The 36-year-old’s photograph entitled Mongolia: Surviving the Winter was judged best in show at the tenth Association of Photographers annual awards. It beat off 1,500 other entrants for the coveted top prize.
Richard,who has reported as a photojournalist from crisis-hit areas around the world including Afghanistan, Indonesia in the wake of the tsunami, Liberia, Congo and Palestine, said that he was pleased that new light would be shed on the plight of the Mongolian children.
The youngsters live in manholes, huddled together in inadequate clothing next to scalding water pipes that feed the city’s heating system. It is a dark world where many suffer serious disfiguring burns and fall victim to violence and sexual attack.
‘The picture shows Munkhbat and Altangeret, both aged 15, who have lived in this manhole together for over three years beneath the streets of Ulan Bator, the coldest capital city in the world,’ said Richard.
‘Competition judge Olivia Howitt, who works for the Radio Times, said: ‘It is like an urban nature shot that replaces animals with people. The boys look like moles coming up for air. I love what appears to be the spontaneity of the image.’
Richard took on the harrowing assignment for the Jersey Amnesty International Film Festival at the Arts Centre, where his work was exhibited alongside that of other photojournalists earlier this year.
He was assisted by former Islander Jillian Spruyt, who lives in Mongolia and raises money for the street children.
The award-winning photograph Mongolia: Surviving the Winter