Persephone Miel at one of her favorite beaches.
Persephone Miel was a warm, hypersmart, globetrotting friend of journalists who died of breast cancer when she was only 47. She was a dear friend, and also, when I sold her apartment in Ageloff Towers in the East Village, my first client.
In her honor, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, together with Internews, set up a fellowship that helps journalists around the world tell the stories of their home countries to a larger audience. Winners have included Ana Santos, who has written about the 100,000 women who have left the Phillipines to find work abroad, often at a tremendous cost to their families; Ako Salemi, a photojournalist who will report from Iran on the impact of climate change nationwide, and Anna Nemtsova, who wrote about Russian migration, covering places as diverse as Siberia and Pakistan.
Russia, 2012. Image by Anna Nemtsova.
If you’d like to donate, click here.
Building a bamboo (earthquake-proof) schoolhouse in Nepal, 2015. Image courtesy Mitrataa Foundation.
If you think of Nepal at all, it’s probably in the context of Kathmandu or Mount Everest—but it’s a country that also has people who live in tough conditions, where 50% of the children are child laborers. Mitrataa, the Nepalese word for “friendship,” was brought to my attention by an executive who I had relocated from London to New York. His travels (do you see globetrotting is kind of a theme here?) had brought to his attention this Australia- and Nepali-based charity, which has helped with earthquake relief, literacy, health education (since discussing menstruation is culturally taboo, girls who get their first period in Nepal often think they’re dying), and more. The foundation’s mission, “inspiring Nepali women and children to take control of their futures” has an admirable endpoint—to make training and projects sustainable—“to do ourselves out of a job.”
If you’d like to find out more about Mitrataa and donate, click here—there is a PayPal button at the bottom of the landing page.