Stop the Pity

One of the first videos I saw from Mama Hope, the non-profit I have recently partnered with as a Global Advocate Fellow, was the video Alex Presents Commando.

At first, I wasn’t sure what to think. Alex, a 9 year old boy from Mvuleni, Tanzania, acts out scenes straight from one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s classic machine gun rescues. Based on what (I thought) I knew, having a little kid in Africa pretend to shoot guns was crazy. It was so different from every other heart-wrenching portrayal I had ever seen in the media before.

Then I thought about it. I remembered being a 9 year old and playing games like this in the backyard with my brother. Little kids love action movies. They jump and roll around, tackle each other, and make crazy bbbbbrrrrchhhhhh noises with their mouths, and it’s all in good fun. Alex clearly loves the movie Commando (enough to memorize every single scene and line), and he has a blast putting on the show.

This is the point of the Stop the Pity Unlock the Potential movement. The media may portray stories of hopelessness, ignoring the fact that the people in them have plenty of hope for themselves. There are millions of vibrant personalities and ideas ready to be heard, and heard for what they really are.

This is what you can expect from the stories in this blog. Over the next nine months, the leaders of White Orange Youth (John and Gama) and St. Timothy’s School (James and Beatrice) and I will be working together to empower their communities. We are raising money for projects that are specifically designed to fuel sustainable income for their organizations and to keep strengthening the impact of their work.

For more information visit http://www.classy.org/marisatanzania, follow this blog, and stay tuned 🙂

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