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Best of the 2010 Mercy Corps Photo Library

December 29, 2010

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  <span class="field-credit">
    Miguel Samper for Mercy Corps  </span>
    Arnufo Roserro, 50, was displaced from Putumayo by guerrillas. Mercy Corps helped him get immediate assistance - food packages, psychosocial assistance, training on his rights as a displaced person. Mercy Corps also helped his wife start a hot dog stand in his neighborhood, which is where the family gets most of its income. Arnufo is also participating in a gender-based violence awareness group. Ipiales, Colombia/April 2010 Photo: Miguel Samper for Mercy Corps
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  <span class="field-credit">
    Leah Hazard/Mercy Corps  </span>
    Kamala Tamulu, Age 50 works the tea estates of Assam. She only recently learned to read thanks to a Mercy Corps literacy program. Kamala was extremely grateful for the opportunity to learn. "I had a very difficult time earlier because I didn't know anything about the world. There was no way I could read anything or learn new things. So illiteracy was kind of a curse." Assam, India/September 2010 Photo: Leah Hazard/Mercy Corps
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  <span class="field-credit">
    Miguel Samper for Mercy Corps  </span>
    Pescadito, home of the indigenous tribe, the Embera Tobida. The Embera have had trouble protecting their lands ever since their reservation was established in 2001. The government hasn't responded to their complaints. Mercy Corps is training them and neighboring communities in an alternative conflict-resolution process, which will also help the Embera fight a proposed highway that would split their land in two. Pescadito, Colombia/May 2010 Photo: Miguel Samper for Mercy Corps
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  <span class="field-credit">
    Thatcher Cook for Mercy Corps  </span>
    Zesino Mohamed Shiro, 50, struggles to eke out a living on a small parcel of parched land in eastern Ethiopia. Mercy Corps is helping Zesino and her neighbors protect and improve their farmland so that their livestock will thrive and their families have enough to eat. "When I was young, I was beautiful," said 50-year-old Zesino Mohamed Shiro. "But years of drought and not having enough to eat makes you old." Lakole, Ethiopia/September 2010 Photo: Thatcher Cook for Mercy Corps
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  <span class="field-credit">
    Miguel Samper for Mercy Corps  </span>
    In Colombia's rugged Darién region, Mercy Corps is offering an alternative to the traditional forms of justice and the threat of violence. Members of the indigenous Embera Katio Chidima hope our land-conflict resolution program can help them protect their sacred lands from encroachment by coca growers, cattle ranchers and timber interests. Darién region, Colombia/May 2010 Photo: Miguel Samper for Mercy Corps
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  <span class="field-credit">
    Julie Denesha for Mercy Corps  </span>
    A child sleeps in a hammock beneath a traditional bed at a flood relief camp in a polytechnic college for boys in Sukkur, in the Sindh province of Pakistan. Sukkur, Pakistan/November 2010 Photo: Julie Denesha for Mercy Corps
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  <span class="field-credit">
    Thatcher Cook for Mercy Corps  </span>
    In the village of Kitgum Matidi, Mercy Corps is helping women who were long-displaced by northern Uganda's brutal war. We're giving them the seeds, tools and training they need to re-establish their farms, connect to local markets and better provide for their war-weary families. Kitgum Matidi, Uganda/October 2010 Photo: Thatcher Cook for Mercy Corps
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  <span class="field-credit">
    Cassandra Nelson/Mercy Corps  </span>
    Captioned five days after the earthquake: The survivors of the quake are displaced from their homes and living in open pubic areas, such as parks, or in vacant lots and unused space around the city. People are starting to build their on temporary shelter out of wood they break off trees with their bare hands. They use their hands to dig holes for poles and then rocks to pound the poles into the ground. Tablecloths and bed sheets are used for the material for the shelter. In the City Center and everywhere, dead bodies are still visible, but cannot be collected because they are trapped by large objects. On street corners large fires are set to burn bodies. Port-au-Prince, Haiti/January 2010 Photo: Cassandra Nelson/Mercy Corps
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  <span class="field-credit">
    Miguel Samper for Mercy Corps  </span>
    Stephania Dely, 8, was drawing in her house when the earthquake struck Haiti. Her mother was able to grab her and take her to the safety of the front yard. Stephania comes to Orphelinat Foie Apostolique during the day, which is participating in Mercy Corps' Comfort for Kids program. Comfort for Kids is a program that gives children post-trauma counseling. Mercy Corps will also be giving the participating children comfort kits, which include items like a stuffed animal, a blanket, sketchpads and crayons, a toothbrush and toothpaste. Stephania's favorite activities include singing, dancing, and poetry. Tabarre, Haiti/February 2010 Photo: Miguel Samper for Mercy Corps
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  <span class="field-credit">
    John Strickland/Mercy Corps  </span>
    This photo was taken during the needs assessment for community selection for Mercy Corps Tajikistan Stability Enhancement Program funded by USAID. Tajikistan/September 2010 Photo: John Strickland/Mercy Corps
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  <span class="field-credit">
    Thatcher Cook for Mercy Corps  </span>
    Khadija Ali, 45, lives in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Dire Dawa, Ethiopia. Mercy Corps helped her not only establish a small food preparation business, but also renovate her deteriorating house. Today, she's very proud of her small but beautiful home - which she painted and decorated herself - and takes every opportunity to show it off to neighbors and visitors. Dire Dawa, Ethiopia/September 2010 Photo: Thatcher Cook for Mercy Corps

This year, over 12,000 images were submitted to me by our professionals in the field as well as Mercy Corps staff members. Of that number, I tagged less than 2,000 as above average in quality. These 11 images represent the photographs that stuck in my mind over the year as having a special, engaging quality. Often, the images that stay with me are ones that don't have an obvious marketing use, but are visually dynamic and compelling nonetheless. The photograph by Thatcher Cook of the Ethiopian woman in green is a good example. The singing girl in Haiti by Miguel Samper is another. These images quietly draw us into the frame and allow us share a little in the moment they were created.