October 2009

Homelands co-founder, senior producer and current board president Cecilia Vaisman was part of a multimedia team working on the Open Society Institute’s initiative on statelessness. She conducted interviews with people of Haitian descent who are denied many basic rights by the government of the Dominican Republic. The multimedia project was posted on OSI’s website earlier this month. According to OSI, 15 million people around the world are denied the rights of citizenship. Citizenship enables people not only to vote, hold public office, and exit and enter a country freely, but also to obtain housing, health care, employment and education.


My profile of the Kenyan marathoner Salina Kosgei is airing around the country this week on World Vision Report. Salina, who grew up poor in a remote village in western Kenya, is considered the top challenger to favorite Paula Radcliffe in the ING New York City Marathon on November 1. It’s her first race since she won the Boston Marathon in April by less than one second.


We are saddened and angered by news of the murder of Marco Antonio Armendáriz Vega, a self-taught lawyer who devoted his life to defending the poor and powerless against the corrupt and powerful in the northern Mexican state of Sonora. Marco Antonio, known to friends as Marcos, featured in a profile of Vicki Ponce, an electronics recycler, produced by Ingrid Lobet as part of the WORKING series. He was shot in his home in Agua Prieta at point blank range. Marcos was, by all accounts, an extraordinary man. May he rest in peace. His good works will not be forgotten.

You can read more about Marcos on the blog of a close family friend.

If you love radio documentaries and you’re anywhere near Chicago on October 23, you should check out the Third Coast International Audio Festival‘s annual awards ceremony. It’s a celebration of the extraordinary work being done by audio producers around the world. The winners have been announced and the award-winning audio is up on the Third Coast site. The drama of the ceremony is finding out who won what; the joy is in hearing powerful pieces and getting to meet the makers.

Homelands’ co-founder and board president Cecilia Vaisman will be there to pick up an award for Gregory Warner, who won for his profile of Fidele Musafiri, an artisanal miner in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As faithful readers of this blog will know, the piece was part of the WORKING series.