In the wake of his August murder in Basra, Iraq, Steven Vincent's widow Lisa Ramaci has set up a charitable organization in his memory that will aid the families of freelance journalists that have been killed while doing their jobs. From the foundation's statement of purpose:
Since the Iraq war began in April 2003, some 45 journalists have been killed while reporting the war. Some were Westerners affiliated with Western organizations, and their families would have received some kind of compensation, but those like Fakher Haider [a Basran-based stringer for The New York Times who was killed six weeks after Vincent] have no health insurance, life insurance, any benefits at all. They rely on the paychecks they receive from the organizations they work for to support their families; when they are killed those paychecks stop, and the family is bereft of not only a son, brother, husband and/or father, but what is for many doubtless the main, if not sole, means of support.
The initial purpose of the Foundation will be to see that the families of such stringers and journalists killed while trying to do their jobs receive a generous donation to help them through a time of grief, shock and horror. In addition to providing a financial cushion, we also feel it will send an important message to the recipient(s), namely, that the sacrifice both they and their loved one made has not gone unnoticed, that there are people in the West who appreciate, mourn and honor their devastating loss, and who want to acknowledge the danger these brave men and women put themselves in while attempting to report the truth for our benefit.
The foundation has already sent about $3,000 to the families of various journalists.
For more information, write Lisa Ramaci at 534 East 11th Street, #18, New York, NY 10009 or email her at krak_des_chevaliers at yahoo-dot-com.