Among the other multimedia work they have produced during their time in Prague, the 2012/2013 Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Vaclav Havel journalism fellows honed their video journalism and editing skills, bringing new insights to the RFE/RL services they cooperated with, and polishing their work with the help of seasoned RFE/RL staff.
Irina Gotisan visited the small town of Buda in Moldova, where she met Maria Barbanou, who is raising two of her granddaughters while their mother works as a housekeeper in Italy to try to support their family. Their situation is increasingly common in Moldova, Europe's poorest country, where unemployment and low wages have driven hundreds of thousands to seek work abroad. Parents working abroad send back remittances to grandparents or other relatives caring for their children. As a result, a generation of young Moldovans is growing up as “economic orphans.”
While in Prague, Seda Stepanyan had the opportunity to explore issues facing foreign students from her native Armenia. Tirgran Petrosyan’s family moved to Russia when he was 3 years old, and at the age of 16 he moved to Prague to study economics. He says he was bullied growing up for not speaking Russian like a native, and now, in the Czech Republic, he continues to find it difficult to integrate. In her video report, Stepanyan finds out why he considers himself a perpetual foreigner.
The sometimes violent protests in Azerbaijan over the right to wear the hijab in public schools have been making headlines lately, but critics of the regime accuse the government of using the hijab controversy to manipulate Western governments’ fear that a radical Islamic state will emerge if calls for democratic reforms topple the leadership. Tahmina Taghiyeva went beyond the headlines to give voice to some of the affected schoolgirls, as well as to provide analysis from experts and stakeholders on all sides of the debate.