The story began in 2006 when Nyla Rodgers suffered the sudden loss of her mother to cancer. As an only child raised by a single mom, it was like losing her entire family all at once. A few months later she happened to be in Kenya working for the UN and decided to look up a young man her mother had sponsored there named Benard Olando. She met Benard in Kisumu and, along with him, hundreds of women whose parents had died of AIDS whom her mom had also helped. They welcomed her in an unexpected and overwhelmingly moving celebration. Nyla describes that it was that day that her work found her ... and Mama Hope was born.


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  • Mia

    It would have been so much easier just to wallow in her grief, sadness - to live in the missing of her mother...and yet, something moved her beyond that, something that she listened to -perhaps it was her mother's voice carried by the wind, or Bernards and the other women calling to her - regardless, she listened. And more was possible. So inspiring.

  • Amy

    This is wonderful to see! I lost my husband very unexpectedly almost 2 years ago and have been looking for a cause to channel my grief. I am working with American Heart Association but would really like to do more! This is so inspiring!

  • Dianne

    "Grief is just left over love" Yes so true! If we all used our left over love in a positive way, wow, what a difference we could all make.

  • Robyn

    This video is ALL inspiring . I am filled with admiration, it brought tears to my eyes and it makes me feel I need to get involved and do something with the life I have ...Your mother is watching over you every inch of the way and must be so very proud of you Nyla ...

  • Ruthie Ristich

    Everything about this video is inspiring. reaching out, helping other people. Plus the piece is beautifully shot and edited together with great music, too.

  • Paulo Saramago

    Love is the most powerful feeling that we have! And after we truly know the power of love the others, we finally make sense to our life's!

  • Edward

    I'm moved and inspired by the work that you have begun, to give people opportunities to thrive. People have the potential to grow and live well once they have the opportunities and support to overcome their difficulties and realize their dreams. Nyla,keep the love flowing. Oceans of good wishes, Edward

  • tony criscuolo

    thank you so much for making this wonderful work continue after the death of its originator. Nyla, you have kept the spirit of your mother alive and flourishing, and moved me to tears of gratitude.

  • Timmo

    What a beautiful story. I would love to see 30 minutes of these stories on the NBC Nightly News...instead of the dismal reports that are offered up. Maybe Oprah could fine 30 minutes for a Good News Half-hour. Wouldn't that be nice for a change?

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  • Get involved with Mama Hope!
  • Read the full story of how the filmmakers ending up being gifted the opportunity to share this story.
  • Help a grieving friend.  As Nyla Rodgers says, "I couldn’t just grieve forever. I had to do something with the life I had and that saved me."

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