A glimpse of how hell could look
The “UNICEF-Photo of the Year” shows a girl in Cité Soleil, the largest slum in Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital.
Cité Soleil has long been a poster child for the poorest of the poor. People live unprotected in stinking and burning waste, without work, without reliable sources of energy, without drinkable water, without clean air to breath, without money for their next meal. The poorest of the poor resort to eating dirt simply to fill their stomachs. But in the past few years, it also has become one of the most dangerous poor places in the Western Hemisphere. Armed gangs roam the streets and murder, rape, kidnapping, looting and shootings have become common.
In the midst of this hell, photographer Alice Smeets found a girl (an angel?) wearing a clean white dress with matching ribbons in her hair whilst walking barefoot through the mud.
The 21-year-old photographer, from the city of Eupen in the German-speaking part of East Belgium, is the youngest winner in the history of the contest.
See the gallery of honored photos here.