Writing about Refugees : Prize Ceremony at the EP on 18.04.2006

A Competition for Student Journalists
Invitation to Prize-giving Ceremony
14:00, 18th April 2006
Rm. A8F388, European Parliament

Prizes awarded to Danish, Irish/French and British student journalists
First prize trip to Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya
MEPs to present prizes

At 2pm on the 18th of April 2006, winners of the Jesuit Refugee Service’s competition for student journalists will be presented with their prize at the European Parliament, at a ceremony to which press is invited. The winners, decided by a panel of professional journalists, are Kasper Tveden Jensen, studying in Denmark, for his article 'Suicidal Silence'; Hélène Hofman, studying in Ireland, for her article 'Waiting to Check Out'; and Kirsty Whalley, studying in the United Kingdom, for her article 'Destitute Zimbabwean Asylum Seekers Stuck in Limbo in the United Kingdom' . Kasper Tveden, as winner of the first prize, will be invited this summer to Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya, as the guest of JRS Eastern Africa.

The ceremony will be hosted Hiltrud Breyer MEP (Greens). The first prize will be presented by Danish MEP Britta Thomsen (PSE). Also present will be the journalists who were members of the jury, sponsors of the competition and the prize-winners themselves. Copies of the articles will be available at the ceremony, and also on request from JRS Europe. Interviews with the prize-winners can also be arranged by JRS Europe.

Third prize-winner Kirsty Whalley will be unable to collect her prize in Brussels: a Zimbabwean student journalist whose family moved to Britain five years ago because of the political situation in the country, she is having problems getting her Zimbabwean passport renewed. This may be partly because she is a journalist.

The ‘Writing about Refugees’ Competition saw the Jesuit Refugee Service inviting aspiring journalists across Europe to investigate the reality behind the headlines by asking them to write an article of no more than 1200 words on the theme ‘Refugees in Europe’. The competition was open to all matriculated students of higher education in a member state of the council of Europe.

The jury of four journalists were impressed with the approach and quality of the entries that came from 12 countries: “By highlighting aspects of refugees in Europe that are usually marginalized, the articles opened up the angle of the camera on this issue. Above all they raised the profile of the humanity of the people who ask for refuge in Europe,” said Jean-Paul Marthoz, journalist member of the jury and former international media director for Human Rights Watch.

For the sake of numbers, or to request a pass for the European Parliament, if possible please confirm your attendance at the email address below.

For further details, interviews, or copies of the articles, please contact Alice Kennedy or Ben Holbourn, Media and Communications Officer, Jesuit Refugee Service Europe; Telephone +32 2 250 32 20; Cellular +32 48 47 11 579; email: [email protected] More information on the competition is available at www.jrseurope.org 

This competition was supported by the European Council on Refugees (ECRE), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and is part of the European Week of Media and Minorities 2006.

The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is a global Catholic organization, which was founded in 1980 and whose mission is to accompany, serve and defend the rights of refugees and forcibly displaced people regardless of their religious affiliations. The regional office of JRS - Europe in Brussels networks with JRS staff in 22 European countries. JRS personnel in Europe accompany inter alia detained asylum seekers and former detainees.