When disasters strike, it is local doctors, nurses and midwives who treat your wounds and help deliver your child safely. It is these "first responders" who make sure there is enough food for you.
The First Responders campaign, spearheaded by International Medical Corps (IMC) in partnership with the European Commission and in collaboration with MTV, the world-renowned TV channel, is a celebration of the millions of unsung heroes around the world who respond to global disasters every day.
MTV produced documentary: You & Me Vs. the World
As part of the campaign, MTV Voices created a powerful documentary to celebrate the ordinary people who take extraordinary actions to support their communities when faced with war, disasters and disease. The documentary tells the story of Nico and Van, two Super Typhoon Haiyan survivors, and pair of friends, Asem and Manar, who fled the Syrian civil war.
In December 2014, You & Me Vs. the World was broadcast on MTV across the world, including European countries, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. In January 2015, it will be shown on MTV Asia (15.01) and MTV Portugal (16.01).
Within the campaign, the First Responders photo competition challenged participants to show what humanitarian work really looks like, celebrating the local people – teachers, health workers, mothers, farmers – who are the true faces of resilience and humanitarian assistance.
In the second half of 2014, a winner of the competition was chosen every month. A final winner won the Grand Prize.
Yoann Maldonado from France received the Grand Prize for his photograph of local First Responders in Zwedru, Liberia collecting sand to repair the road. He won a print signed by the judge of the competition, the world-famous photographer Ashley Gilbertson, who said he chose the photo because:
"It’s a less obvious image than what we might often see of aid work, which is often more focused on emergency actions; extremely important work, no doubt, though images we’ve seen many of in the past. I like the movement in this image, in which the local population is working for themselves."