The jhr TeamJHR (Journalists for Human Rights) is Canada's leading media development organization. Our goal - to make everyone in the world fully aware of their rights - is as unique as it is powerful. Since JHR's founding in 2002 the organization has worked tirelessly to strengthen independent media in sub-Saharan Africa by building the capacity of local journalists to report ethically and effectively on human rights and good governance issues. JHR's work ensures the media can play its rightful role as a referee between state and civil society. The more people are aware and free to discuss human rights, the more they will hold their governments to account, leading to improved public services, less corruption, better economic opportunities and stronger democratic processes. Between 2002 and 2010, JHR has:
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Rachel Pulfer is the Executive Director for Journalists for Human Rights (www.jhr.ca), Canada’s largest media development organization.
Previously the International Programs Director at JHR, Ms. Pulfer has managed media development projects in Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and represented JHR at conferences in New Brunswick, the United Kingdom, Tanzania, Germany, Egypt, Jordan and Qatar. Prior to joining JHR, Ms. Pulfer was a Canadian Journalism Fellow at Massey College, and a magazine journalist of 10 years' standing. Her last position was as the U.S. correspondent, editorial board member, and columnist for Canadian Business – Canada's national business newsmagazine.
As a humanitarian who grew up in several developing countries, Ms. Pulfer believes JHR’s mission – using powerful pieces of accountability journalism to inform people of their human rights – is an excellent way to put her profession to work for a greater good. She is pleased to be part of making that mission a reality.
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Nabin Pokharel is the JHR Financial Coordinator. Nabin has over ten years of experience in financial management, internal control, administration, community development and micro finance areas. He has worked with international development agencies such as the UN Development Programme and World Bank on projects in Nepal. Nabin has a masters degree in business administration ( MBA) from Tribhuwan University, Nepal, and advance diploma in accounting from Centennial College, Toronto, Canada.
Director of Fundraising & Community Engagement
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Claire joined JHR in July 2012 to head the fundraising and community engagement teams. Prior to JHR, Claire worked in policy and communications at the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, ran the publications department at Peace Child International, and was an editor at the UN Environment Programme's youth magazine, Tunza. Peripatetic and eager for adventures, Claire has lived and worked in the UK, Lebanon, Falkland Islands and the wilds of downtown Toronto.
As a freelance journalist, Claire has been published in The Walrus, Globe and Mail, Toronto Life, and The AV Club.
If you are passionate about human rights, journalism, or the rule of law, Claire thinks you should become a JHR monthly donor.
Head of International Programs
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Kathryn Sheppard first joined the JHR team back in 2010, drawn to the organization’s commitment to inform the public of its rights and create positive policy change through strengthening the local media in post-conflict countries. Although based in JHR’s head office of Toronto, her work with the organization has brought her to Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Malawi and South Africa.
Kathryn has a Master of Arts in Diplomacy from University of Nottingham, focusing on public diplomacy and the legitimacy of celebrity involvement within the diplomatic sphere. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Joint Honours History and Political Science, with a minor in French from University of New Brunswick. She has held positions as Volunteer Advisor with the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum, Youth Services Officer with Service Canada Centres for Youth in both Ontario and New Brunswick, and Research Assistant for the UNB Department of History/Labour History in New Brunswick project.
Creative Communications Coordinator, Program Manager
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Robin Pierro is a journalist, documentarian and international development worker. Before taking on her current position at JHR's head office Robin spent 8 months working as a journalism trainer in Accra, Ghana. Having seen the profound impact of JHR's work on the ground, upon returning to Canada, she was overjoyed to be able to stay involved with the organization. Prior to working with JHR Robin had a short stint with CBC's 'the fifth estate' and also worked as an independent filmmaker and freelance journalist, producing documentaries and stories on human rights issues throughout Africa and South America. Her work has been screened in dozens of international film festivals and has garnered her several filmmaking awards. She has also freelanced for publications such as The Toronto Star, Out There Magazine, The Canadian Free Press and Speak Magazine. Robin Pierro received her B.A. in Journalism from Ryerson university, where upon graduation she received the Joe Perlove award for the student deemed best journalist in their graduating year.
Social Media Coordinator
Jesse joined JHR in March of 2013. He's a graduate from the University of Toronto, with an Honours Bachelor of Arts and a Master's of Religion. Jesse is excited to bring his previous experience in social media to JHR to help promote human rights reporting around the world.
International Programs Manager
Naregh has graduated from the University of Toronto with a specialist degree in History and Political Science. As a French-Armenian raised in Italy, Naregh humbly defines himself as a citizen of the world, and as such, attempts to unlock the mystery of global diversity by speaking several languages (Italian, Armenian, French, German, Russian, English) and focusing his attention on the politics, society and culture of different regions of the world. He is interested in understanding the complex dynamics shaping the near future of the globe, as well as in sticking to reality by observing how these dynamics affect real people’s lives. Besides dreaming of applying his curiosity as a reporter in a decent way, Naregh’s ultimate desire is to see greater global awareness on major issues through wider access to information.
Youth Engagement Coordinator
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Josh Boyter is the Youth Engagement Coordinator for jhr (journalists for human rights).
Josh joined JHR in July 2012 as the Youth Engagement Coordinator. As the Youth Engagement Coordinator, Josh overseas JHR’s University chapter program, Speak, JHR’s Rights Media magazine and Voices, JHR’s domestic communications project.
As an academic tradesman, with a passion for journalism, Josh researches the intersection of media and development. Josh recently completed his MA thesis, Revolutionary Images: The Role of Citizen Photojournalism, the Citizenship of Photography and Social Media in the Iran Green Revolution and Arab Spring. Additionally, Josh academically explores the construction of visual iconographies of child soldiers and photojournalism ethics in the developing world.
During his time at Dalhousie University Josh worked extensively in student media. Josh led the Dalhousie Gazette as Editor in Chief and Managing Editor in 2009/2010, focusing coverage on underreported issues such as mental health. Additionally, Josh worked with CKDU, Dalhousie’s Community Radio station as a volunteer and radio show host.
Technology and Web Coordinator
Bryan provides IT, design, web services and project management for non-profits and social enterprise.
Country Director, Sierra Leone
Freddy Mata Matundu
Country Director, The Democratic Republic of the Congo
Passionate about defending the rights of those marginalized, Freddy Mata, was trained as a journalist at the Institut Facultaire des Sciences de l’Information et de la Communication in Kinshasa, DRC’s main journalism school. His journalistic career began in 2006 at Congo Top FM, a major radio station in Kinshasa.
His interest in issues of violence against women and girls, child abuse and illiteracy, pushed him to report from the most remote neighbourhoods of Kinshasa and regions most hit by tremendous human rights violations, including Orientale and Southern and Northern Kivus. Realizing the power of the microphone, Freddy, a graduate in social communication, initiated projects to raise awareness amongst the Congolese on topics such as HIV/AIDS, gender-based sexual violence, reproductive health, child soldiers and ‘child sorcerers’. He continues his fight for human rights alongside Top Congo FM’s journalists.
A jhr Fellowship recipient in 2009, Freddy Mata, along Larissa Diakanua, is the first Congolese journalist ever awarded with the prestigious Lorenzo Natali Prize (Radio) by the European Union in 2010 on the issue of the marginalized and abused ‘child sorcerers’. This recognition caused Congolese journalists to show interest in human rights reporting and drew the attention of international institutions to one of the worst nightmares experienced by African children.
Freddy became jhr Country Director for the DRC in 2010, and has since contributed tremendously to the success of jhr in one of the most challenging environments in which jhr has ever operated.
Country Director, Liberia
Lamii Kpargoi, jhr's Country Director for Liberia is also Program Director at the Liberia Media Center (LMC), where he is responsible for implementing the “Good Governance through Strengthened Media” project. This project provides training in human rights reporting to media institutions and journalists across the country.
For 5 years, between 1997 and 2003, he served the country’s legislature in the public affairs capacity -- an experience that gave him a bird’s eye view of the national politics. Now Kpargoi regularly contributes to his country’s sociopolitical debate by appearing on talk shows and writing political/social commentaries.
He is a fervent believer in democracy and protection of fundamental rights and briefly went into politics between 2004 and 2005. He holds an LLB from the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law at the University of Liberia and is a member of the Liberian Bar Association.
Nana Ama Agyemang Asante
Country Director, Ghana
Journalism was not always Nana’s first love - her plan was to study law and become prosperous. But all that changed when she started listening to Joy FM in Kumasi and heard two of the smartest and witty female voices on radio asking questions and tackling issues that shaped national discourse.
Inspired from a distance, Nana applied for an internship at Joy FM, where she continued to work for three years before moving on. Her years at Joy were challenging but fun and inspiring, the experience exposed her to the impact journalists can make in society by asking questions.
Working for jhr has allowed Nana to truly discover why she chose to switch careers. jhr’s approach to working with partner media organization is a great and invaluable way of acquiring a collection of voices to speak for the people and help to create a society which can create and direct the national discourse and help reduce, and ultimately eradicate, human rights violations.
Nana has a degree in Sociology and economics from the University of Cape Coast, located in the central region of Ghana. And she likes to laugh.
jhr | Liberia Team
Print Trainer at Front Page Africa
Ethan Baron is a journalist and photojournalist who in the summer of 2012 quit his job as a staff news columnist at a daily newspaper in Vancouver to work in the developing world. During his 20-year career in Canada, he has covered politics and governance, environmental and social issues, crime, policing and the courts. He is the recipient of a National Newspaper Award and three Jack Webster awards, including B.C. Commentator of the Year for 2011. Baron has covered war and humanitarian disasters in Afghanistan, Kenya, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. His work with jhr has taken him to West Africa for the first time.
Senior Trainer - Liberia Media Center
Pilar worked as producer at SBS Radio in Australia for many years. Eventually she expanded her career specializing in disaster management and emergency relief. She has worked for different aid agencies including the UN
Rights Media Trainer - University of Liberia
Heather McKinnon is an Australian journalist who has worked on major metropolitan dailies in Sydney and Western Australia, as well as in newspapers in Singapore and Vietnam and for magazines in London. She has also worked with journalists in Cameroon in West Africa.
Local Rights Media Trainer
Nathan Charles is currently a journalist with ELBC Radio based in Monrovia, Liberia. Nathan has won numerous awards, including best human rights reporter in 2011, for the work he has done covering humna rights stories. Nathan was also able to visit Japan in the wake of the crisis in 2011. Nathan graduated from the University of Liberia with a degree in Mass Communications.
Local Rights Media Trainer
Raymond Zarbay is currently a journalist with UNMIL Radio based in Monrovia. Although coming on as a Trainer in JHR’s Train-the-Trainer scheme in 2012, he’s been assisting JHR in community radio training since 2011.
Local Rights Media Trainer
Winston Daryoue is currently a journalist with UNMIL Radio and a former News Director at Liberia Women’s Democracy Radio. He has also freelanced for the BBC.
Local Rights Media Trainer
Priscilla Quiah currently works at the Liberian Media Centre assisting the coordinator of their Informatrac funded program, Initiative for Mobile Training of Community Radio. She has also written features that have run in Front Page Africa and The Heritage newspaper in Liberia.
Local Rights Media Trainer
Varney Karneh is currently a journalist at LUX FM and working towards getting his degree in Mass Communications from the University of Liberia.
jhr | Sierra Leone Team
Damon Van Der Linde
Radio Journalism Trainer, Freetown
Damon van der Linde is a radio journalism trainer who is continuing his pursuit of using teaching and journalism to promote human rights.
Damon studied journalism and geography at Concordia University in Montreal, where he spent much of his extracurricular time working late nights as a writer and editor for the weekly student newspaper, The Link.
After graduating, he returned to his hometown of Toronto where he worked in journalism and communications across media platforms, including experience at Discovery Channel Canada's Daily Planet, Resource Investing News, and environmental not-for-profit Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.
In 2008 Damon interned for Journalists for Human Rights at Breeze FM, a community radio station in the small eastern Zambian city of Chipata. He is excited to once again be working in radio, an accessible medium with the valuable ability to communicate human rights in a country with a roughly 40 per cent literacy rate.
Senior Radio Media Trainer, Freetown
As a senior radio media trainer with jhr, Andrew Ewoku is working in Sierra Leone in partnership with the BBC World Service Trust.
He will travel throughout the country training and mentoring journalists in three community radio stations. Andrew is passionate about working with up-and-coming journalists, some of whom have little or no training.
Andrew has over 13 years of broadcast experience and has worked in Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria and Ethiopia.
He holds a bachelors degree in mass communication from Makerere University in Uganda and certificates in film and television production from DW-ACADEMIE Berlin.
Kaday is the Office Administrator of JHR Sierra Leone, she coordinates its daily operations and makes sure the office remains productive through various ways ranging from managing the petty cash system, supervising the general maintenance of the office and all equipments, purchasing office supplies, data entry, maintaining a filing system, putting all mechanisms in place for workshops, amongst other things. She works closely with the Country Director. She is a talented Administrator with diverse background. While she worked as a Reporter in 1998, she covered the treason trial of Foday Sankoh (RUF leader) and a series of human interest stories. She has a background in Mass Communication, Data Processing and is presently doing a course in Journalism and Newswriting at the prestigious London School of Journalism.
Local Rights Media Trainer
Martha has been a journalist for six years. She has been working at Premier News Media for three years and with JHR for three years. She has done a fellowship under JHR trainer Damon Van Der Linde and was nominated for a human rights award through the Independent Media Commission.
Local Rights Media Trainer
Kevin has been a journalist for six years and with Cotton Tree News for four years. He also did a fellowship with JHR under Erin Collins a CBC journalist who trained journalists in Sierra Leone last April.
Local Rights Media Trainer
Samba has worked for seven years as a journalist. He has worked with several media houses including the United Nations radio, Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corp. and Cotton Tree News. He is currently with Bonthe radio in the Bonthe district and is also doing a fellowship through JHR.
jhr | DRC Team
Doudou Nzio Mboma
Program Assistant (Kinshasa)
Born in Kinshasa in 1977, I grew up with the dream of becoming a doctor. While studying at the University of Kinshasa, theatre entered into my life, so I chose to set my white coat aside and jump on stage. I am now an actor and a story-teller. Few years ago, I founded along with some friends a NGO promoting the rights of the hearing-impaired people, CPPS, even through the theatre. I have been working for JHR since June 2012.
Student Coordinator (Kinshasa)
I have been working as a professional journalist, reporter, producer and presenter for the past 10 years. Founder and coordinator of « Collectif des Femmes One », a women association promoting an increased visibility of women through the media, I participated to several training workshops on human rights journalism and been awarded with the Prix JDH (JHR Award) in 2010 for a story I produced on the access to water. I started working for JHR with the student chapters in June 2012.
Papy Tonde Angonge
Logistician / Driver, Kinshasa
A professional mechanic, I started working for JHR since its very first day of operations in the DRC, back in 2007, so I've seen it all - including our daily adventures through the bumps and holes of our crazy and fascinating Kinshasa's streets.
Prince Murhula Mushagalusa
Founder and director of JHR’s implementing partner in Eastern DRC, Journalistes pour la promotion de la démocratie et des droits humains.
I graduated in Law in 2009 at the University of Bukavu (South Kivu). Since I was a kid, I dreamed of becoming a journalist. At 17, I started working for a local radio station, “Radio Maria”, where I stayed until 2012 as presenter, reporter and editor-in-chief. In December 2010, I won the Prix JDH (JHR Award). With a renewed perspective on responsible journalism, I founded right after the award a network of journalists in South Kivu, “Journalistes pour la promotion de la démocratie et des droits humains” (Journalists for the promotion of democracy and human rights – JPDDH). My organization strives to promote quality journalism on issues related to human rights and democracy in our local media and communities.
jhr's Board of Directors:
Anthony Wilson-Smith, Board Chair
For the past seven years, Anthony has held senior executive positions first at a federal Crown Corporation and, more recently, at one of Canada's largest financial institutions.
During this time, he has also been active on the not-for-profit front, serving as a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and in the community fund-raising and mental health support sectors. Prior to this, he had a distinguished and award-winning career in journalism as a best-selling author, columnist, foreign correspondent, television and radio commentator and as Editor of one of Canada's largest print publications. During his time in journalism, he worked in all of Canada's provinces and territories as well as reporting from more than 35 countries.
A bilingual native Montrealer, he graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelor of Arts (Major in Political Science) and also successfully completed Russian Language studies at The Russian School in Northfield, Vermont.
Wojciech Gryc, Board Treasurer
Wojciech Gryc is an Associate at McKinsey & Company in Toronto, where has a strong focus on using analytics to drive marketing, sales, and internal business processes. Wojciech’s past client work includes launching data-enabled marketing campaigns for a bank, developing a social media strategy, and optimizing supply chains. His clients are mainly within Financial Services and Energy.
Prior to McKinsey, Wojciech completed two MSc degrees (Mathematical Modelling and Social Science of the Internet) at the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. He has also spent time working at IBM Research, and has a number of publications and patent applications around data mining and social media.
Outside of academia, Wojciech spent 7 years as the founder and director of Five Minutes to Midnight, an international NGO dedicated to getting youth involved in human rights through media and journalism. His non-profit work has allowed him to run projects in Chad, Kenya, Brazil, Nepal, and other countries.
Helen Hambly, Board Secretary
Helen Hambly Odame is an Associate Professor at the University of Guelph. Her research focuses on communication and learning processes in agriculture, environment and rural development, both internationally and in Canada. Gender analysis of household and community issues in rural areas has also been a focus of her work.
Internationally, she is involved in research on rural radio in Africa, agroforestry extension in Ghana and more theoretical work on systems of innovation in Africa. In Canada, she concentrates on rural broadband in Ontario and community media partnerships between First Nations and Africa.
Helen is currently a Board member of Farm Radio International. She is a founding member of the Gender in Agriculture and Rural Development in the Information Society (GenARDIS) and a member of the Consortium for Communication for Social Change University Network.
Michael Cooke was appointed Editor of the Toronto Star on March 1, 2009.
Michael Cooke was raised near Lancaster in Northern England and began his career at age 17 as an apprentice reporter.
He moved on to work in and around London’s Fleet Street, and at Bristol’s Western Daily Press.
He emigrated in 1974 to Toronto where he became assistant national editor at The Star, Canada's largest newspaper. In 1977, he moved to The Gazette in Montreal where he served as assistant city editor, city editor and co-managing editor. He moved to The Edmonton Journal in 1992 as managing editor.
He became editor in chief of The Vancouver Province in 1995.
During the winter and spring of 1998, Michael was one of a team of founding editors of Canada’s new national newspaper, The National Post. And, for the summer of 1998, Michael served as the last editor of The Financial Post. He supervised the paper’s merger with the new national newspaper. During both periods, Michael continued to edit The Province, commuting between Toronto and Canada’s west coast.
Michael Cooke was named editor in chief of the Chicago Sun-Times in 2000.
He was appointed editor in chief of the New York Daily News in January of 2005, returning to Chicago as Vice-President of Editorial for the Chicago Sun-Times news Group (100 titles) in 2006.
Michael was also re-appointed editor in chief of the Sun-Times in the fall of 2006.
Troy Reeb is a Canadian journalist who currently serves as Vice President of News for all Shaw Media properties, including Global TV. Reeb was promoted to the Global network's top news job in June, 2008 after returning to the Toronto head office in September, 2006. Previously, he served as an on-air correspondent, most notably as Global’s bureau chief in Washington DC, and as a political reporter in the network’s Ottawa bureau.
Ahmed Hussen is a Canadian lawyer and politician. He is the current president of the Canadian Somali Congress. Born in Somalia, Hussen was educated in Kenya and Canada, graduating from the University of Ottawa with a law degree in 2004. |
Samer Muscati is a Human Rights Watch researcher with degrees in international human rights law from the University of Toronto and the London School of Economics and Political Science.
A former journalist and documentary photographer, Samer previously worked in Rwanda, Iraq and East Timor and his work focuses on human rights and development in post-conflict countries. Before joining Human Rights Watch in 2009, he worked in Baghdad as an adviser supporting the Iraqi government. Samer also photographed and edited testimonials from survivors of sexual violence for a book commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide.
Andrea Russell teaches international criminal law at U of T’s Faculty of Law. She received a Master’s degree in International Relations from Cambridge University (which she attended as a Commonwealth Scholar and her dissertation focused on the conceptualization of sexual violence in Rwanda and the Former Yugoslavia) and is a graduate of U of T’s Faculty of Law.
Ms. Russell has served as an intern with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva; as a member of the national Board of Directors of Canadian Lawyers for International Human Rights (CLAIHR); as a volunteer researcher on transitional justice issues for the International Center for Transitional Justice; and as a Lawyers without Borders volunteer in Namibia, where she observed human rights trials and worked with the country’s leading human rights law organization on children’s and women’s rights issues. She has also taught and consulted for lawyers and human rights advocates in post-conflict Nepal regarding International Criminal Law and the importance of joining the International Criminal Court.
Ben Peterson, Co-founder and Board Chair Emeritus
Ben Peterson co-founded jhr (Journalists for Human Rights) in 2002, and served as its Executive Director until 2011. During that period, jhr grew into Canada's largest international media development organization. Under Ben’s leadership, jhr worked across 15 different countries in sub-Saharan Africa and built one of Canada’s strongest student leadership networks.
Ben has a BA in Economics and a BAH in Political Studies from Queen's University, and an MSc in Political Theory from the London School of Economics (LSE).
Ben has received many national and international awards for his work, including Canada's Top 40 under 40 Award, the Action Canada Fellowship and the Queen's University Alumni Humanitarian Award. A published author and accomplished public speaker, Ben and the work of jhr have been featured in the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, and on the CBC among others media outlets.