Reporting on Vulnerable Children in Care Systems

Deadline: 17 April 2018
Open to: journalists from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Benefits: covered all travel and subsistence costs


This is a unique opportunity to develop your investigative and analytical skills around an under-reported topic close to the heart of the debate about sustainable development.

For years, conventional wisdom held that the best place to care for an orphan or mistreated child was in an institution. Charities and religious groups followed a similar logic. Historic abuse or neglect in institutions, adoption scandals, fake orphanages and the experiences of children themselves have given policymakers and professionals alike pause for thought.

Today, that thinking is changing.

Champions of an alternative approach cite decades of research which says children belong in families not in institutions. Personalities such as Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling have thrown their star power behind the campaign.

This programme encourages journalists to explore the risks faced by vulnerable children, and different domestic and international strategies to protect them.

This is an intensive five-day training programme to provide practical skills, tools and strategies to report on this complex topic. It includes opportunities to meet experts on the issue, combined with field trips.

It focuses on public and private initiatives to protect orphans or children sold by impoverished families, and to offer them a future. Could government money and private donations be better spent on keeping children with their families and in their communities?

It places it in the context of the international community’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This programme challenges you and your readers, listeners or viewers to answer the question: “Is there an innovative home-grown solution just waiting to be discovered in OUR country?”


  • Journalists working in English for domestic media across Africa may apply. They are particularly interested in journalists from: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe;
  • Journalists working in any medium may apply – print, radio, TV, online;
  • Journalists must be fluent in English;
  • Journalists must have a minimum of one year’s experience. They should either be working full-time for a media organization, or a freelancer whose main work is journalism;


The programme will cover all travel and subsistence costs of journalists participating in this programme, by providing accommodation, meals and transport.

How to Apply?

In order to apply fill the application form.

When applying you will be asked to upload the following documents – please have these ready:

  • Two work samples (maximum file size 5 MB);
  • A letter from your editor consenting to your participation in the programme and committing to publish/broadcast resulting stories.

For more information please visit the official website.