Recipients of the  R. James Travers Foreign Corresponding Fellowship reflect on their experience and offer advice to future recipients.

Aleksandra Sagan and Laura Kane, 2018 Recipients

Our travels to India and South Africa introduced us to people we will never forget.  A little girl in a busy Cape Town hospital whose face was hidden by the mask that prevented her airborne superbug from infecting others.


Michael Petrou, 2017 Recipient

Hasan Kara is mayor of Kilis, a Turkish town on the border with Syria that, before the Syrian civil war began, had about as many residents as does Lethbridge. Kilis now hosts 135,000 Syrian refugees, three times more than live in all of Canada.


Sarah Champagne and Michel Huneault, 2016 Recipients

Roberto Rodriguez has been gone for three decades but he is everywhere in this house in Jilotepec: in the pictures on the wall, in the ceramics and the couch, and even in his brother Silveiro’s thriving scrap metal business.

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Laura Payton, 2015 Recipient

“It’s not hard being a mother. It’s normal.”

Salome Pascale, 26, sits on the step outside her mud hut, her toddler son never more than a few feet away. It’s close to noon and the shelter offers just enough shade to protect the spots where we sit from the full mid-day Tanzanian heat.

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Marco Oved, 2014 Recipient

I sat elbow to elbow with a couple of Tuaregs with full desert turbans covering their faces. I turned to Konan and suggested we go back for another day of filming in the shafts.

“Do you have what you need?” he frowned.  “Then it’s time to go.”


Mike Blanchfield, 2013 Recipient

When Jim Travers and his contemporaries were circling the globe to bring little pieces of it back to their country’s readers, the journalism fellowship now named in his honour would have been a godsend to reporters like me trapped in their cubicles back home.  In the current economic climate, the R. James Travers Foreign Corresponding is even more so.

I tell people that worst thing about winning the 2013 fellowship was that it flew by so quickly.  But it has had a journalistic and public policy impact that has resonated long after I claimed my last piece of luggage in the Ottawa airport after my last trip.


Katie DeRosa, 2012 Recipient

I was standing on Christmas Island, a remote Australian territory 2,600 kilometres northwest of Perth, looking at a detention centre surrounded by barbed wire and electric fences.