Hi, my name is Levon Sevunts and I'm a Canadian journalist based in Montreal.
I'm raising money to equip journalists covering the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with personal protection equipment and to provide them with intensive hostile environment training
to allow them to do their dangerous work as safely as possible.
I have a very personal connection to this issue.
I began my journalistic career in 1990, in Armenia, covering the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh and the civil war neighbouring Georgia. I've since covered the war in Afghanistan and the genocide in Darfur, in western Sudan. During my first assignment in Afghanistan, in November 2001, I survived a Taliban ambush
. Three of my colleagues who were with me that day didn't. Since then, promoting safety for journalists covering conflicts in various hotspots of this planet has become a personal mission.
On April 2, 2016, the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh exploded once again
. And I was horrified to realize that none of my Armenian colleagues were equipped with the kind of personal protection equipment - bulletproof vest, helmets, first aid kits, emergency communication equipment that Western journalists now take for granted.
Here's an example of equipment my colleagues at the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. assigned to cover the war in Iraq carried with them in addition to receiving intensive hostile environment training.
What your donations will buy
I want you to become guardian angels for reporters who risk their lives to bring you news from the frontlines.
With the money raised through this campaign, I intend to buy 10 bullet proof vests, 10 ballistic helmets, and 10 sets of first aid kits. How it will work
These supplies will be placed in a special trust ran by a group of well-known and trusted journalists and media freedom organizations to be loaned to reporters covering the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as other hotspots in the region.
It is essential that we act fast, the unfortunate reality is that hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh could erupt once again anytime.Safety training: more than just equipment
The second part of this campaign deals with raising money to organize an intensive safety course for journalists who cover conflicts. I would like to bring to Armenia veteran war correspondents and journalism safety experts for a week-long workshop, specifically tailored to the realities of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.Guardian Angels
Your donations will not only help protect lives, they will let the world know what really happens in Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding region. You're making a very important contribution to the freedom of the press in the region.