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Bexley charity worker has picture exhibited at Westminster after winning photography competition

PUBLISHED: 14:06 08 December 2016 | UPDATED: 15:15 08 December 2016

Vicky Smith in Zimbabwe

Vicky Smith in Zimbabwe

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She volunteered to work in Zimbabwe to teach children about sexual health

Vicky's photoVicky's photo

A woman from Bexley who volunteered for a charity in Zimbabwe has had her photo exhibited in Westminster after winning a competition.

Vicky Smith spent three months in Zimbabwe working on a project to teach young people about sexual health and puberty with the government-funded International Citizen Service programme.

The 21-year-old took a photo of the leader of a community meeting in Bulilimamangwe District, Zimbabwe, and it is now being exhibited in Westminster’s Central Hall.

“It was really exciting when I heard the news,” she said. “I did not know the size of the competition, and once I found out I was one of the top 20 it was very exciting.”

Vicky, who went to Blackfen School for Girls, decided she wanted to help children in Africa and volunteered with Voluntary Service Overseas.

She had no previous teaching experience when she signed up to the programme.

“It was shocking at first,” she said. “I never called myself a public speaker, but at the end I had no hesitation in walking into classes.”

Explaining how she took the photo, Vicky said: “I got invited to a community meeting. They invited us to take photos and he had such an interesting face. I was just taking lots of pictures and they were loving it.

“Not many of them have their photos taken in these places, so it was really exciting for them.”

Vicky, who aims to become a fashion photographer, explained how the trip had affected her.

“It definitely opened my eyes to different cultures and how different people live,” she said. “You see it on TV but can’t really understand it until you are there and use your own eyes.

“The people I met from the UK were all from different backgrounds, and they taught me so much about politics and everything, really.”

Members of the public can view Vicky’s photo at the free exhibition in Central Hall until Saturday, January 4.


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