And the 2015 Annual Photo Contest grand prize winner is … Lauren Bell!

Our 2015 contest has been a tremendous success with 150 photos submitted by staff, volunteers, and consultants. There were 683 votes cast. We’re proud of the ACDI/VOCA community for the great artistic and technical skill displayed in these photographs. Keep up the great work! We’ll draw from the full pool of submissions for use in all of our communications products including the annual report, website, social media, brochures, posters, and more in the years to come.

We thank all participants—photographers and voters—for making the contest a resounding success. Check out the winning photos below! Click each photo to enlarge.

Grand Prize Winner

Farmers manually thresh soybean using project-supported tarpaulin. The tarpaulin serves as a threshing floor to ensure foreign particles are avoided. ADVANCE II supports beneficiaries with small equipment grants to help farmers improve the quality of their produce.

Photographer: Lauren Bell, Peace Corps Volunteer

Project: Ghana – ADVANCE II

Runners-up

Victoria Asaaro is the only female among four input dealers at Binaba in the Upper East Region. She is also the leader of the Binaba Women Farmers Association and offers agricultural extension services to women to enhance their farming activities.

Photographer: Lauren Bell, Peace Corp Volunteer

Project: Ghana – ADVANCE II

“When I visited the La Loma community in Bojayá, I was surprised to hear Afro-Colombians speaking the Embera language. It was especially surprising because this is an Afro-Colombian collective territory; here Afro-Colombians are the majority and own the land. For me this was a lesson in inclusion, equality, respect, and love for the other as they say, this is the only way to build peace.” –Niza Uribe

Photographer: Niza Uribe, Institutional Strengthening Specialist

Project: Colombia – ACIP

Honorable Mentions

Women participating in ADVANCE II “Sell More For More” training.

Photographer: Lauren Bell, Peace Corp Volunteer

Project: Ghana – ADVANCE II

Farmers sign in to a field training at Yong. ADVANCE II encourages its program participants to keep records of who attends such field days.

Photographer: Lauren Bell, Peace Corp Volunteer

Project: Ghana – ADVANCE II

ACIP rural development initiatives in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta are improving livelihoods with cacao value chain strengthening.

Photographer: Katherine Ko, Reporting Specialist

Project: Colombia – ACIP

Fifty-nine Arhuaco indigenous families in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta are reaping the benefits of cacao value chain strengthening.

Photographer: Katherine Ko, Reporting Specialist

Project: Colombia – ACIP

A lactating mother feeds her child as her husband provides support in Lorikokwa, Komaret Parish, Nadungent Sub County, Moroto District.

Photographer: ACDI/VOCA Uganda

Project: Uganda – RWANU

Mantegbosh Sultan owns and manages a coffee farm. She is taking picked coffee from the tree to her store.

Photographer: ACDI/VOCA Ethiopia

Project: Ethiopia – AGP-AMDe

A local woman sifts chickpeas to separate them from impurities.

Photographer: ACDI/VOCA Ethiopia

Project: Ethiopia – AGP-AMDe

In Lokapangiteng Village, Nakwamoru Parish, Lopei Sub County, Napak District, members of Ekamutu Emeleku RWANU savings group share their accumulated funds at the end of a saving cycle. Members can now easily access credit in order to enhance their development.

Photographer: ACDI/VOCA Uganda

Project: Uganda – RWANU

Asmeret Mekonen owns and manages this shop.

Photographer: ACDI/VOCA Ethiopia

Project: Ethiopia – AGP-AMDe

WLSME Program grantee, Nurjamal Asangulova, makes silk and wool scarves in her Bishkek workplace.

Photographer: WLSME Team

Project: Kyrgyzstan – WLSME

Asmeret Mekonen purchases grain from Alemitu Dubie for her food processing business. Mekonen and Dubie are part of the Women in Agriculture Leadership Network (WALN), where they received business leadership training and participated in a mentorship program.

Photographer: ACDI/VOCA Ethiopia

Project: Ethiopia – AGP-AMDe