The John Alexander Project
 
georgia
Meet Our 2016 Fellow: Stephanie Joyce
Stephanie Joyce A native Canadian, Stephanie Joyce has climbed the glaciers of Alaska, investigated the crab mafia in Russia's Far East and taught English in a Saharawi refugee camp in Algeria. Most recently, she covered the energy beat for Wyoming Public Radio. She pitched us a story about the plight of internally displaced people living in limbo in Georgia, a little-reported slice of the former Soviet Union.

Stephanie departed for Georgia in January 2017. She produced a beautiful multimedia piece and aired a two-part series on Morning Edition May 29-30. Part I | Part II | Multimedia Piece

She also aired a piece while abroad on Morning Edition on March 13.

veriko’s story
 
Veriko Ekhvaia

Veriko Ekhvaia had to flee Abkhazia for the first time in 1993, at age 6.

Her parents told her they were going to visit her grandmother in Zugdidi, Georgia, but that visit stretched to three years as Russian-backed Abkhaz forces took control of the region. After the conflict died down, her parents moved the family back into its old home, but everything felt different. A few years later, Veriko heard gunfire from the next village and saw people running away with children in their arms. Her father reassured her that the fighting wouldn’t come to them. Still, he sent her and her three siblings to stay with an aunt in Georgia’s capital city, Tbilisi. Once things cooled down, he reassured her, they would be able to go back. But this time, they didn’t.

Veriko was celebrating her 21st birthday when she learned her country was at war with Russia over the breakaway region of South Ossetia. That night, August 8, 2008, her family turned off the lights so it wouldn’t be bombed; everyone was terrified that the fighting would spread to Zugdidi. As she huddled in the dark, she found herself wondering if she would be forced to flee a third time because of war. “The fear came back — that what we had gathered, everything we had built here, however little, that we would lose it again,” she said.

Here's her story.

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ana’s story
 
Ana Sabashvili

The first thing that hit Ana Sabashvili when she arrived in Berbuki, in eastern Georgia, was the sound — or rather, the lack of it. There were no trees or plants or animals. Just 134 identical yellow cottages in the middle of what had been a field. One of them would be her new home.

Ana, a 50-year-old seamstress, had spent the first few months after the war in Tbilisi, at the former Ministry of the Interior building, which had been turned into temporary housing for the displaced. She spent most of her days there crying, thinking about everything she had lost.

Here's her story.

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irakli’s story
 
Irakli Salakaia

When Irakli Salakaia fled Abkhazia, he thought it would be temporary.

He was 16 when war broke out and had just finished high school. Up until that point he had lived a normal, middle class Georgian life — his father managed a meat-processing factory, his mother taught biology. Then, the bombs started falling in Sokhumi, Abkhazia’s capital city, and for more than a year, they kept falling. When Abkhaz forces took control of the city on September 27, 1993, the choice was clear: flee or die.

He has been a displaced person for 24 years — 8 years longer than he lived in the place he calls home. But he hasn’t given up on going back.

Here's his story.

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1 in 20
 
Georgia

That's roughly how many people in Georgia have been internally displaced by war in the past three decades.

Stephanie Joyce worked with a team at NPR to build a stunning multimedia piece introducing us to three internally displaced people in Georgia. The all-star team included Claire Harbage, Wes Lindamood, Alison Macadam, Hannah Bloch, Ariel Zambelich, Katie Park and Juan Elosua.

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piece #3: displaced, again
 

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piece #2: lives in limbo
 

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piece #1: dispatch from the south ossetia border
 

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news

7/1/2017
Pencils down! The 2017 application cycle is now closed.

5/31/2016
Stephanie Joyce's special report is live!
Check it out.

5/30/2017
Stephanie Joyce airs a second story on NPR's "Morning Edition."
Listen here.

5/29/2017
Stephanie Joyce airs the first of two stories on NPR's "Morning Edition."
Listen here.

5/1/2017
The 2017 Above the Fray fellowship application is live! Apply here.

3/13/2017
Stephanie Joyce airs a piece on NPR's "Morning Edition."
Listen here.

10/6/2016
Stephanie Joyce is selected as our 2016 Above the Fray fellow. Read the release.

7/1/2016
Pencils down! The 2016 application cycle is now closed.

6/2/2016
NPR's "Embedded" podcast features our own Rebecca Hersher!
Listen here.

5/2/2016
The 2016 Above the Fray fellowship application is live! Apply here.

4/22/2016
Rebecca Hersher airs part two of her series on NPR's "All Things Considered."
Listen here.

4/21/2016
Rebecca Hersher airs part one of her two-part series on NPR's "All Things Considered."
Listen here.

4/21/2016
Rebecca Hersher's special report is live on the web!
Check it out.

3/12/2016
Rebecca Hersher airs a piece on NPR's "Weekend Edition Saturday."
Listen here.

1/25/2016
Rebecca Hersher airs a snapshot from Greenland on NPR's "All Things Considered."
Listen here.

10/14/2015
Rebecca Hersher is selected as our 2015 Above the Fray fellow.
Read the release.

7/13/2015
Emma Jacob's second piece airs on NPR's "All Things Considered." Listen here.

5/25/2015
Emma Jacob's first piece airs on NPR's "Morning Edition." Listen here.

5/1/2015
The 2015 Above the Fray fellowship application is live! Apply here.

2/5/2015
Emma Jacobs airs a piece on NPR's "All Things Considered." Listen here.

10/14/2014
Emma Jacobs is selected as the 2014 Above the Fray fellow.
Read the release.

7/1/2014
Pencils down! 2014 application cycle is now closed.

5/1/2014
The 2014 Above the Fray fellowship application is live!

4/13/2014
Andrés Caballero's second piece airs on NPR's "Weekend Edition." Listen here.

4/12/2014
Andrés Caballero's first piece in a two-part series airs on NPR's "Weekend Edition." Listen here.

3/15/2014
Andrés Caballero is back from Cameroon and reported a piece for NPR's "Weekend Edition." Listen here.

2/19/2014
Andrés Caballero airs a piece on NPR's "Morning Edition." Listen here.

10/10/2013
Andrés Caballero is selected as the 2013 Above the Fray fellow. Read the release.

7/2/2013
Pencils down! 2013 application cycle is now closed.

6/2/2013
Matt Kielty's second piece airs on NPR's "Weekend Edition."
Listen here.

6/1/2013
Matt Kielty's first piece in a two-part series airs on NPR's "Weekend Edition."
Listen here.

5/1/2013
2013 Above the Fray fellowship application released.

3/27/2013
Brian Reed wins a Peabody!

9/19/2012
Matt Kielty is selected as the 2012 Above the Fray fellow.

7/1/2012
Pencils down! 2012 Above the Fray fellowship application closed.

5/1/2012
2012 Above the Fray fellowship application released.

4/27/2012
Nina Porzucki's second piece airs on NPR's "Morning Edition."
Listen here.

4/26/2012
Nina Porzucki's first piece in a two-part series airs on NPR's "Morning Edition."
Listen here.

9/23/2011
Nina Porzucki is selected as the 2011 Above the Fray fellow. Read the release.

7/1/2011
Pencils down! 2011 application cycle is now closed.

6/8/2011
We're on Twitter!
@JAPAboveTheFray

5/1/2011
2011 Above the Fray fellowship application released.

2/17/2011
Brian Reed's second piece airs on NPR's "Morning Edition."
Listen here.

2/16/2011
Brian Reed's first piece in a two-part series airs on NPR's "Morning Edition."
Listen here.

2/14/2011
The JA Project featured on TakePart.com.
Read the article.

11/1/2010
Brian Reed lands in Kiribati.
Follow his dispatches.

9/15/2010
Brian Reed is selected as first Above the Fray fellow.
Read the release.

7/1/2010
Pencils down! Cycle one applications due.

4/5/2010
Above the Fray
application released.

3/14/2010
NPR signs on as official media partner.
Read the release.

12/31/2009
$20,000 anonymous matching funds contribution.

3/15/2009
Recipient of Edward R. Murrow grant, courtesy of Ted Koppel.

 

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