photographer wins international competition
Burnham-On-Sea man has imprressed the judges of an international
photography competition and been named the overall winner.
Wallaker, 21, from Burnham-On-Sea, has been named the overall winner
of the annual International Citizen Service (ICS) Photography Competition.
saw off competition from more than 300 photographers from 23 countries
around the world.
took the winning shot, pictured below, while volunteering in Bangladesh
from September to December last year.
spent three months in Bangladesh, working on a project to help local
people set up and grow their own businesses, and take better care
of their health.
travelled to Bangladesh with international development organisation
VSO, through the UK Government funded ICS programme.
told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "Im delighted to have won! We
were the first team of ICS volunteers to work in Dinajpur, so every
obstacle seemed to be increased tenfold, but regardless of what
was in our way the community were so eager to be part of it."
took the winning photo in a three-room school on the outskirts of
a village we were working in. I was helping run a session about
health and hygiene, keeping time, handing things out to the children
and taking photos, trying to capture the focus and concentration
in the kids' faces."
the other volunteers set up for their next lesson the students started
chatting away to each other. I shot this photo then, but the girl
you see in the photo looked straight into the camera at the split
second I took it, then turned away again. I thought it was pure
luck that she'd glanced my way at that moment!"
photo was chosen as the overall winner of the competition by a panel
of three photography professionals and many of the 4000 online voters
who helped choose the shortlist.
runner-up entries came from volunteers on placements as far apart
as Honduras and Nepal, and highlight the work ICS volunteers do
on projects ranging from improving access to safe drinking water
to stopping the spread of HIV and other STIs.
about his experience in Bangladesh, Greg added: "Id say
Im most grateful for the wealth of knowledge and inspiration
that was given to me and everyone else involved. Though we had some
tough times in this place which almost seemed like a different world,
the whole team really coalesced, including the in-country volunteers."
got to know members of these communities well, and me and my fellow
UK volunteer, Ryan, would meet with our neighbour in the evenings
to star gaze. He would express his heart felt concerns for his wonderful
family and the struggles he and his people faced day to day."
host brother, Zibon, would speak about his country like a foreigner,
in a way that he knew exactly what was wrong with it. It was a real
slap in the face coming home to hear people complain about the weather."
such a warm welcome from the communities, we were made to feel like
members of a huge family. It was so refreshing to see such a high
level of social integration that we seemed to have lost at home.
Thats what was really inspiring, the raw intuition of young
people coming together and thriving off of each other."
2012, ICS, has sent more than 900 young people from the east of
England to volunteer on projects abroad, alongside volunteers from
the country theyre in. Young people dont need cash or
qualifications to take part, just the motivation and commitment
to make a difference.
Morgan, Director of ICS at VSO, said: "Gregs photo invites
you into the world of an international volunteer. Volunteering overseas
isnt just about travelling and experiencing new cultures,
its about making a real difference to the community youre
in. By working on properly planned, long-term projects and living
with local families, our volunteers are able to immerse themselves
in a new way of living, as well as making a difference."
plans to print his winning entry and other photos from Bangladesh
on to canvas which will be available for purchase, with all funds
going towards future voluntary work.
Gregs image is on display at Westminster Central Hall, London,
from Monday 5th December until Saturday 3rd January. Members of
the public can visit the exhibition for free. The exhibition will
then go on a national tour around the UK.
find out more about ICS and see all the winners and runners up of
the photography competition visit www.volunteerics.org