Skip to main content

Pictures that tell a thousand words: Our 2017 photo competition winners

From those special moments shared with your volunteer counterpart, to celebrating breakthrough successes following weeks of hard work – there’s nothing that offers a better insight into the ICS experience than photos.

This year’s ICS Photo Competition is now open for entries.

We’re looking for stunning photos that sum up your ICS experience within one of the following five categories: Host Home, Commute, Project, Counterpart and Action at Home.

For those of you looking for inspiration, we dug out five of 2017’s winning entries and unearthed the stories behind the images.

Nicaraguan woman Maria Fulgencio at her home in San José de Paiwas
© ICS / Amy Smith

Amy Smith
Raleigh, Nicaragua

Amy’s beautiful, strong portrait of Maria Fulgencio at her home in San José de Paiwas, Nicaragua, stole the judges’ hearts last year. For the last five years, Maria has been unable to leave her house due to severe arthritis. Thanks to the work of ICS volunteers like Amy to tidy her house to make it more accessible, she and her husband are now able to get out and about.

“We also worked to build eco latrines and raise awareness of sanitation, by leading educational sessions in schools and also talking about these topics during house to house visits.”

A Ghanaian Kente cloth weaver works
© ICS / Alexander Simon Roache

Alexander Simon Roache
VSO, Ghana

Alexander took this great photo presenting an unusual perspective of a local Kente cloth weaver who his team of volunteers had worked with.

“When the power was on, he would continue into the night under a beaming light. We were fascinated at how intricate his work was and how quickly he wound the fabrics together. It represents the beauty of the culture and the hard-working ethic of villagers.”

A woman jumps as crowds cheer around her
© ICS / Nicole Meade

Nicole Meade
Raleigh, Tanzania

Asnath Mdeka took part in volunteer Nicole’s livelihoods programme. Nicole took this energetic photo in admiration of Asnath’s determination to succeed despite the obstacles in her way.

“This photo is a perfect visual representation of her efforts on the programme, her strong-willed personality and her determination to not be put down as ‘just a woman’.”

Man covered in a dusting of flour at a maize mill
© ICS / Oliver Ozdilli

Oliver Ozdilli
VSO, Zambia

This photo of Nelson Mbewe covered in a dusting of flour at a maize mill in a small town in Zambia caught volunteer Oliver’s eye.

“This was someone I saw on a daily basis on my way to work, and it just highlighted to me how simple it is to go in and just make connections with people through ICS. What really stood out for me was the contrast in this photo – it looked like snow.”

A drama festival takes place at a Community Action Day in Nepal
© ICS / Purna Khadka

Purna Khadka
VSO, Nepal

Purna’s photo is of a Community Action Day taking place. In the photo you can see a drama festival – with students presenting four different pieces of theatre based on different social issues.

“There were around 300 attendants including students, parents and local people from the community.”

Think you've got this year's winning shot?

Enter now