Media Residency Application

What is the MAMA HOPE Media Residency?

We believe that authentic storytelling has the power to help lift communities out of poverty. The mission of the MAMA HOPE Media Residency is to incubate a deep partnership between aspiring multimedia storytellers and innovative grassroots leaders to co-create powerful projects that transform lives, transform conversations and put hope into action.

MAMA HOPE has spent the past decade building intimate, trusting bonds with communities in Africa, Central America and India. As a Media Resident, you’ll have a powerful introduction to the inspiring entrepreneurial leaders who are transforming these communities. You’ll spend up to 3 months in-country, capturing their stories and amplifying them in your own creative way. Along the way, you’ll be helping MAMA HOPE further our mission of ending “poverty porn” through honest, eye-level storytelling.

This Residency is…


Media Residents stay in countries for 1-3 months, after completing the introductory orientation and curriculum. Upcoming orientation dates are February 22-26, 2018 in San Francisco. In-country dates are flexible.


We work with artists of all types. Whether you prefer short-form or feature-length content, photo or video, audio or fine art – we are open to your ideas and talents.


You will have the constant support of the MAMA HOPE staff and community, helping create a network of like-minded actors and open international doors for future opportunities.

Program Structure

The 6-12 month residency period begins with a 5-day in-person orientation alongside the new cohort of MAMA HOPE’s Global Advocate Program. MAMA HOPE seeks to work with 3 Media Residents per year, who begin their programs in February, June and October. During this orientation, Media Residents will attend workshops along Global Advocate Fellows in topics ranging from international development history, systems change, storytelling and media, social media, public speaking, fundraising, project management, cross cultural communication, and monitoring and evaluation. Sessions are lead by Mama Hope staff and industry leaders. This orientation will serve as an opportunity for the Media Resident to understand Mama Hope’s work more deeply and get in-person time with our program staff.

During the orientation, the Media Resident will work alongside the Communications Manager and MAMA HOPE Marketing Team to lay out a program timeline. The timeline will consist of curriculum, pre-production and, when applicable, fundraising; followed by in-country project execution, and finally, post-production.

Program Offerings

MAMA HOPE’s Media Residency Program offers participants the following benefits:

  • 5-day in-depth orientation alongside MAMA HOPE Global Advocate Fellows (airfare and training expenses covered by MAMA HOPE)
  • Travel, living, and visa expenses provided by MAMA HOPE for the duration of their fieldwork in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Guatemala or India (1-3 months)
  • Fundraising curriculum and mentorship from MAMA HOPE staff
  • The opportunity to collaborate directly with one of MAMA HOPE’s trusted partners, and create a media project that will help further their work creating sustainable, thriving communities
  • Support from the MAMA HOPE Marketing Team planning and promoting public screenings and events, and placement of the Resident’s final project
  • An opportunity to live with and learn from innovative leaders on the front lines of sustainable community development
  • The chance to build your skills, experience, and portfolio in a unique and flexible environment while making a lasting impact

Program Eligibility & Criteria

  • Applicants must have a proven interest in international development, social justice and/or social impact as evidenced through previous artistic work, academic study or employment.
  • MAMA HOPE takes special interest in applicants who have experience working with diverse cultures and/or in an international setting.
  • Applicants must be at least 21 years of age and not enrolled in an undergraduate university program at residency start date.
  • Applicants must hold a valid passport.
  • Applicants must be in stable health.


Please submit your essays, work samples and reference contacts via Google Doc to with the subject title “MH Media Residency Application _Firstname Lastname” and include your resume as an attachment.

  • Essays
  1. What does “Stop the Pity” mean to you? (500 words max)
  2. Artistic Statement: (500 words max) Describe your practice, discussing your discipline, areas of interest, and why this residency is the right opportunity for you.
  3. Partner Placement (500 words max): Take some time to look through our community partners. Which of these communities resonates with you? Why? You may choose more than one.
  4. Project Proposal: (500 words max) Describe your initial idea for the project you want to work on or generate with our community partners. Keep in mind that this project will likely shift or evolve as you build a relationship with our partners and learn more deeply about their work.
  5. Partnerships: (500 words max) Share with us more about your dream media partnerships. Do you have any current partners? Who are the media outlets that can place the unique content you’re creating during this residency?
  6. Inspiration: Share with us no more than three inspiring artists, stories or projects that inspire and guide your work.
  7. Timeline: Provide a rough 6-12 month timeline. How would your project unfold over the course of your residency? How much time will you anticipate spending on pre and post production?
  8. Budget: Please provide an estimated budget for your project along with information about any pending or secured outside funding, in addition to any committed or potential key partners on the project. If you anticipate the need to pay for additional equipment or assistance such as editing or translating, include that information here. (Please note that MAMA HOPE does not cover these additional costs, however MAMA HOPE staff will train Media Residents in fundraising techniques and provide assistance with funding proposals, if necessary).
  • Work Sample: 
    If video, we ask that the clip is uploaded to a third-party site (YouTube, Vimeo, etc), and submitted as a direct link. If photography, we ask for a link to an online gallery. If audio, please send however you see fit. You may provide up to 3 samples.
  • Resume
  • Contact information for two professional references

Dates & Deadlines

  • Applications for the MAMA HOPE Media Residency must be submitted by February 9, 2018.
  • Applicants must be able to attend orientation February 22-26, 2018 in San Francisco.