Besides her editorial project management experience, Francesca has also acquired varied experience in the domain of (environmental) media training and individual coaching/mentoring of young journalists and professionals in the Middle East and Mediterranean.

Revolve Water

From 2010 to 2013, Francesca worked with a group of young professionals, students and journalists in Egypt, Greece, Israel, Jordan and Palestine on a series of articles about water in the Mediterranean region as part of Revolve Water’s aim to highlight the role of water in the region’s economy, politics, ecology and society. The articles were published in the award-winning special report Water Around the Mediterranean.

My work with Revolve taught me that scarcity is not just a resource limitation but a management problem. I am now eager to learn more in order to be part of the solution in the future and to contribute to better water management in Jordan.

– Yosra Albakkar, MSc student

Syria Today Training Programme


During her time at Syria Today in Damascus and in addition to her ongoing on-the job training of staff since 2007, Francesca developed in 2010 a strategy for long-term journalism training for aspiring and experienced journalists. The Syria Today Training Programme consisted of a series of journalism courses from basic journalism skills to special workshops on business reporting, multimedia skills and investigative journalism. As part of the programme, Francesca established a partnership with the British Council for course participants to receive English for media courses as part of the Basic Skills course. The British Embassy in Damascus funded part of the 2010 course.

As a trainer, Francesca is a patient teacher who is willing to share her knowledge and experience. Her understanding of Syria’s cultural and social environment gave me the luxury of learning by making mistakes. She taught me to be clear in my thoughts and arguments, and systematic and organized in my work. As an editor-in-chief at Syria Today, Francesca was a perfect coordinator who helped the team to meet deadlines.

– Qais Fares, journalist

From the Source Environmental Media Training

niasd training
In September 2010, Francesca co-organized an environmental media workshop at the Netherlands Institute for Academic Studies in Damascus (NIASD). The four-day training for young print, broadcast and photo journalists included lectures by guest speakers on the state of the environment and water resources in Syria, sessions on effective environmental story-telling and a short assignment for which participants were sent out to research stories in the field. The training received full funding from the Netherlands Embassy and NIASD.