The 2021 Reham Al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship Programme came to a successful close in early October.

For the first time in its history, the programme was held fully virtually, welcoming a new class of fellows to the three-week programme.

Out of this year’s 800 applicants, 19 journalists between the ages of 22 and 35 working in print, TV, radio, podcast and multimedia, were awarded the fellowship.

The Reham Al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship Programme, or RAF, focused on UN issues, such as global health, climate change, refugees, and human rights.

The RAF fellows had the opportunity to meet UN officials, including the Secretary-General, Deputy Secretary-General, and Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications.

Over the course of the programme, the journalists produced 86 news pieces in 6 languages: English, French, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Nepali. 

On the last day, the fellows presented their work. They talked about their future plans inspired by the fellowship, including creating a fact-checking service and a blog dedicated to climate change.

The fellows expressed great appreciation for the programme.

“This is like a life-changing experience for me to move forward in my journalism career,” said Jagdishor Panday, from Nepal.

Redwan Ahmed, from Bangladesh, said, “A thing that’s surely going to last with me is the inspiration from the Deputy Secretary-General’s remarkable take on life.”

The programme also opened doors for the journalists moving forward.

“I feel now much more equipped and inspired to report on topics related to the United Nations, so I want to thank you for making it possible for journalists from developing countries to have such a unique professional opportunity,” expressed Hidya Mohammed Abdillahi, from Djibouti.

While the three-week programme is officially over, the work of RAF continues, with the fellows scheduled to meet President of the General Assembly Abdulla Shahid in November.

It is our hope that the 2022 programme will take place at UN Headquarters in New York.

For the latest information, see the RAF website.

Follow us on social media: Twitter @unraf and Facebook @RAFjournalists.