents lingering a little longer, perhaps, as they say goodbye. This is wartime early education in Ukraine. And these children, who can still go to nursery, are the lucky ones...

Read the full cover story in this month's issue of Nursery World, or on

This article was written as part of my work for the 2022 Early Childhood Global Reporting Fellowship at the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma at the Columbia Journalism School.

Thursday 4 August 2022

Devex - ‘I don’t know where I caught it’: War derails Ukraine’s TB fight

Mikola Zdruk, 53, leans back wearily on the bench outside the shelter for displaced people in a suburb of the city of Lviv, western Ukraine. A bed in a shared room in the basement of a block of flats has been his home for the past four weeks. He fled from the Zaporizhzhia region, eastern Ukraine after Russian forces invaded the country on Feb. 24. 

“I saw explosions and missiles,” he said weakly, between deep, gravelly coughs. “When I arrived in Lviv on an evacuation train, I was sent for an X-ray. The doctors said I had tuberculosis.” 

Read the full story on