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First Video Visionary Award – Humanitarian Recipient: Mama Hope

by Real Team on June 29, 2012

Video Visionary Award Humanitarian - Mama HopeEarlier this month we announced the RealPlayer Video Visionary Award – Humanitarian. The award recognizes non-profit organizations that have used video in innovative and creative ways to help share their message.

We’re pleased to announce our first recipient of the award is Mama Hope. The organization is dedicated to making sure resources are shared with communities that need them. Mama Hope helps people by listening to the needs of the community, connecting with project sponsors, and using locally supplied materials and labor to complete projects. Mama Hope projects have been able to help complete schools, health clinics, children’s centers, and more in Africa.


Mama Hope’s YouTube channel and website have great online videos that show off the organization’s work. It’s the innovative way they use video to tell a story and simultaneously break down stereotypes that we really want to acknowledge by awarding Mama Hope the RealPlayer Video Visionary Award. A popular Mama Hope video that has received a lot of recognition is entitled: African Men. Hollywood Streotypes. Here’s another that cleverly breaks down barriers:


We caught up with Mama Hope’s Founder Nyla Rodgers to learn more about the organization and how the use of video helps spread its message.  What follows is our interview with the Video Visionary Award – Humanitarian recipient:

RealPlayer (RP): What was it that lead Mama Hope to use video as a means to share the organization’s efforts and goals with the world? 

Nyla Rodgers (NR):  We wanted to be able to capture the love and life of our partner communities in Africa and show it to a global audience.  Social media has allowed for smaller organizations such as Mama Hope to have farther reach and easily spread our message even though we have a nonexistent marketing budget.

Video has also been really effective at letting people tell their own stories because obviously pictures cannot capture their voices.  It is important that the voices of the communities that we serve are being heard worldwide because a huge goal of ours is to shift perceptions about Africa and Africans.

RP: What role does video play in the future of Mama Hope?

NR: Video will be the main way we will tell our story. It will allow the communities we serve in Africa to tell the stories they want the world to know.  I feel the best way to raise money to change the world is through inspiration and if we can bring the inspiring people we work with in Africa into homes all over the world we think this can change people’s perceptions of Africa and Africans.

RP: Can you share how some of the subjects in Mama Hope videos react/act when they see video equipment and when filming begins? 

NR: Bryce our videogarapher spends a lot of time (sometimes days to weeks) getting to know the community before he starts filming. By the time he takes out his camera he has already created friendships and trust with the people we end up filming. At that point they are asking to take pictures with us and be in our films because they know we don’t just see them as subjects; we see them as friends and partners in development.  They are participants in every way. This is their story and we want to make sure it is being told in a way that would make them feel proud.

In the past our organization has taught video classes to children in our community.  Now, Bryce makes it a point to teach the communities how to be his film crew. They are not only starring in the film, but also making the film.  They have a lot of pride that they were included in every step of the film making process and it is as much their video as it is ours.

RP: Mama Hope’s latest online video is close to approaching 1 million plays on YouTube. When the 1 million play mark is reached, what will it mean to you personally and for your organization?

NR: We are very excited for the video to reach 1 million views.  It will mean that we have achieved our goal of raising awareness at a global scale. We really want the world talking about what it means to “Stop the Pity.”  We want other non-profits to notice that there is another way to do marketing and for them to make their own “Stop the Pity” videos.

RP: How can people get involved with Mama Hope?

NR: People can get involved in our organization by donating to support our work in Africa.  Liking us on Facebook and talking about the campaign on Twitter.  I feel the best way to learn about our organization is to take some time reading our website and the stories about our work on our blog.

Click here for instructions on how to nominate a non-profit organization to receive a Video Visionary – Humanitarian  award.

What do you think of Mama Hope’s video projects? What’s your favorite Mama Hope video?


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