Picture of Change: A Photo Contest Zooms in on Poverty

    Children volunteers cleaning up their neighborhood in Mathare, Kenya. This photo by Ali Barisa won second place in last year's United Nations' "Picture This" contest. Photo by: Ali Barisa

    What image would propel the world – not just international donor agencies – to action? The United Nations, Agence France-Presse Foundation and Olympus Corporation believe that poignant photographs may do.

    In a contest they opened May 2010, they want to see people photos depicting efforts done to achieve a particular MDG. Dubbed as Picture This: We Can End Poverty, the international undertaking aims to “motivate people and governments in developed and developing countries to redouble their efforts in the fight against extreme poverty.”

    As the world races to eliminate extreme hunger and poverty by 2015 and meet the Millennium Development Goals, grim conditions exist. When offered with water amid the Ethiopian dry spell, a nine-year old boy stunned an aid worker from Adventist Development and Relief Agency International with his answer: “No, thank you. Today is not my turn to drink water.”

    Amateur and professional photographers who want capture the struggle against poverty and dash meaning and purpose into their point-and-shoot may submit unpublished copies until July 16.

    Top entries – as judged by world-renowned photojournalists – will be exhibited in Japan and the U.S., with the winner flying to New York for the awarding, the same city that hosts world leaders for the U.N. Millennium Development Goals Summit Sept. 20-22.

    About the author

    • Kristine Ballad

      As Devex staff writer, Kristine focuses on breaking news from around the globe, and on Philippine development in particular. She served more than half of her working years in Philippine government, working as public information officer and as writer at the House of Representatives.