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Humankind photo contest: More of our favorites

September 13, 2013

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  <span class="field-credit">
    Michael Stoebner     </span>
    "Swing as high as you can!" Michael Stoebner captured this image in Titanyen, Haiti. Photo: Michael Stoebner
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    Motaz Ibrahim Al Araj  </span>
    Photographer Motaz Ibrahim Al Araj took this photo of girls in Gaza, and wrote, "We are all still able to smile..." Photo: Motaz Ibrahim Al Araj
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    Sean Sheridan  </span>
    "I see the good, the bad, and everything in-between of humankind wherever I travel to shoot. One of the places that has all that and more is Burkina Faso. It was a long, hard, hot and dusty day. And then, off the plains came this guy. With a rugged look and a kind spirit, he immediately put me at ease." Photo: Sean Sheridan
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    Leah Nash  </span>
    "Charlie and her mother Lucinda have raised 36 children, only two which were blood related, taken in because they had nowhere else to go. It is up to us to create a shared humanity and to redefine the definition of family the best way we know how." Photo: Leah Nash
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    Jessica Pepper-Peterson  </span>
    "To me this images shows that children are children everywhere no matter what their situation. Traveling in poor countries and seeing smiling children running and playing reminds us of this. Children everywhere deserve the same respect, love and opportunity." Photo: Jessica Pepper-Peterson
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    Karen Vester  </span>
    "Celebrate culture. Celebrate creativity. Celebrate you. Before we are anything--mother, sister, father son, we are human." Photo: Karen Vester
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  <span class="field-credit">
    Bill Hartin  </span>
    "Humankind is about hope and this photo shows the hope and future of loving, peaceful, color blind people in a world sometimes too eager to argue and wage war over differences that hardly matter. They certainly don't matter to these two." Photo: Bill Hartin
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    David Goldman  </span>
    "These two young women shared a common loss and helped each other to move beyond this loss. Together they face the future with hope and love." Photo: David Goldman
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  <span class="field-credit">
    Kathryn Brand  </span>
    "I spent three months in a small village in Burkina Faso. There, I worked in the library with children who were so driven to learn and to live regardless of their meager resources. Through them, I am given hope." Photo: Kathryn Brand
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  <span class="field-credit">
    Lauren Volo  </span>
    FINALIST: "These three young girls were out by the lake in Udaipur, asking me for money... once they saw my camera, money was forgotten, and they began posing and laughing the way little girls do." Photo: Lauren Volo
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    Selin Alemdar  </span>
    FINALIST: "When I take photographs of humankind above all I want to render transparent their life experience - make visible to the observers by the light of the eyes, the expression on the mouth and in the intensity of the wrinkles." Photo: Selin Alemdar
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    Sergio Fernando Ribero Mendizabal  </span>
    WINNING PHOTO: "The look in the eyes of the little Bolivian boy shows the joy and pride of a human in touch with his roots and the ancient culture behind him." Photo: Sergio Fernando Ribero Mendizabal

We were so impressed by the submissions to our photo contest that we can't help but share more of them. Thank you to everyone who participated — we're truly moved by the moments you shared with us.

In the hundreds of photos we received, we saw a common view of what unites us around the world: the strength imparted in a smile, the determination that drives hard work, and most of all, the hope and joy that children bring in every culture. Scroll through the images above to see the colors and the faces that bring our shared experience to life.

The winning photo will be featured in Mercy Corps' 2014 calendar, which showcases stunning photos of our work around the world taken by professional photographers, Mercy Corps staff, and now our contest winner! Get your copy here  ▸.