Progressio ICS volunteers were among the winners of a photo competition organised by VSO and PhotoVoice. Well done to all of them!

Sabah Chohan was overall Competition Winner, and Winner in the Environment category, with the photo above taken in Malawi, June 2012.

Sabah explains: "During our work placement in Malawi with Progressio, we worked with partner organisation Environment Africa. Our first project focus was to implement sustainable farming methods in numerous villages, tying in with cohesion and cultural exchange. This photo demonstrates the close bond we developed whilst working with the locals on an irrigation project. This image conveys the unity and happiness of people from two opposite backgrounds working together. Some of the Millennium Development goals can also be visualised in the photograph: Global partnership for development and ensuring environmental sustainability."

The PhotoVoice judges said: "The bright colours, beautiful light and motion blurred tools in this image give it a positive energy and sense of life. It is the expressions of joy and the friendly exchanged looks that really light up this photo, however. That is testament to the careful choice made by the photographer as to when to take the photo and capture this revealing moment."

Kelly Diggle took third place in the Environment category with this photo taken in Zimbabwe, January 2013:

Planting seedling in school grounds

Kelly explains: "International and national volunteers visited a school in Tyunga, Zimbabwe to plant 24 fruit trees. The seedlings were donated by the local forestry commission and our aim was to help a school cope with the 40 degree heat of summer (the school grounds had very few trees, all of which lost their leaves in the summer months). The volunteers put together a 30 minute presentation on tree conservation and all of the students took part - the information delivered insured everybody at the school knew how to successfully care for them. The image shows international volunteer Kelly and national volunteer Karine planting the first seedling, showing the students how to do it correctly before letting them continue the planting in small groups."

Andrew West took the winning picture in the Civic Participation category in Honduras, July 2013:

Football match in Honduras village

Andrew explains: "The Feria day and women's football tournament held in the indigenous Lenca community of Los Encinos, Honduras. Three communities competed for the trophy which ended in a penalty shoot out between Los Encinos (Grey) and Belén (Blue) with Manazapa coming third place. The tournament was held to promote gender equality within all three communities and celebrate the achievements of Progressio/JLC volunteers. (Player shooting, Maria Tomasa Gomez)."

Aimee Bracken won the Education category with her photo taken in Malawi, December 2011:

Volunteer teacher in Liwonde, Malawi

Aimee explains: "This project focused on strengthening several community based initiatives in Liwonde, Malawi. These included a village savings and loans scheme, an HIV awareness campaign, youth sports engagement, an adult education initiative and pre-primary education. ICS enabled the expansion and strengthening of all activities to benefit hundreds more people in the area through the ideas and skills brought by volunteers.

"This image comes from the daily pre-primary sessions held to give young children an introduction to Maths, English and Chichewa; freeing their parents to engage in income generating activities. The photo shows the volunteer teacher, Alice, helping Brian to learn the names of animals."

Aimee Bracken also took second place in the Livelihoods category with this photo taken in Malawi, September 2011:

Women opening money box

Aimee explains: "This image comes from the village savings and loans meeting where community members collectively save money, then take small loans from the pot enabling them to start up small businesses. The photo shows Gertrude locking away the group savings until the following weeks’ meeting."

See more photos from the ICS Photography Competition 2013 here.