Stop the Pity, Unlock the Potential
Take the word AFRICA… without thinking, what images immediately come to mind? War. AIDS. Genocide. A small child with a swollen belly? Too many non-profits ask for your pity by depicting poor, helpless Africans. But like any stereotype, this portrayal has more exceptions than truth.
The Mama Hope story began in 2006 when founder Nyla Rodgers suffered the sudden loss of her mother, Stephanie Moore, to cancer. In an effort to heal from this loss, Nyla traveled to Kenya to meet a young man whose education her mother had sponsored since 2001. To her surprise, she was greeted by hundreds of others whom her mother had also helped. From this story, Mama Hope was born.
The Stop the Pity, Unlock the Potential movement was inspired by the remarkable people Mama Hope works with in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, and Uganda. Through a series of videos, Mama Hope introduced our partner communities to a worldwide audience with the integrity and brilliance that we witness every day. In these videos, we feature the shared traits that make us all human—the dancing, the singing, the laughter–and bring multiple dimensions to the concept of Africa into your living room. This movement is intended to make people stop and think, then re-think, the consensus reality about Africa.
Our videos invite the audience to re-imagine there assumptions and then to recognize that changing the perception is a powerful step in constructing the future of our world. In the first video, “Alex; Commando,” Alex is a charismatic, charming boy that makes you laugh and inevitably reminds you of your favorite child, relative, or friend that can give a scene-by-scene recount of a favorite film. He is not an actor, he is a student at our flagship school, St. Timothy’s, in Tanzania.
In “Call Me Hope,” every person featured is directly connected to Mama Hope in the US or Africa. In the latest video, “African men. Hollywood Stereotypes,” Benard (featured African man) is the principle connection that sparked the founding of Mama Hope. None of the videos used stock footage, actors or b-roll fill-ins in the portrayals. That is because our consultative, bottom-up approach–Listen, Connect, Enable—brings relationships to the forefront of our purpose and introduces us to hundreds of absolutely remarkable people, many of whom we work with, across Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Ghana. Yet, here at home, it’s nearly impossible to find this layer of truth in the influential media markets: news, Hollywood movies, NGO campaigning.
The biggest NGO campaigns strike the biggest pity cords. So,we set out to inspire the re-imagination of Africa. To get the general public to re-think one stereotype—Africa is poverty, AIDS, war–knowing that it would call into question all stereotypes and break the boundaries of public awareness. Let’s change the way we see people across the world and begin to see other communities as the people they are instead of the stereotypes we’ve been trained to expect. It is time to stop the pity and unlock the potential!
More About This Charity
Most Effective Awareness Campaign by a Charity
Mama Hope works in close partnership with local African organizations to connect them with the resources required to transform their own communities.
All our projects are managed for and by partner communities themselves to ensure sustainability. So far, we have achieved our mission by funding the completion of schools, health clinics, children’s centers, clean water systems and food security projects.
- This Achievement raised $10,000
- This charity raised $230,000 in the past year
- THis Achievement helped 110,000 people
- This charity helped 35,000 people in the past year
- 1,484,303 views of our Stop the Pity, Unlock the Potential Movement
Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana