Reporters ready! Young Storymakers kick off training in London

The first DICE Young Storymakers programme, a joint initiative of Pioneers Post and the British Council, kicked off this weekend, with 14 young journalists set to report on social and creative enterprise in the coming months

Fourteen young journalists from six countries arrived in London on Saturday for a week of training, discussion and networking on social and creative enterprise, as part of the DICE Young Storymakers programme.

The early-career journalists and storytellers (listed below), aged 18-25, are from Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, South Africa and the UK and were selected to participate in the programme from nearly 400 applicants.

Over the following ten months, each will be supported by editors from Pioneers Post and our partner the British Council, to produce stories in written, audio or video format, with the best published on Pioneers Post. The Storymakers will also have opportunities to collaborate with and learn from one another, and will be mentored by an experienced journalist in their country.

As young people, we are taking ownership of the world’s problems that our countries are facing today

Yesterday the Young Storymakers heard from experienced professionals including documentary filmmaker Nick Tanner; Ian Parkinson, a former BBC radio producer and journalism lecturer at City University of London; and Eliane Trindade, a journalist for Brazil’s Folha de São Paulo where she leads the newspaper’s Social Entrepreneur Award and runs a network of social entrepreneurs.

They also explored global social enterprise and social investment from the Pioneers Post team ahead of today’s visits to local social enterprises Clarity and Alive and Kicking. The group will attend Good Deals & Beyond Good Business on Tuesday and hear from those who have received a DICE collaboration grant on Wednesday.

After spending two days together the group had already found much in common. “It’s really interesting because a lot of the countries represented here are facing similar social issues to those in my country, such as gender inequality,” said participant Astari Pinasthika from Indonesia.

Young Storymakers is supported by the British Council’s DICE (Developing Inclusive and Creative Economies) programme, which aims to address entrenched issues of unemployment and unequal economic growth in five emerging economies by supporting the development of creative and social enterprises.

Working with the Young Storymakers aligns with Pioneers Post’s social mission – to support and deliver great journalism for positive social change – while allowing us to support the career development of 14 promising young professionals. 

Hamna Iqbal, a participant from Pakistan, highlighted the role of young journalists like herself in enabling positive change, saying: “As young people, we are taking ownership of the world’s problems that our countries are facing today.”

Mathilda Mallinson from the UK said: “I feel really lucky to be working on something that we really believe in so early in our careers.”


Meet the Young Storymakers

Yael Berman, Brazil

Yael is a freelance journalist, interested in human rights, environmental and community issues and digital democracy. She gained experience in production, editing, and newsgathering through working with two TV channels in Rio de Janeiro, Canal Curta! and Globo TV. Yael is passionate about tackling inequality – and believes collaboration and creativity are key to solving it – and is extremely interested in learning new languages and getting to know different cultures.

Maria Eduarda Lannes, Brazil

Maria Eduarda is a journalism student based in Rio de Janeiro. She plans to study international relations after graduating and aims to produce documentaries that prompt social change and awareness on issues of immigration and the refugee crisis. As well as Brazil, she has also lived in Peru, Mexico, Dubai and Switzerland, and thrives on travel, living among different cultures, and exploring new things.

Pedro Henrique Lira Vieira, Brazil

Pedro graduated in journalism in 2016 with a specialisation in data journalism and social media. Based in Rio de Janeiro, he is the editor of data_labe, an NGO exploring new narratives around human rights and empowering young minorities. Along with his journalism work, he has a particular interest in producing Instagram Stories. Pedro is passionate about new ways of thinking about the world and particularly motivated to reduce inequality by democratising traditional journalism and empowering LGBT people, women, ethnic minorities and young people to share their stories.


Rehab Ismail, Egypt

Rehab has seven years of experience as a digital journalist. She has contributed to several outlets including Infotimes (the first independent company for data journalism in Egypt), Egypt Today and its sister publication Business Today magazine. She has a keen interest in media and information literacy, and attended Media and Digital Literacy Academy of Beirut at the Lebanese American University in 2017. Currently Rehab is a graduate student at the Kamal Adham Center for TV and Digital Journalism (at the American University in Egypt), where she is doing a masters in TV and Digital Journalism. Rehab was selected as a Young Arab Media Leader in 2018 by United Arab Emirates' Arab Youth Center.

Nour Ibrahim, Egypt

Nour held a mic for the first time aged seven – and has been hooked ever since. After presenting her school broadcast for years, she joined The American University in Cairo (AUC) to major in multimedia journalism, graduating with honours and a passion for radio and storytelling.  Nour currently works as a senior PR and media coordinator at AUC Venture Lab, a university-based startup accelerator. She is also a founder of Ehky Ya Masr, a local podcast covering life in Egypt that aims to give individuals the chance to share their stories in their own voice.


Astari Pinasthika, Indonesia

Astari is a young journalist covering women and lifestyle for Tempo Media. A graduate of San Francisco State University, she is interested in shedding light on minority experiences and struggles. She also works as an English teacher for young adults in rural areas, and is an active organiser at CSIV, an international organisation that promotes peace education to children.

Muthia Fadhila Khairunnisa, Indonesia

Muthia is an author, literacy campaigner and social activist keen to spend her life exploring, creating and sharing. Muthia has written and published more than 45 children books since she was in 4th grade, and has actively participated in national student forums to advocate social issues through writing, filmmaking, content creating, and public speaking, also representing her country at international events and acting as youth advisor to Plan International Indonesia. She is currently majoring in Social Welfare Studies at Universitas Padjadjaran.


Hamna Iqbal, Pakistan

Hamna graduated in journalism from Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) in Karachi. She currently works as a freelance journalist and writes about human rights, politics and culture, aiming to bring progressive voices to the fore in mainstream Pakistani media.  Hamna has interned at two leading Pakistani news channels (Geo News and Express News) and worked for a digital newsroom, SAMAA Digital, as a sub-editor. She also spent nine months as associate editor at lifestyle publication Runway Pakistan, covering lifestyle and sports.

Asad Pabani, Pakistan

Asad Pabani is a journalist and short documentary maker based in Karachi. He is a producer/correspondent and the founding employee of Soch Videos, a social justice-oriented online news platform; his work focuses primarily on economic inequality and environmental justice in the developing world. Asad has also previously written for and was a finalist in the Thomson Foundation/UK Foreign Press Association’s 2018 Young Journalist Award.

Adeel Ahmed Siddiqui, Pakistan

Adeel is a digital journalist from Karachi, Pakistan, with a passion for storytelling that first began when he helped produce the school newsletter while on exchange in the US. A year into his university studies, he was offered an internship opportunity at Dawn, Pakistan’s oldest English-language newspaper, and was hired full-time within a few days. For the past four years, he has been working as a sub-editor and multimedia journalist on the news desk of, the newspaper’s digital arm. Through his work, Adeel hopes to share stories of human interest and give a voice to society’s unheard communities, while pursuing objective, factual and courageous journalism.


Dimpho Lekgeu, South Africa

Dimpho Lekgeu is a journalist with experience in radio and digital media and storytelling, and sees journalism as a creative approach to sparking important conversations and to connect the world. She is currently telling the stories of youth entrepreneurs from all over the globe on an online journal, 'i am youngpreneur', highlighting some of the many youth entrepreneurs building socially responsible businesses. A highlight of her career to date was being selected to represent South Africa at the One Young World Summit in 2018.

Imani Dlamini, South Africa

Imani is a digital storyteller committed to telling positive and constructive stories. She currently produces video content – primarily with her mobile phone – for her own web series/vlog, ‘Conversations that Matter’, which aims to stimulate debate on environmental, developmental and social topics in South Africa. She also produces and edits video content at the International Clarion, a media start-up that seeks to give young people a digital voice. Imani's work focuses in particular on young people coming up with solutions to pressing global challenges and she is driven by a strong desire to produce stories that inform, educate and inspire others through ethical, accurate and balanced journalism. She is currently completing a masters in International Studies through Monash University.


Mathilda Mallinson, UK

Mathilda is currently completing a masters degree in International Journalism. She specialises in humanitarian reporting, having worked for several years with refugee-related charities, and runs an activist blog for collective social action. She enjoys writing and digital storytelling, but is increasingly moving towards broadcast journalism.

Julia Hebron, UK

Julia is a student at York University, where she is about to graduate in Linguistics, and editor of an online student-run sustainability magazine called Wild. She also does freelance writing and social media and plans to specialise in environmental journalism.


Header photo: The Young Storymakers with the British Council and Pioneers Post team and mentors at the Good Hotel, a social enterprise by the Thames in London.