Photography Fellowship in Africa (SDN) and Management Sciences for Health (MSH) are pleased to announce the recipients of the Photography Fellowship in Africa. We are also pleased to announce that MSH has chosen to add one more fellow -- a total of four. The geographical scope has also been expanded and may include Haiti as well as Africa.


From a pool of more than 250 applicants, MSH selected the four photographers featured below whom they believe will be most effective in capturing the breadth and impact of their global health work.


Each of the selected four photographers will spend two weeks working with MSH local staff to create compelling images of their lifesaving work with people at all levels of the health system-from the households and families to community-based health workers to the doctors and nurses in the health centers to government officials and ministers of health. MSH sees health as a human right, and works toward universal health coverage through strong health systems.


The chosen winners were selected for 1) their ability to photographically document challenging situations resulting in strong visual imagery and narrative; 2) evidence of past experience working independently in the developing world and/or countries in conflict; and 3) demonstrated ability to show dignity and hope while engaged in photographing challenging global health situations.


SDN and MSH want to truly thank everyone who submitted an application to this Fellowship through the SDN online platform. SDN is excited to be able to feature much of this work on its website and in its email Spotlights and hope that many of the photographers will gain additional recognition of their work as a result of their submissions and involvement with SDN.


PS. Exhibits are listed in alphabetical order by photographers' last name.

Leslie Alsheimer
Leslie Alsheimer
Photograph by Leslie Alsheimer. "Girls Laughing." Following malaria, HIV/ AIDS pandemics and decades of brutality at the hands of Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), survivors live on embracing life and rejoicing not because of their circumstances, but in spite of them.


A Moment in the Glass: The Secret Life of Uganda's Daughters

It is her light, it is the curl in the corners of her mouth, it is the sparkle in her eyes, and it is her unedited and untainted laughter. She is the child that does not yet understand the meaning of poverty. She is the child that has not yet seen the violence and destruction so prevalent in the world. She is the child that lost her mother to AIDS, disease, war, famine or child birthing complications, yet remains joyous and youthful despite the suffering.

She is the mother who lost her child or husband, but goes on with admirable strength to care for her family. The woman who breaks barriers in hopes of an education, or the woman who walks for miles just to get a simple check up. The light, the strength, the hope and the dignity.

Dignity: The quality or state of being worthy of esteem or respect. Nobility of character, manner or language. - Anika Amon.

Click to view exhibit.    


Leslie Alsheimer

Leslie Alsheimer


Leslie Alsheimer, from Santa Fe, New Mexico, is an internationally published and award winning photographer and author. Leslie is most known for her deeper perspective documentary essays addressing the human condition world-wide. Her work- spanning editorial, fine art and documentary genres- was most recently awarded by National Geographic with an International Photo Award, by National Geographic Traveler with a Best Travel Pictures Meit Award, with The Art of Documentary Spotlight Award, and by FotoWeek DC with the Professional Journalism Award of Distinction. Her images have appeared in the Corcoran Gallery of Art, numerous publications including Black & White Magazine, PDN, National Geographic Traveler, NPR: The Picture Show, and featured in Photolucida's Critical Mass Top 50.

Leslie's professional and personal work celebrates the beauty and splendor that can be found in humanity -regardless of circumstance. With images, she creates metaphors that honor the richness of life that accompany the enduring human spirit; celebrating life, play, family, culture and community through the joy, pain and love of everyday living. 

Rui Pires
Rui Pires
Photograph by Rui Pires. Little Fatimah lives in a small town in Sahara desert, in south Moroccan-Algiers border. Her pet black kite protects Fatimah like a dog.



The Berberes 

"The Berberes" is an essay from Rui Pires' long-term project "Lands of Allah", a social documentary about the Berbere tribes in North of Africa that he started in 2009.

Berberes are the indigenous ethnic group of North Africa, west of the Nile Valley to Morocco.  Historically they speak the Berber language and local varieties of it.  Foreign languages like French and Spanish, inherited from European occupation, are used by some educated Berbers in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria in some formal contexts such as higher education or business.

The presence of the Arabic language and dialects is due to the spread of Islam and to the immigration of some Arab tribes to the region centuries ago. A Berber is not necessarily only someone who happens to speak Berber. The Berber identity is usually wider than language and ethnicity, and encompasses the entire history and geography of North Africa.

Click to view exhibit.    


Rui Pires Rui Peres

Rui Pires, from Portugal, has a passion for photography that began in 1983 as an amateur photographer. He is considered a photographer with a classical and humanist style, and is dedicated primarily to documentary photography.

In 2006 Rui began a project that aims to document the life in Portuguese rural villages undergoing desertification, the "Rural Moments" project. The project is still running. In 2009 Rui began the "Lands of Allah" project, a documentary about the life of the nomad tribes and Berbers-Touareg people in north of Africa and Sahara desert.

He has many publications in web, magazines and newspapers in many countries. He have also won prizes and awards in exhibitions and photography contests.

With influences of Doisneau, Eisenstaedt, Adams and Salgado, he achieves a humanistic approach to documentary photography and always tries to dignify the people he portrays. Rui shoots primarily in medium and large format with and he controls the entire photographic process, from capture, processing film and printing.

Rui is member of Photographic Society of America and have a degree in Image Analysis and Evaluation by Photographic Society of America and is graduate in Professional Photography by the  New York Institute of Photography.  

Todd Shapera   

Todd Shapera
Photograph by Todd Shapera. A farm couple relaxing on a mattress in their hut. They told us a chilling tale of losing a child during the LRA insurgency, and being forced to live in a government camp.


Reconstructing War Weary Northern Uganda

Northern Uganda now enjoys peace after suffering decades of conflict spurred by Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army. Nearly 1.4 million people were impacted by kidnapping, property destruction, and killing. Three years ago, with Kony run into the Congo jungle, refugees from bleak internally displaced person (IDP) camps began returning to their hamlets, and Kony's abducted child soldiers began trickling home.

In March 2012, I documented reconstruction, spurred by public and private foreign investment. My initial focus was USAID's $50 million rural infrastructure project, NUDEIL, that is drilling wells, building gravel roads, and constructing schools. Implemented by Winrock International, NUDEIL collaborates with local governments, and emphasizes using local labor (rather than machinery), to provide impoverished farmers with needed cash.

Separately, Gulu Agricultural Development Company (GADC) is reviving local cotton farming as a regional cash crop for subsistence farmers. GADC founder, South African Bruce Robertson, retooled Gulu's war-damaged ginnery, and supports long-displaced farmers with training and a hungry ginnery. Last year, the third season, GADC purchased cotton from nearly 10,000 small farmers, and provided work to 300 Gulu ginnery employees.

Click to view exhibit.



Todd Shapera Todd Shapera 


Todd Shapera, from Pleasantville, New York, is a sensitive and worldly photographer. Todd's photography and writing have appeared in The Financial Times of London,The New York Times, National Geographic Adventure, Forbes Global, Fast Company, Saveur, Ritz Carlton Magazine, Gastronomica, DoubleTake, publications of the World Bank, and numerous United Nations and global development agencies.  Foundation clients have included the Clinton, Ford, Rockefeller, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundations, Winrock International, and the Ecologic Development Fund.

His published work from remote global locations has featured Sri Lankan Tsunami survivors, Peruvian coffee farmers, Himalayan women, Honduran Moskito Indians, and social conservation programs in Central American rainforests. His adventure travel photography has included hiking in Patagonia, surveying Siberia's Lake Baikal, canoing Yukon rivers, and backcountry skiing in Wyoming, British Columbia, and the French Alps.

In a profile, Professional Photographer magazine wrote: "Todd Shapera is driven by a passion to capture the inner beauty and resilience of individuals just about everywhere on earth. He is linking disparate worlds through photography."  


Warren Zelman


Warren Zelman
Photograph by Warren Zelman
Something to Smile About

In developing countries, when a girl receives an education, she is more likely to stay healthy (and HIV negative), marry when she chooses to, raise a healthy family, and strengthen her community.  Naturally,  the alternative is grim; illiteracy, married off young, early pregnancy, solitude, and a greater vulnerability to sickness and HIV.

The Sega Secondary School in Morogoro,

Tanzania has become an academic sanctuary for over 100 girls who were given the chance to escape the cycle of poverty. Through a motivated non-profit, excellent facilities, and inspirational teachers, the girls are taking advantage of their opportunity to pave a road to a more promising future. As Tanzania heads towards a healthier population and the end of AIDS and HIV, these girls will be the women who lead the country into the future.

Click to view exhibit


Warren Zelman Warren Zelman

Warren Zelman, from Montreal, Canada, has worked in the advertising, corporate, cultural, and editorial sectors of photography. Born and raised in Montreal, Warren studied Commercial Photography at Dawson College.

Zelman's work has been published in Applied Arts Magazine, The Hour, Mixte Magazine, Inside Fitness Magazine, Oxygen Magazine, and Fitness Quebec Magazine. His awards include Applied Arts, First Place, Pro Bono Series, 2012; Hatch Award, Bronze Medal, Advertising, 2012; International Photography Awards, Honorable Mention, People, 2012.

For his submission for the Fellowship application, Warren travelled to the Sega Secondary school to document the school for Forgirlsake and Nurturing Minds in Africa . Both organizations work hard towards creating a happy and healthy world by educating girls. The trip opened his eyes to the power of education and the change it can have on the individual, their family and their community.



Follow Us

Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View our profile on LinkedIn View our photos on flickr

SDN Staff 

Glenn Ruga 
Founder and Director

Barbara Ayotte 
Communications Director

Caterina Clerici
Matthew Lomanno

SDN Advisory Committee

Paul Cummings

Lori Grinker
Steve Horn
Ed Kashi
Susan Mazer
John Sevigny
Steve Walker
Frank Ward

Submit your work to 
SDN welcomes submissions by photographers who have powerful stories to tell about the global human condition. Work submitted to SDN will be eligible for:

*Publication on our home page
*Inclusion in our email Spotlight sent to 5,000 readers
  each month

*Recognition in Highlights of 2013
*Entry to SDN competitions

Click here to learn how to submit your work.

About is a website for photographers, NGOs, journalists, editors, and students to create and explore documentary exhibits investigating critical issues facing the world today. Recent exhibits have explored oil workers in the Niger River Delta, male sex workers in India, Central American immigrant women during their journey north, and Iraqi and Afghan refugees in Greece.Click here to view all of the exhibits.