In the Field

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Abu Yassir, a 20-year-old Palestinian Syrian from Yarmouk camp, arranges packets of cheese in a perfect circle while preparing lunch for himself and his friends in an apartment in Athens, Greece. Abu Yassir worked in a candy factory back in Syria. Like most refugees who travel to Greece, he does not wish to stay there. He has run out of money and does not know how or when he will have enough resources to travel. Palestinian Syrians, refugees twice, have an especially difficult time, as their camps in Syria are almost completely destroyed, and many do not have full Syrian citizenship.

Abu Yassir, a 20-year-old Palestinian Syrian from Yarmouk camp, arranges packets of cheese in a perfect circle while preparing lunch for himself and his friends in an apartment in Athens, Greece. Abu Yassir worked in a candy factory back in Syria. Like most refugees who travel to Greece, he does not wish to stay there. He has run out of money and does not know how or when he will have enough resources to travel. Palestinian Syrians, refugees twice, have an especially difficult time, as their camps in Syria are almost completely destroyed, and many do not have full Syrian citizenship.

Pile of shoes at the entrance to an Athens apartment where anywhere from 15-35 Syrian refugees sleep while trying to get to countries like Germany, Holland, and Sweden.


Image and text by Holly Pickett, via Instagram. Greece, 2014.
Grantees Holly Pickett and Joanna Kakissis report from Greece, Sweden, Germany and Russia on a new Syrian diaspora resettling in Europe.

Pile of shoes at the entrance to an Athens apartment where anywhere from 15-35 Syrian refugees sleep while trying to get to countries like Germany, Holland, and Sweden.

Image and text by Holly Pickett, via Instagram. Greece, 2014.

Grantees Holly Pickett and Joanna Kakissis report from Greece, Sweden, Germany and Russia on a new Syrian diaspora resettling in Europe.

Hello, Athens. I arrived in Greece to continue a project with @joannakakissis on Syrian refugees in Europe.


Image and caption by Holly Pickett, via Instagram. Greece, 2014.
Between 60,000 and 70,000 Syrian refugees are in the European Union and Russia—a fraction of the more than three million people who have fled Syria since the war began. Grantees Holly Pickett and Joanna Kakissis report from Greece, Sweden, Germany and Russia on the hardship of immigration in a climate where nationalist sentiment can no longer be said fringe. 

Hello, Athens. I arrived in Greece to continue a project with @joannakakissis on Syrian refugees in Europe.

Image and caption by Holly Pickett, via Instagram. Greece, 2014.

Between 60,000 and 70,000 Syrian refugees are in the European Union and Russia—a fraction of the more than three million people who have fled Syria since the war began. Grantees Holly Pickett and Joanna Kakissis report from Greece, Sweden, Germany and Russia on the hardship of immigration in a climate where nationalist sentiment can no longer be said fringe. 

A woman wades through flood waters to retrieve sodden belongings from her home on a low-lying atoll, part of the central Pacific nation of Kiribati. The high tide arrived under a full moon, Oct. 9, peaking at 4:40 a.m. It pressed against a sand berm until it gave way, flooding the shantytown in Teaoraereke Village on Tarawa Island.

The breach of the berm took residents by surprise. Most of them scrambled to move to the homes of neighbors or relatives. An elderly couple, a disabled woman and few others had nowhere to go. “Some don’t want to move and are still sleeping while the water is just an inch away from their beds,” said Aretitea Teeta, a government official working on climate change. The roiling waters inundated pigsties and make-shift latrines and flowed into freshwater wells.

Such inundations are usually the result of misplaced local development, as a fast-growing population seeks a place to settle, scientists say. Much more will come, they say, as sea levels encroach on Kiribati’s 33 islands which rise on average about six feet above the sea.


Image and text by Ken Weiss. Kiribati, 2014.
Ken reports from Kiribati, an island nation of 32 atolls in the Pacific Ocean. The threat of climate change appears here twofold: At home, flooding, pollution and resource depletion threaten to quickly overwhelm both society and infrastructure, and more broadly, appeals to ratify legislative documents that would provide protection for climate refugee have so far been unsuccessful.
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Also by Ken Weiss: Beyond 7 Million

A woman wades through flood waters to retrieve sodden belongings from her home on a low-lying atoll, part of the central Pacific nation of Kiribati. The high tide arrived under a full moon, Oct. 9, peaking at 4:40 a.m. It pressed against a sand berm until it gave way, flooding the shantytown in Teaoraereke Village on Tarawa Island.

The breach of the berm took residents by surprise. Most of them scrambled to move to the homes of neighbors or relatives. An elderly couple, a disabled woman and few others had nowhere to go. “Some don’t want to move and are still sleeping while the water is just an inch away from their beds,” said Aretitea Teeta, a government official working on climate change. The roiling waters inundated pigsties and make-shift latrines and flowed into freshwater wells.

Such inundations are usually the result of misplaced local development, as a fast-growing population seeks a place to settle, scientists say. Much more will come, they say, as sea levels encroach on Kiribati’s 33 islands which rise on average about six feet above the sea.

Image and text by Ken Weiss. Kiribati, 2014.

Ken reports from Kiribati, an island nation of 32 atolls in the Pacific Ocean. The threat of climate change appears here twofold: At home, flooding, pollution and resource depletion threaten to quickly overwhelm both society and infrastructure, and more broadly, appeals to ratify legislative documents that would provide protection for climate refugee have so far been unsuccessful.

____

Also by Ken Weiss: Beyond 7 Million

On the train from the airport, Athens, Greece. As the home of an ancient and storied civilization and one of the gateways to Europe, Athens is brimming with tourists, travelers, migrants, and refugees from across the globe.


Image and caption by Holly Pickett, via Instagram. Greece, 2014.
Holly Pickett reports from Greece with Joanna Kakissis on Syrian refugee. They’ll travel next to Sweden.

On the train from the airport, Athens, Greece. As the home of an ancient and storied civilization and one of the gateways to Europe, Athens is brimming with tourists, travelers, migrants, and refugees from across the globe.

Image and caption by Holly Pickett, via Instagram. Greece, 2014.

Holly Pickett reports from Greece with Joanna Kakissis on Syrian refugee. They’ll travel next to Sweden.

Local farmers witness a first: A combine harvesting corn in this field Shandong Province, China.

A local DuPont Pioneer seed dealer has purchased the above combine and is renting it for use to farmers. Traditionally, much of the grain grown in China’s central corn belt is harvested by hand or by machinery that’s less sophisticated. But as populations migrate to the cities, machines in rural areas take on a greater role. The Chinese government will subsidize the purchase of said equipment, with assurance by U.S. agribusiness that it will boost both profits and production.

 by Rodney White and Lynn Hicks. China, 2014.

Chinese agriculture, long dominated by lawn-sized plots of land harvested by hand, is rapidly growing larger. These big dreams mean big opportunities for U.S. and Iowa agribusinesses. Lynn Hicks and Rodney White report from China.

Ganga Ram Khanal, 28, had a date to leave the refugee camp and move to Erie in early 2010, but things fell apart. Ganga was addicted to alcohol, a common problem among young people in the camps who feel helpless in their immigration process and useless in their daily lives. His family stayed behind to wait for him but now the guilt of having delayed their process weighs on him. 

Image by Julia Rendleman. Nepal, 2014.
Follow the unlikely journey of Bhutanese refugees from camps in Nepal to their new homes in Pittsburgh, Pa. through the Pulitzer Center-supported news interactive.

Ganga Ram Khanal, 28, had a date to leave the refugee camp and move to Erie in early 2010, but things fell apart. Ganga was addicted to alcohol, a common problem among young people in the camps who feel helpless in their immigration process and useless in their daily lives. His family stayed behind to wait for him but now the guilt of having delayed their process weighs on him. 

Image by Julia Rendleman. Nepal, 2014.

Follow the unlikely journey of Bhutanese refugees from camps in Nepal to their new homes in Pittsburgh, Pa. through the Pulitzer Center-supported news interactive.


In this video, Pulitzer Center grantees, writer Michael Edison Hayden and photographer Sami Siva describe their reporting trip to Villupuram and Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu in India where they reported on the HIV/AIDS among the transgender population.

Last day photographing in the Bhutanese refugee camps in eastern Nepal. It is Saturday, so a time for recreation … And placing bets on inter-camp volleyball matches! The rest of the story will have to wait till immigration day. 

Image and text by Julia Rendleman, via Instagram. Nepal, 2014. 
Pulitzer Center grantees Julia Rendleman and Moriah Balingit report from Nepal on Bhutan’s displaced persons preparing to resettle in the United States.

Last day photographing in the Bhutanese refugee camps in eastern Nepal. It is Saturday, so a time for recreation … And placing bets on inter-camp volleyball matches! The rest of the story will have to wait till immigration day. 

Image and text by Julia Rendleman, via Instagram. Nepal, 2014. 

Pulitzer Center grantees Julia Rendleman and Moriah Balingit report from Nepal on Bhutan’s displaced persons preparing to resettle in the United States.

Smile Devan nuzzles his daughter Rina Shah, 7, moments before she departs for the United States. She is a Bhutanese refugee but Smile is a Nepalese citizen. It will likely be years before they are able to see each other again.

Image and text by Julia Rendleman, via Instagram. Nepal, 2014. 
Pulitzer Center grantees Julia Rendleman and Moriah Balingit report from Nepal on Bhutan’s displaced persons preparing to resettle in the United States.

Smile Devan nuzzles his daughter Rina Shah, 7, moments before she departs for the United States. She is a Bhutanese refugee but Smile is a Nepalese citizen. It will likely be years before they are able to see each other again.

Image and text by Julia Rendleman, via Instagram. Nepal, 2014. 

Pulitzer Center grantees Julia Rendleman and Moriah Balingit report from Nepal on Bhutan’s displaced persons preparing to resettle in the United States.

Life in the Bhutanese refugee camps in eastern Nepal has come to be defined by certain rituals, like the bi-monthly distribution of rice, lentils, salt and sugar from warehouses across the camps and the early morning queues around the communal water taps. Resettlement of refugees in “third countries” has brought new rituals to the camps. On weekdays, lists are posted around 1 p.m. on bulletin boards around the camps, drawing crowds of people anxious to know the status of their applications.

On Thursday and Friday mornings, buses painted bright white from the International Organization for Migration arrive to at the entrance to take refugees away for perhaps the last time. These refugees are those who have completed the lengthy resettlement process and are starting their journey to the United States, or any of the other countries who have agreed to host refugees. The bus rumbles out of the camp before 7 a.m. and will take them to small airport in nearby Bhadrapur and then to Kathmandu, where they’ll stay for a short orientation and then began their journey west.

Julia and I watched early one Thursday morning as refugees said their final goodbyes to friends and relatives. Many dressed in their best clothes—outfits purchased specially for the occasion. Manog Khanel, 40, is headed to Atlanta with his two teenaged daughters, 8-year-old son and wife. His family looked dapper, dressed in Western-style clothing—he in a slightly wrinkled black suit—and all wore red-stained rice pressed to their foreheads, which he said was to bring “good luck and best health.”

“Very happy,” he said, as he nervously fiddled with a new digital camera bought to document their new life in the United States.

Prabang Singh Tamang, 19, was headed to Erie, Pa. with his 16-year-old sister, whose face betrayed deep anxiety. They would join their uncle and aunt in the small lakeside city.

“I am happy and sad at the same time,” he said. “I am happy because I’m going to a good country, but I’m sad because I’m leaving many friends.”

Jyoty Khanel sits on a bus awaiting an appointment for a medical check-up required for her trip to the United States. She left the following day for the United States. 


Image and text by Moriah Balingit. Nepal, 2014. 


Pulitzer Center grantees Julia Rendleman and Moriah Balingit report from Nepal on Bhutan’s displaced persons preparing to resettle in the United States.

Life in the Bhutanese refugee camps in eastern Nepal has come to be defined by certain rituals, like the bi-monthly distribution of rice, lentils, salt and sugar from warehouses across the camps and the early morning queues around the communal water taps. Resettlement of refugees in “third countries” has brought new rituals to the camps. On weekdays, lists are posted around 1 p.m. on bulletin boards around the camps, drawing crowds of people anxious to know the status of their applications.

On Thursday and Friday mornings, buses painted bright white from the International Organization for Migration arrive to at the entrance to take refugees away for perhaps the last time. These refugees are those who have completed the lengthy resettlement process and are starting their journey to the United States, or any of the other countries who have agreed to host refugees. The bus rumbles out of the camp before 7 a.m. and will take them to small airport in nearby Bhadrapur and then to Kathmandu, where they’ll stay for a short orientation and then began their journey west.

Julia and I watched early one Thursday morning as refugees said their final goodbyes to friends and relatives. Many dressed in their best clothes—outfits purchased specially for the occasion. Manog Khanel, 40, is headed to Atlanta with his two teenaged daughters, 8-year-old son and wife. His family looked dapper, dressed in Western-style clothing—he in a slightly wrinkled black suit—and all wore red-stained rice pressed to their foreheads, which he said was to bring “good luck and best health.”

“Very happy,” he said, as he nervously fiddled with a new digital camera bought to document their new life in the United States.

Prabang Singh Tamang, 19, was headed to Erie, Pa. with his 16-year-old sister, whose face betrayed deep anxiety. They would join their uncle and aunt in the small lakeside city.

“I am happy and sad at the same time,” he said. “I am happy because I’m going to a good country, but I’m sad because I’m leaving many friends.”

Jyoty Khanel sits on a bus awaiting an appointment for a medical check-up required for her trip to the United States. She left the following day for the United States.
Image and text by Moriah Balingit. Nepal, 2014. 
Pulitzer Center grantees Julia Rendleman and Moriah Balingit report from Nepal on Bhutan’s displaced persons preparing to resettle in the United States.
Bhutanese refugees check a list outside camp in eastern Nepal to see who has been called up for third-country resettlement. 

Image and text by Julia Rendleman, via Instagram. Nepal, 2014. 
Pulitzer Center grantees Julia Rendleman and Moriah Balingit report from Nepal on Bhutan’s displaced persons preparing to resettle in the United States.

Bhutanese refugees check a list outside camp in eastern Nepal to see who has been called up for third-country resettlement. 

Image and text by Julia Rendleman, via Instagram. Nepal, 2014. 

Pulitzer Center grantees Julia Rendleman and Moriah Balingit report from Nepal on Bhutan’s displaced persons preparing to resettle in the United States.

Prabesh Ray Siwakoti, 5, future Pittsburgher.


Image and text by Julia Rendleman, via Instagram. Nepal, 2014. 
Pulitzer Center grantees Julia Rendleman and Moriah Balingit report from Nepal on Bhutan’s displaced persons preparing to resettle in the United States.

Prabesh Ray Siwakoti, 5, future Pittsburgher.

Image and text by Julia Rendleman, via Instagram. Nepal, 2014. 

Pulitzer Center grantees Julia Rendleman and Moriah Balingit report from Nepal on Bhutan’s displaced persons preparing to resettle in the United States.

Nima Dolma Tamang, 16, cries as she prepares to leave Sanischare, a Bhutanese refugee camp in Nepal, for the last time. She is bound for Erie, Pa. as part of the resettlement program that seeks to close the camps, open for more than two decades.


Image and text by Julia Rendleman, via Instagram. Nepal, 2014. 
Pulitzer Center grantees Julia Rendleman and Moriah Balingit report from Nepal on Bhutan’s displaced persons preparing to resettle in the United States.

Nima Dolma Tamang, 16, cries as she prepares to leave Sanischare, a Bhutanese refugee camp in Nepal, for the last time. She is bound for Erie, Pa. as part of the resettlement program that seeks to close the camps, open for more than two decades.

Image and text by Julia Rendleman, via Instagram. Nepal, 2014. 

Pulitzer Center grantees Julia Rendleman and Moriah Balingit report from Nepal on Bhutan’s displaced persons preparing to resettle in the United States.

Hindu priest Khagendra Prasad Timsina, 54, is apprehensive about his impending resettlement in Pittsburgh, Pa. As a Bhutanese refugee living in Nepal he worries the move will lessen his chances of ever returning home. 

Image and text by Julia Rendleman, via Instagram. Nepal, 2014. 
Pulitzer Center grantees Julia Rendleman and Moriah Balingit report from Nepal on Bhutan’s displaced persons preparing to resettle in the United States.

Hindu priest Khagendra Prasad Timsina, 54, is apprehensive about his impending resettlement in Pittsburgh, Pa. As a Bhutanese refugee living in Nepal he worries the move will lessen his chances of ever returning home. 

Image and text by Julia Rendleman, via Instagram. Nepal, 2014. 

Pulitzer Center grantees Julia Rendleman and Moriah Balingit report from Nepal on Bhutan’s displaced persons preparing to resettle in the United States.