I have very exciting news! I am honored to announce that I will be one of nine new media journalists heading with The International Reporting Project to Ethiopia in June to report on newborn health. The announcement was made yesterday and I can hardly wait to start researching and learning all I can about Ethiopia.

The International Reporting Project (IRP) is based at The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of the John Hopkins University and the primary goal of the IRP is to provide journalists with the opportunity to report internationally on issues not traditionally covered in mainstream media.

The program was created in 1998, making it a pioneer in the “nonprofit journalism” movement that seeks to fill the gap left by much of the mainstream media’s reduction of international news. The IRP has provided opportunities to more than 400 journalists to report from more than 100 countries and produce award-winning stories

I will be one of nine new media journalist fellows heading for a two-week trip to Ethiopia to report on Ethiopia’s efforts to prevent newborn deaths as well as provide an overview of maternal and child health, immunizations, nutrition, communicable diseases, and health care provision, among other topics.

Photo credit: IRP/Achilli Family

Photo credit: IRP/Achilli Family

One of the areas that I am most excited to learn about is how Ethiopia, one of the poorest countries in Africa, has stunned the world community by achieving Millennium Development Goal number #4 reducing the mortality rates of children under age 5 by two-thirds well ahead of the 2015 deadline.

In a country in which 95% of the population lives outside of an urban center in rural, remote and hard to reach areas and a shocking 90% of women birth at home without a midwife, Frontline Health Care Workers (FHCW) have been the key ingredient to Ethiopia’s success. I am really excited to meet some of these workers and mothers and share their stories. I am sure it will be a life-changing experience.

While in Ethiopia, I will examine Ethiopia’s political, historical, socio-economical and cultural dynamics to report on this misunderstood country, setting the stage to shed light on the massive effort introduced by the Ethiopian government to achieve MDG4 and what the impact has been on other critical areas such as newborn and maternal health, poverty, and other Millennium Development Goals.

Dessie Referral Hospital in Afar region, Ethiopia Copyright: Michael Tsegaye/Save the Children

Dessie Referral Hospital in Afar region, Ethiopia
Copyright: Michael Tsegaye/Save the Children

As one of the most diverse populations in the world with over 83 distinct languages and 200 dialects, Ethiopia shares a unique history, society, culture, environment, economy and governance that is unlike her neighbors.  I am honored to be selected to go as a reporting fellow to Ethiopia and share my knowledge with you all in the coming months.
















  1. congratulations and good luck! i’m online for a short time and am glad i saw this. haven’t checked to see if you get otto’s posts – surely you do – about the famine and predicted disaster… i am hopeful that you’re able to make a difference and help these people in desperation.


      1. It’s a true pleashure for me to enjoy such a genuine and delicately-developed blog as yours Nicole. My best wishes and success for you!

  2. Congratulations, Nicole, what a great honour! Have an amazing and interesting time in Ethiopia! I am also looking forward to read about the experiences you will be going to make over there.

  3. Great news Nicole. I have enjoyed the material from Cuba. After reading your posts, I feel that I missed much information. Len

  4. So excited for you, Nicole! I cannot wait to follow along and hear about what you learn.

  5. Thanks Nicole for u are blogs, I enjoy reading, Espeacily u are last blog about the Somali mom, and her journey to America.

    1. You’re welcome! I’m really enjoying my time in Ethiopia. I have one week more and have loved the people here and it is a very beautiful place.

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