Zanzibar's mental health system is on the verge of collapse. I travelled across the island and met spiritual healers making a profit from the mental torment affecting thousands of people on this tiny island. This dispatch was the lead story on BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service's 'From Our Own Correspondent', tx 14/10/17.
With only one psychiatrist and thousands of mentally-ill patients, Zanzibar is on the cusp of a mental health crisis. I travelled to the archipelago to meet some of those afflicted by psychotic, neurological and psycho-social disorders. What I found was mass mistreatment and exploitation at the hands of profiteering exorcists and herbalists. It makes for disturbing but compelling listening. Here's the trailer for my programme, which will run in mid-October on the BBC World Service.
The lives of a vigilante anti-drug squad leader, a jade mine tycoon and a heroin addict intertwine. This was the lead dispatch on BBC Radio 4's 'From Our Own Correspondent' on 13 July. To hear the full programme, go to: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p057w3f6
In the past few years, Iranians have flocked to Armenia to celebrate big festivals like Nowruz, or Persian New Year. I went to meet some of them as they took their first trip over the border from Iran to let their hair down, have a drink and dance until dawn.
When the so-called Islamic State encircled and slaughtered more than 5,000 Yezidis on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq, those who could fled. Lesser known are the handful of Yezidis who travelled to Armenia to seek sanctuary in rural communities like the one I visited, Araks. This piece ran on BBC Radio 4 on Saturday 20 May 2017.
Since the conflict in Syria started, more than 20,000 native Syrian Armenians have settled in Yerevan and the surrounding areas, setting up businesses in the service industry. Unfortunately they haven't always been welcomed by Armenians, due to the impact the added competition has had on their profits. I've changed the names to protect identities and run a lot of traditional accordion music underneath because I'm quite a fan.
In the last year, there has been a 65% increase in anti-semitic attacks against ultra-Orthodox Jews in the Stamford Hill community of north-east London, including one incident in which a gas canister was thrown out the window of a passing white van and 'Heil Hitler' was shouted repeatedly. Many of the local community, including rabbis and members of Schomrim, the community police, attribute this sharp increase to the rise of populism - namely Brexit and Trump. They fear they are starting...
On the Sudanese border, old Nubia lies submerged under the largest man-made lake in the world, Lake Nasser. More than 100,000 displaced people have been moved to an area 300 kilometres away, but they're starting to fight back, taking to the streets to call for their right to return. I went to old Nubia to spend a few days with a family living around the lake and to new Nubia to meet activists organising the protests. Absolutely loved gathering, writing and voicing this story.
More Syrian refugees have arrived in Glasgow than any other city in the UK. But Glasgow faces it's own problem of wide-spread homelessness, with more than 500 people sleeping rough each night. I met Ali, a new arrival who has been housed on the 19th floor of a high-rise tenement block. On the other side of the city, Brian, a local, has been sleeping in the same doorway for over 8 years as he waits for social housing. Here's my dispatch on the tensions that exist between the two men, both...
Since the damming of the Nile, more than 250,000 have been forced to leave their original homeland and move 300 kilometres north to an area called Kom Ombo. Aware that they are becoming disconnected from their roots, young people are now taking to the streets to call for their right to return. I went to meet some of the protest organisers in Kom Ombo and Abu Simbel on the Sudanese border.
This is a short package of my long-form documentary on religious freedom in Egypt. It ran across World Service News programmes on Friday 24 February with a back anno to the full 27-minute doc, tx 26 February at 02.30, 10.30 and 19.30 on the BBC World Service. Listen here for the full story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04tbvnw
In an emergency setting, aid workers and journalists are prepared for a high level of risk, but until recently, the extent to which they experience sexual assault had not been fully recognised. I travelled to Geneva to meet Megan Nobert and to speak to the UN to find out how they are seeking to address this issue.
Before a field posting begins, aid workers are prepared for a high level of risk. But now the threat comes from within their own ranks, with reports that international staff are being drugged and raped by their colleagues. I travelled to Geneva to meet Megan Nobert, Founder and Director of Report the Abuse and sexual violence survivor. Here is the interview that ran across BBC World Service and Radio 4 programmes.
New Facebook page to like: https://www.facebook.com/nicolakellybbc/ Photos on Twitter & Instagram: @mllenicolakelly This story ran on 'Newshour', 'Weekend' and was the BBC World Service's Story of the Day on the 'Global Update' podcast. Here's the live version. The Nubians of southern Egypt have been gradually oppressed by successive Islamic governments. Now their language and culture faces extinction. I went to meet some of the musicians and poets struggling against the state to keep...