In October 2014, four Egan Journalism Fellows joined Catholic Relief Services on a 1-week reporting trip to Lebanon and Jordan, where CRS and its local partners are assisting thousands of refugees from Syria and Iraq, most of them women and children, with housing, education, trauma counseling and other essential services.
During a fast-paced and emotional trip, they met with refugees, Church officials and local organizations. The fellows got a firsthand look at the circumstances of millions of refugees who fled the civil war in Syria and ISIS in Iraq.
"Some of the refugees' stories were so shocking. I saw the reality of terrible situations and realized the importance of continuing to tell these people's stories, as well as the stories of heroic people trying to help improve the situation. The Egan Fellow program has expanded my horizons beyond description."
Kevin Jones, Catholic News Agency
(Lebanon and Jordan, 2014)
MEET THE 2014 EGAN FELLOWS (Lebanon and Jordan)
Award-winning writer Claire Schaeffer-Duffy is a peace activist and writer living in Worcester, Massachusetts. She and her husband, Scott, along with several others, cofounded the SS. Francis and Therese Catholic Worker in 1987. A freelance journalist, she has reported from Bosnia, Afghanistan, India and Haiti, writing primarily for the Catholic press.
- Vatican official: 'Humanitarian crisis in Syria is much worse than I thought' (National Catholic Reporter)
Catholic News Agency
Kevin has worked for Catholic News Agency since 2007 as a staff writer and is an avid user of social media. He was a credentialed reporter for CNA at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. He has become especially interested in the work of charitable foundations that seek to create social change in the United States and abroad.
- Food, blankets and hope-nuns risk lives to serve Syrian refugees
- As winter looms, Syrian refugees now fear 'dire' shortfalls in aid
- Catastrophe ahead? UN halts Syrian refugee food program
- Amid Syrian refugee relief, Christians and Muslims find fellowship
- Syrian Refugees Pursue Education for their Children, in Hope for the Future
- Debt, illness, discrimination - Syrian refugees struggle in Lebanon
Catholic News Service
Barb Fraze is international editor of Catholic News Service. She has traveled to five continents, but this was her first trip to the Middle East. She is a self-confessed social media addict but tries to break out of it with hiking and backpacking trips, her passion outside of work.
- When puppets meet refugees, healing begins for children
- Invoking Oscar Romero in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley
- In midst of refugee hardship there is kindness and laughter
- Volunteering for Caritas helped Syrian refugee fight depression
- Syrian refugee children get taste of normalcy at Good Shepherd center
Peter Jesserer Smith
National Catholic Register
Peter Jesserer Smith is the Washington correspondent for the National Catholic Register. He previously worked as a freelance writer, reporting for Catholic media, including Our Sunday Visitor. He is a graduate of the National Journalism Center and earned a B.A. in Philosophy at Christendom College, where he cofounded the student newspaper, The Rambler, and served as its editor. He comes originally from the Finger Lakes region of New York State, where his family gave him a passion for history, the arts and culture.