Harare, Zimbabwe


Photographer: Nyadzombe Nyampenza

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Chikonzero Chazunguza is a visual artist who runs Dzimbanhete Arts Interactions, an arts and culture resource centre that promotes Zimbabwean and African culture. Since its opening in 2005, Chiko’s centre – which takes its name from the Shona word for light footstep – has hosted workshops, exhibitions, performances and a host of other arts programmes and projects. The centre’s recent projects include organising its first Mbira Sunsplash festival in 2014 to promote consciousness through culture and building an All Africa Village to show the range of architectural styles found in villages across Africa. Chiko’s own work ranges from multimedia and performance pieces to paintings, prints and installations, much of it challenging what he sees as the degradation of indigenous spirituality and traditional forms of order


Al Mahwit, Yemen


Photographer: Ibrahim Malla

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Aisha Mohammad Saleh Al-Abbasy, 28, is a volunteer teacher in Al Mahwit, a mountainous region of eastern Yemen. Every day she walks around a kilometre to work, along rough stone paths in temperatures that in summer can rise as high as 45 degrees Celsius. Aisha started teaching three years ago as part of a Yemen Red Crescent programme to reduce illiteracy. Now, every week she works for sixteen hours giving courses in reading and writing, health and baby care to a group of twenty women and children. She became a teacher after being trained by the Yemen Red Crescent, a humanitarian organisation with similar goals to the Red Cross. At high school, her plan had been to become a teacher in a regular school. But after getting married, she decided she wanted to help other women improve their lives.


Bum Nua, Vietnam


Photographer: Annie Griffiths

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

In Bum Nua, a remote region of north-west Vietnam near the border with Laos and China, a visiting teacher leads an exercise class for a group of La Hu children. The teacher has been trained as part of a project run by Church World Service, an organisation backed by 37 Christian communities from around the world. The project’s main goal is to raise teaching standards in under-served communities. Project staff also work with mothers, helping them gain a better understanding of the importance of hygiene, sanitation and nutrition. Originally from a region on the Tibetan plateau, the La Hu migrated southwards into China and south-east Asia around two hundred years ago. Today, around 9,000 La Hu live in Vietnam, a tiny number compared with the more than 700,000 who live across the border in China’s Yunnan province.


Montevideo, Uruguay


Photographer: Tali Kimelman

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

“Gato peludo” – “hairy cat” – is the password that allows entry to Natacha Ortega’s house, the fourth one along a block in a working-class neighbourhood of Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. Saying it out loud opens the door to the mini-cultural centre Natacha has set up in her home where children of all ages come to listen to stories, write poems and play music. Orginally from Mendoza in Argentina, Natacha, 35, moved to Montevideo in 2004. Every day, before or after school, children come to her home for creative workshops or to read books in her library. Recent years in Uruguay have seen the government concentrate educational resources on poorer people. Parents of middle class families have turnd to out-of-school classes run by people such as Natacha to give their children the extra learning they think they need.


Standing Rock Reservation & Pine Ridge Reservation, United States of America


Photographer: Carlotta Cardana

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

The Lakota are one of the indigenous peoples of North America’s Great Plains region. Today, the biggest concentrations of Lakota are found in South and North Dakota. Young Lakota teachers are keeping their people’s language and culture alive. Maka (near right) teaches Lakota studies to high school juniors and seniors at Red Cloud Indian School, a Jesuit institution in Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. He grew up in Pine Ridge, attending the school where he now teaches. After leaving school in 2005, he set off on a journey that took him first to the University of San Francisco, then to Japan, where he became fascinated with the struggles of the world’s indigenous peoples, and then to New York, where he took a master’s degree in peace and human rights education at Columbia University’s Teachers College. Seven years after leaving home, he returned to Pine Ridge and took up his current job at Red Cloud Indian School. He tells his students it is important to always know who you are culturally as a Native American, but it is also okay to leave your home, get an education and experience the world. Típiziwiŋ (far right) learns and teaches the Lakota language to her community in Standing Rock Reservation, on the borders of North and South Dakota. Until recently, Lakota looked like it would become another of the hundreds of extinct North American languages. To help it survive, Típiziwiŋ launched the Lakota Language Nest, a language immersion programme for pre-school children. For eight hours a day, a group of three- to five-yearolds heard and spoke only Lakota. By the end of the course, they were Standing Rock’s first child speakers of the language for more than fifty years.


New York, United States of America


Photographer: Clara Braddick

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Tyler DeWitt uses YouTube videos to teach chemistry and other science subjects to hundreds of thousands of students around the world each week. The holder of a PhD in chemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he believes that the best way to give young people a love of science is to make learning it fun. Tyler works solo, shooting his videos in a makeshift studio crammed into a tiny bedroom in his New York apartment. Before he starts filming, he spends hours reading textbooks and taking notes. Next, he distills the information he has gathered into a series of concise points. Then, using marker pens, scissors, tape and coloured paper, he makes his visual aids. After rehearsing a new lesson to get it exactly the right length, he arranges his lights, microphones and cameras, then films himself speaking to an empty room. His videos use a split-screen format: his hands and visuals in one part of the screen, his body and face in the other. Allowing students to look back and forth between his hands and his face recreates the feel of one-on-one tutoring, he says. Making one video can take dozens of takes over several days. “I spend a lot of time talking into a camera, all alone” says Tyler. “But when I’m recording a lesson I try to imagine the students who watch my videos from all over the world. It’s intimidating, but also amazing.”


Belfast, United Kingdom


Photographer: Mariusz Smiejek

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Darren Linton is a youth and community worker based in Greater Shankill, a unionist, or pro-British, area of Belfast in Northern Ireland. Since the end of the Troubles, the nearly three-decades-long conflict between mostly Catholic Irish nationalists and the largely Protestant, pro-British unionists in 1998, Northern Ireland has been largely free of sectarian violence. But many neighbourhoods have struggled to return to normality. Working class areas in particular face unemployment, drug addiction, high suicide rates and continuing paramilitarism. Darren works on a range of projects. Some bring together young people from the two sides of Northern Ireland’s sectarian divide, giving them a chance to get to know each other. Others aim at preventing violence between young people from both communities. And others look to take vulnerable young people off the streets of Belfast’s more difficult areas.


Dubai, United Arab Emirates


Photographer: Imran Ahmed

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

In Dubai’s Jadaf shipyard, brothers Hareej and Saleh Al Mari are keeping their family’s boatbuilding traditions alive. Using knowledge passed down from their father and grandfather, they are making one of the biggest seafaring dhows in history. Their vessel, set to weigh 600 tonnes when completed, is being constructed entirely by hand. And instead of plans or drawings, Hareej and Saleh rely solely on their memories to guide the twenty carpenters they have working away twelve hours a day, six days a week. With a crew of forty, the boat will be able to sail up to seven days between ports, enough to take cargo to Somalia, a journey of some 3,000 kilometres. Hareej recalls that he was ten when his father started teaching him boatbuilding. Today, he is passing on his knowledge to his two young sons.


Kiev, Ukraine


Photographer: Sergiy Kadulin

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Olena Golubeva teaches computer animation as a tool to show children how to think creatively and learn the basics of numeracy. Through Red Dog, her animation studio in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, she shows children aged from seven to sixteen how to come up with story ideas, create scenarios, make model animals from plasticine, paint and draw figures and scenery, and then put everything together into an animated video. Along the way, her students learn project planning, software development, photography and video production.


Jinja, Uganda


Photographer: Jan Banning

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

A prisoner on death row – recognisable by his white clothes – teaches primary-school-level biology in Kirinya Main Prison, Jinja, Uganda. As no civilian has been executed in Uganda since 1999, the man, a former biology teacher, is unlikely to be killed. Kirinya Main Prison is one of Uganda’s two maximum security prisons. It was built for 336 inmates, but holds more than 900.


Adiyaman, Turkey


Photographer: Aydin Cetinbostanoglu

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Ferhat teaches in a village school in Adiyaman, near the Euphrates river in south-east Turkey. The school only has one class, and this year just sixteen students. Every morning, Ferhat travels 70 kilometres to the school by bus. After checking the register, lessons start. He begins with his youngest students, then switches to the older ones, then to the ones in between. He often finds himself teaching three different subjects at once. Across Turkey’s countryside, teachers such as Ferhat prepare their students as best they can for adult life in rural areas. The expectations of most of their students are not high. Girls want to be midwives or kindergarten teachers. Boys want to help run the family business. In his spare time, Ferhat studies law. Every summer he travels to Istanbul to take another round of exams, paying his way by working in a restaurant. At the end of the long vacation, another grade completed, he returns to Adiyaman for a new school year with his tiny band of students.


Atabae, Timor-Leste


Photographer: Lee Tan

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

In the 1990s, Pedro Vieira was a student leader in the resistance movement fighting to free Timor-Leste, then known as East Timor, from Indonesian occupation. He learnt politics from books, his fellow students and sympathetic academics. The son of a local chief from the Fatuluku-speaking community in eastern Timor-Leste, in 2001, on the eve of the country’s formal declaration of independence, he became the head of education at Haburas Foundation, an environmental non-governmental organisation which he had helped found. Since then, Pedro has spent much time travelling across Timor-Leste. Wherever he goes, he sits down with village elders and craftspeople, listens to their stories and talks with them about the ways in which local cultures and their long-established ways of doing things can contribute to ecological sustainability.


Pattani, Thailand


Photographer: Biel Calderon

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

In southern Thailand, being a teacher can be dangerous. Across the provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat, a conflict between the government and an Islamic separatist movement has killed more than 6,000 people since 2004, about 200 of them teachers. “Teachers are worried, but we have to do our job, otherwise, who else would take care of the children?” says Wattana Iso, vice-principal at Pakaharang School, which was set on fire in 2006 and had one of its teachers killed in 2007. Government officials suspect that “pondoks”, traditional Islamic schools, are breeding grounds for radical Islam, and would like to see them closed down. Muslims, for their part, see the secular teaching of government schools as a threat to their religion and culture. Teachers from government-run schools have been one of the main targets of the insurgency. Talks between the government and insurgents started in February 2013, but stalled a few months later. A resolution to the conflict, which dates back to the late 1940s, looks as far off as ever.

Text by Laura Villadiego


Kigamboni, Tanzania


Photographer: Mark Tipple

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition)

Nassoro Mkwesso and three friends set up Kigamboni Community Centre in 2007 to help children who had dropped out of school find a way back to education. Over the next four years, the centre’s volunteer teachers had a near-100%- success rate for the several hundred students who went through their Drop Out School and its programme of maths, Swahili and English. But in 2011 the Tanzanian government told Nassoro and his colleagues to stop offering courses because none of the centre’s staff were qualified teachers. For a short period, the classes were continued nearby using qualified staff. But the cost proved too much. In 2013, the Drop Out School programme was finally shut down. Once again, children in the area who had dropped out of school have little prospect of ever completing their education. 


Damascus, Syria


Photographer: Ibrahim Malla

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Aida Shaaer is in her sixties. For five years, she has taught literacy to displaced women at a Syrian Arab Red Crescent centre in a rural area of Damascus, the Syrian capital. Every day, she travels 20 kilometres to work, crossing many check points along the way. Her travel costs take up almost all her salary. The women in her class have all been moved to Damascus after losing their family homes in Syria’s ongoing civil war. Attending Aida’s classes each day offers them a few hours respite from life in the temporary shelters that are now their homes. Many of them are using their new knowledge to teach their own children, who cannot go to school because of the war.


Galle, Sri Lanka


Photographer: Brett Davies

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Hemaloka Thero is senior monk at the Sri Sudharmalaya Buddhist Temple in Galle, a city in southern Sri Lanka. He has lived there for almost thirty years, offering people his guidance on how to live good, peaceful and meaningful lives. He has two students, young monks who began studying with him as small boys after he promised their parents he would raise and teach them until he drew his last breath. Each day, early in the morning and before noon, Hemaloka and his two pupils eat food given to them by people from local villages and a nearby town. As they eat, Hemaloka teaches them the principles he believes are important for their future. First, he says, improve your mind by listening, learning and studying. Second, give yourself to the people; help those who need guidance, especially those who are disadvantaged. Third, respect all people, regardless of their religion, race or position in life. Hemaloka learned these principles from his master. He hopes that one day his students will in turn pass them on to another generation of monks.


Santiponce, Spain



Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Javier Santana is president of Hispania Romana, a Spanish association dedicated to recreating the world of the Roman empire. Since 2000, Javier and his fellow members have dressed up as gladiators, senators, soldiers and even prostitutes for audiences at festivals, archaeological sites and schools in Spain and across Europe. The biggest event of Javier’s year is the “Italica Viva Re-enactment Weekend” he organises in the southern Spanish city of Santiponce, the hometown of emperors Trajan and Hadrian. Over two days, a hundred and fiy performers from across Spain re-enact their idea of what life was like in ancient Rome for crowds of up to nearly ten


Mingkaman Camp, South Sudan


Photographer: Andrew McConnell

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Racheal Athieng, 20, teaches eight-year-old children at a school in Mingkaman, South Sudan’s largest camp for internally displaced persons. Racheal lives in Mingkaman after being forced to flee her home in Twic East, a county in the east of the country. Across South Sudan, where around 4.5 million of its 11 million population are of school age, teachers are in great demand. But because most parents have traditionally taken their daughters out of school as early as possible, few of them are women. Racheal’s parents were an exception. They supported her all the way through her schooling. “After a certain age, many parents see their girls only as people to do domestic chores, then to be married to bring the financial benefits of a dowry to their parents,” says Racheal. “Women teachers have the advantage that they identify the slow-learners and encourage them. Men don’t do that as much. Women are more caring, not as harsh as the men,” she says.


Balule Nature Reserve, South Africa


Photographer: Julia Gunther

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

The Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit is a mainly female team set up in 2013 to protect rhinoceroses and other animals in north-eastern South Africa’s Balule Nature Reserve. The unit’s 26 women are trained in anti-poaching and survival skills. On courses taught by professionals they learn how to track and identify animals and humans, blend in with their surroundings and avoid confrontations. This training is crucial as the work they do is dangerous – the animals they protect are wild and poachers often shoot to kill. In large part thanks to rising demand from Asia, the poaching of rhinos has increased sharply in recent years, from thirteen cases in 2007 to more than 1,100 in 2015. Today, only 28,000 rhinos live in the wild in Africa, 95% of them in South Africa. Other wildlife protected by the Black Mambas include wild dogs and cheetahs, both hunted by snaring. As well as their anti-poaching work, the Black Mambas also spend part of their time sharing their knowledge of Balule’s natural heritage with communities living around the reserve.


Borama, Somaliland


Photographer: ANNA KÅRI

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition) 

Fatun Ahmed Farah, 24, teaches an English conversation class for fourth graders at Borama Girls Primary School in north-western Somaliland. Less than 40% of school-age girls in Somalia attend school. Youth unemployment is 70%. Somaliland self-declared independence from Somalia in 1991. War in southern Somalia between Islamist insurgents and the Federal Government of Somalia supported by African Union forces has for the most part not directly affected Somaliland.