And “2013 photo of the year” is…

And “2013 photo of the year” is…

Diana Mrazikova reveals all the details of this moment of complicity and love between a mother and her first child.

A picture that has received more than 18,000 “like” on UNICEF Facebook page and nearly 1,000 retweets. Thank you for this record participation! We hope that 2014 will bring to DRC more magical moments like the one Diana was able to capture in Lubumbashi.

Diana, where this photo has been taken?

This picture has been taken at maternity hospital in Lubumbashi, where I was working on the newborn feature for UNICEF GERMANY fundraising mailing called Chance for a child. My assignment was to document the importance of the first 28 days in baby’s life, because research and experience shows that over 40% of children that die before they reach their 5th birthday, don’t even survive their first month of life. I photographed specific interventions and practices* that should be followed in order to increase the likelihood of survival (of both child and mother) and so babies can grow into healthy adults.

Why do you like this picture ?

I like this image because it beautifully captures the emotions of motherhood. It was this ladies first child – a daughter. I have spent 4 days at the maternity hospital and every day I was witnessing new babies being born. It was so touching at the times that I had hard time withholding the tears of joy.

There was one lady who delivered here her third set of twins – she was 35 years old and she had 10 children all together now! At the beginning, I felt sorry for her thinking: “Oh my God, so many children, how is she going to manage it?”  But then I was melted away by the scene as she arrived home from the hospital and she was greeted by her children who were impatiently waiting to meet their new siblings… There was so much love and tenderness that I couldn’t hold my emotions anymore and I just burst crying in the front of them.

I love capturing positive stories of joy like this – I call it “sunshine” journalism. For some reason, media is feeding us mostly with negative news what creates an impression that there’s no point of bringing new children to this world, but it’s not true.

You can see the whole newborn story on:

What do you like most in DRC?

DRC is a vast country and there’s so much to explore when it comes to nature, culture or food. I really like the old architecture in Lubumbashi city center – nice boulevards and wide streets from Belgian colonial times and lush green forests of Kalemie region by the lake Tanganica, which I have explored while documenting UNICEF polio vaccination campaign last year.

When I’m on assignment here, I can’t get enough of eating amaranth greens called lenga-lenga (something like sautéed spinach) – I eat it literally everyday for lunch and dinner with boiled egg.

And I love women’s “antenna” hairstyles…

diana 2Internationally reknown photograph journalist, Diana Mrazikova has worked for various magazine clients including Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire or Esquire.

In Africa she has produced multimedia documentary short films & photo features for international non profit organizations such as UNICEF, JHUCCP/ USAID, ICRC… You can see all her NGO work portfolio at:



* These include:

antenatal care: regular examinations during the course of the pregnancy by a qualified midwife at the health center

breastfeeding infants exclusively for about six months

– children taking a full course of immunizations

good hygiene and sanitation

– ensuring that babies sleep under insecticide-treated mosquito nets

regular check-ups to control weight and health of mom and child and thus also detect infections/illnesses early

– promoting children’s mental and social development by being responsive to the child’s needs for care, and stimulating the child through talking, playing, and other appropriate physical and affective interactions


Credits: Unicef Germany/ 2013/ Diana Mrazikova

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Adrien Majourel

Adrien Majourel est Officier de communication à l’Unicef RDC et administrateur de Pona Bana. Spécialisé en relations internationales et journalisme, il est convaincu de l’importance de donner de la voix aux enfants car bien souvent ce qu’ils voient échappe à des yeux d’adultes. Son crédo ? « Les enfants sont des énigmes lumineuses » Daniel Pennac

Adrien Majourel is Communications Officer at UNICEF DRC and manager of Pona Bana. Specialized in International Relations and Journalism, he believes it is important to give children a voice as what they see often slips from adult’s grasp. l’importance de donner de la voix aux enfants car bien souvent ce qu’ils voient échappe à des yeux d’adultes. His leitmotiv ? « Children are luminous enigmas » Daniel Pennac

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