International Photography Contest

2011 International Photography Contest Winners Announced

Congratulations to the TOP THREE WINNERS of the 2011 We Share Foundation International Photography Contest. Two former White House photographers served as judges: Joyce Boghosian and Jodie Steck. Each winning club chose one of our Hand-in-Hand World Service projects to receive their prize money.


FIRST PLACE

“Need Exists Near And Far”

Submitted by QI of Bristol, Connecticut, U.S.A.

In the haunting gaze of an abandoned child, the ancient words of Saint Jerome ring true—that “the face is the mirror of the mind, and eyes, without speaking, confess the secrets of the heart.” The eyes of the child in this photo are filled with her need to be loved and cared for in a world she cannot yet understand.

The girl resides in a South African orphanage housing 29 children, from infants to teens. Many are HIV positive; most are abused; all have been abandoned by their parents. Two in-home caregivers and sporadic volunteers are all that stand between them and life on the streets.

Half a world away, the Bristol Quota Club has taken these abandoned children into their hearts. They raised funds to restore electricity to the home. They sent hand-knit hats and mittens, toys, candy, and personal care kits for each child including soap, a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, and a hairbrush. The club plans to continue sending support to the orphanage, and with each contribution goes their hope that they can bring some joy into the eyes of the children.

The Bristol club donated their U.S.$500 prize money to QI of Cebu’s Hand-In Hand project, Three Daycare Centers for Malnourished Children.


SECOND PLACE

“On the Road to a Hearing World”

Submitted by QI of Aruba

As she lies clutching her “Quota Cares” bear, this little girl looks up hopefully and a little bit warily, unaware that she is a pioneer. For years, children born deaf in Aruba did not have access to a Cochlear Implant operation unless their parents could afford to take them abroad for treatment. Quota International of Aruba worked persistently to persuade the government, the health care community and insurers, and other organizations that funds must be found to bring more children out of their world of silence.

In September 2011, the work of QI of Aruba was rewarded, as four children received the first Cochlear Implant operations in a local hospital. Media coverage was strong, and the Prime Minister personally visited the recuperating children. As these first children learn to live more fully in a world of sounds, others are now able to anticipate the life-changing procedure. Three more children will have their Cochlear Implant operation in 2012, and “Quota Cares” bears will keep them company.

QI of Aruba will donate its U.S.$200 prize for this photo to QI of Suriname’s Hand-In-Hand project, Stuka Prisiri: Enjoy Learning!


THIRD PLACE

“Not Enough Words”

Submitted by QI of Valdosta, Georgia, U.S.A.

Though the voice of the little boy is locked, the open heart of his mother shines from this photo. Speech apraxia—a condition in which the tongue, soft palate, and jaw do not develop properly—keeps him from being able to utter even the simplest words without intensive therapy. Health insurers denied requests for help, ruling that speech was not a necessity of life. Quota International of Valdosta stepped in to help, organizing a community-wide yard sale and raising over $4000 to send Luke to a speech therapist specializing in apraxia.

As the photo shows, words are not necessary to express love. Even though they are perhaps not a “necessity” of life, however, words do contribute to its quality. With the help of QI of Valdosta, this mother has hope that someday she will hear her son speak some of the many words that are now locked inside him.

QI of Valdosta will donate the U.S.$100 prize money for this photo to QI of Suriname’s Hand-In-Hand project, Stuka Prisiri: Enjoy Learning!

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