African Child They Don’t Show You on Foreign Media
“In Alex, we see intelligence, a great memory and a sparkling personality. He doesn’t want your hand-me-down t-shirts but if you will listen, he will tell you he wants to become president of Tanzania… and, of course, how much he loves action movies!”
The video was produced by Mama Hope, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that helps support community-led projects across Africa, as part of their “Stop the Pity. Unlock the Potential” campaign. The point of the video was to show Alex not as a depraved victim but as a clever, creative little African child you might find anywhere–but one who still needs support.
The video went viral; it has been seen by more than 500,000 people. Alex’s YouTube clip is a case study in a dramatic shift in the way nonprofits represent themselves and their constituencies in an era of social media and information overload. From the ashes of poverty porn, a new era of media–one which shows the poor as fundamentally full of potential and opportunity–is being born.