My name is Michele D'Acosta and I'm a photographer, writer and award-winning filmmaker. My goal is to be a catalyst for positive energy, peace and social change. I express my love through my work, small acts of kindness and thoughtfulness towards others. I give thanks that I am alive in this time and place to have the opportunity to live fully in the light.
My favourite quote is from the author, Henry James. "The years of darkness had been needed to render possible the years of light."
In June 2012, I was introduced to 170 polio survivors who live on Pademba Road in Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa.
As you will see from these images, for these African polio survivors, the only way they have mobility is to crawl on the ground.
Edward, age 25, and a father of two children is the spokesperson for this forgotten community.
He says: “We are looking for cardboard, so we can put the cardboard on the ground and lay down on it.
We don’t have any cement and we don’t have anything to cover the ground. So that’s why we go outside to seek this cardboard, we use it as a bed to lie down.
Unless now we are looking for somebody who will come and help us, because so many people have come around to photograph and to video us and nothing else they do to help us. And when they go back they never thinking about us more.
So please “mum” we need your support, we need your great support to help us. We are disabled a lot and we are begging you. We need somebody to take us out from this suffering situation. We are suffering and we don’t always have food to eat."
My reason for entering the Exposure Competition is to gain exposure for these African polio survivors, and ultimately, to help the cause of the eradication of polio throughout the world.
The United States has been polio-free since 1979. The same is not true of Sierra Leone -- or many other countries in Africa, Asia -- and most recently, Syria.