Next Monday, ConDev will open its annual Student Media Grant. This grant, funded by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation Chair on Conflict and Development, awards $5,000 to students interested in sharing stories and stunning photography from conflict-­affected areas of the world.

Our most recent Student Media Grant winners traveled to some of the most fragile corners of the developing world, bringing back thought-provoking photographs and tales of perseverance and innovation in the most trying of circumstances:

Nigeria: Boko Hazards

Immanuel Afrolabi conducted a photojournalism project in northeastern Nigeria, ultimately creating a photo essay with 130 captivating photographs depicting the lives of Boko Haram victims in northeastern Nigeria.

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Haiti: Rural Food Security through a Woman’s Lens

From January­-April 2015, Student Media Grantee Diana Juárez­Sánchez led a home garden project in Haiti. This initiative empowered rural families through training and education, enabling them to provide food for their families. Throughout the project, Diana asked participants to take photos of their everyday lives. Her resulting scrapbooks provide a glimpse into the culture, traditions, food and struggles of the Haitian community.

Perú: Land Use in Protected Areas

Student Media Grantee Jessica Gilbert, a PhD student in the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at Texas A&M University, researched land use issues in Huascarán National Park and Tambopata National Reserve, Perú in the summer of 2015. Through photography, she documented the interactions between Park/Reserve staff, NGOs, local government agencies, community organizations, and community members to better understand the challenges of land conservation in the region.

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Bangladesh & India: Human­Wildlife Conflict in the Sundarbans

Led by Amit Ghosal, a PhD candidate in Texas A&M’s Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism Sciences, this project explored the relationships between wildlife conservation, food insecurity, unequal distribution of resources, poor policies, and their failed enforcement in the Sundarbans of India. It also explored human­tiger conflict and its implications on tiger conservation efforts.

Kenya: Learning Empowerment as a Refugee

Ally Krupar used the funds from her Student Media Grant to photograph education-based and female empowerment trainings for female Somali refugees in Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee complex.

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India: Ethnic Conflict and Environmental Governance

Dhananjaya “DJ” Katju examined environmental governance of Manas, and the discourses associated with conflicting traditions of land utilization. His photographs place particular emphasis on ethnic conflict and militancy in mediating land use and changes in land cover in and around the Manas Tiger and Biosphere Reserve (MTBR) in Assam, India; as well as the resulting implications for biodiversity conservation.

France & Greece: A Day in the Life of a Refugee

Andrea Batarse’s photojournalism project focused on how gender, religion, race, socioeconomic background, education, and age affect the personal experiences of refugees currently migrating through Europe. Through photography, interviews, and blog posts, she is hopes to deliver an honest story to draw awareness and find a solution regarding the crisis. She created a photoblog during her trip and is working to complete a documentary film by the end of August 2016.

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Nepal: The Plight of the Labor Migrant

Purushottam “Puru” Shah will journey to Southern Nepal this winter to document the challenges faced by migrant laborers and their families. He will travel around the Dhanusa and Mahottari districts conducting interviews and capturing portraits through photography to better understand the conditions that push workers towards leaving their homes to find jobs, the process of becoming a migrant worker, the consequences of leaving home, the reintegration of workers returning to Nepal, and how the migrants’ families are affected by their absence.

Ethiopia: Fighting for Childhoods

Menychle Meseret Abebe is in Ethiopia this summer profiling the lives of children living in the impoverished Amhara region in Ethiopia. He is committed to documenting the effects of poverty on child development, including poor education and high child marriage and child labor rates. It will also focus on the long term impacts of an unsatisfactory education, such as illiteracy and unemployment.

This boy helps his families by carrying kilograms of grains to market

Past Grant Winners