International Photography Contest

2007 International Photography Contest Winners Announced

Kittens, butterflies, and balloons helped Quota International clubs touch people in need in 2007—and pictures of these encounters filled the top three spots in the seventh annual We Share Foundation International Photography Contest, “You Ought to Be in Pictures.” The contest was judged once more by the official White House photographers of U.S. President George W. Bush in Washington, D.C., who chose an image from Australia as our Grand Prize Winner for 2007.

The top three photographs received cash prizes to the Club-to-Club World Service project of their choice. The Grand Prize award totaled $500, while second and third place awards totaled $200 and $100, respectively.

Grand Prize Winner: A Basket of Kittens

Photo by Catherine R. Alexis

Member, QI of Bathurst

New South Wales, Australia

On the banks of the Macquarie River in New South Wales, Australia, stands Bathurst, a vibrant community rich in cultural heritage. The Quota club of Bathurst reflects the spirit of the place through their often lively and always generous efforts to serve their neighbors. One recent service project, markedly quiet and simple, brought great joy to local people in critical need of consolation.

It all began with a basket of kittens.

Bathurst Quota member Catherine Alexis carried the critters to a local aged-care facility and introduced them to residents suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. As the kittens encouraged long lost memories to resurface, the reaction among patients was overwhelming. “I will never forget it,” Catherine said. “Such a small gesture made such a difference to so many people. To be able to ease suffering and bring joy to someone’s life is what Quota caring is all about.”

Pet therapy is proven to help dementia patients by enhancing their connection to the world, improving communication, and providing recreation and relaxation. Catherine extended her kitten therapy by distributing photographs of the day’s encounters to the residents. This photo, winner of the Grand Prize in this year’s We Share Foundation International Photography Contest, took pride of place on this gentleman’s beside table, where it remained until his death several weeks later, when it was placed upon his coffin because, Catherine said, “it meant so much to him.”

Second Place: A Child’s World

Photo submitted by QI of Manila

The Philippines

The Quota club of Manila, the Philippines, runs a tutoring program for Muslim children at the club’s own Study Centre. The program is part of Manila’s Club-to-Club World Service project, one of 15 current projects in Quota’s service network administered by the We Share Foundation.

In addition to literacy lessons and homework help, the club project provides special events for these students—like a trip to the park, storytelling, ballet performance, or puppet show. Club members also encourage play, noting that playtime fosters learning and emotional development in this marginalized group of children and helps them increase their social skills.

This photo was taken outside the Study Centre during playtime after a special presentation on character and values, sponsored by the Manila Quota club. The speaker taught a lesson on tolerance and respect, and then ended with a balloon-twisting demonstration. As the speaker coaxed balloons of every color into various shapes, the children began to understand the meaning of his lesson—that although we are all different, we are worthy of respect and dignity. Moments later, they erupted into a joyful afternoon of play.

Third Place: Butterfly World

Photo submitted by QI of Coral Springs-Parkland

Florida, U.S.A.

Deaf and hard-of-hearing elementary students enjoyed a visually stimulating biology lesson amongst butterflies and bees and discovered that many science careers are open to people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. The Quota club of Coral Springs-Parkland in Florida, U.S.A., hosted the adventure to Butterfly World, a butterfly sanctuary, hummingbird aviary, and insect museum in nearby Coconut Creek, Florida, bringing students, teachers, and deaf interpreters along for the ride.

Students were allowed to hold butterflies and caterpillars as they learned about their life cycle. As butterflies hatched in front of them and others flew about them, an expression of joy and wonder fluttered across the children’s faces. They became inspired and asked about careers in science, biology, and zoology, as well as many questions about what they were seeing.

This photo was taken as the children were about to board the bus for home. Quota members shared goodie bags with participants that included sketchbooks and bug catchers to capture and observe insects at home. The smiling face on the club member distributing the bags proves that Quota service is fulfilling and fun.

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF OUR WINNERS! Keep taking pictures for our 2008 competition— DEADLINE OCTOBER 1, 2009. Photos are accepted throughout the year! To print an entry form, click here.

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