Molly's Film The Story of a Young Filmmaker

by Wendy Jewell

"To My Hero Project, the organizers of the film festival and to all who nominated my film as a winner I'm saying Asante Sana. It's Swahili for 'thank you very much.'"
Molly (World Food Programme (
Molly (World Food Programme (

Molly's Film, made by 12 year old Molly, from the slums of Nairobi won the Student/Mentor category in the 8th Annual My Hero Film Festival. Through the World Food Programme, My Hero caught up with Molly in Nairobi to hear what she had to say about this unexpected victory.

"When WFP gave me a small camera and showed me how to use it, I was very excited and I filmed everything and anything I thought was interesting. Little did I know that by filming my world I was giving an opportunity to people in very far countries to see what life is like in the slums of Nairobi. A few days ago my teacher came by my house and told me that my film had won the first position in the student/mentor category. I am so happy and grateful, first to WFP who introduced me to filming and to all the people who loved the film's I made and sent comments through various means. To My Hero Project, the organizers of the film festival and to all who nominated my film as a winner I'm saying Asante Sana, it's Swahili for thank you very much."

World Food Programme around the globe ( ())
World Food Programme around the globe ( ())

Every day 26 million kids around the world get meals in school from the World Food Programme. Many children only go to school because they get this meal. Molly, a 12 year old girl from the Mathare slum of Nairobi, Kenya was given a small video camera by WFP and asked to record scenes from her daily life. The result was Molly's Film. Molly and her film continue to capture the hearts of people around the world.

Kenya on the map ( ())
Kenya on the map ( ())

The My Hero Project spoke with Jonathan Dumont - Head of Television Communications - United Nations World Food Programme in Rome who gave Molly her camera, to find out more about Molly and how this came about.

Molly is a captivating girl who tells the story of her life and her world with such unwavering honesty and wisdom beyond her years. How did you find her?

"It wasn't easy!! Our public information team in Nairobi found her through a school we provide school meals to. As anywhere,  finding young people who are both  good storytellers and who can shoot video is not something you can count on! I should clarify that editing was done here in Rome."

Kids at School ( ())
Kids at School ( ())

 How much teaching did she receive about filmmaking before she made her film? 

"Our Kenyan public information officer showed her how to use the camera and,  I believe, she was shown this instructional  video that I made" :

What kind of camera did she have to use?  

"She used a flipcam."

How did making films come about within the World Food Programme and what do you hope will come out of them? 

"My goal as Head Of Visual Media here at WFP is to exploit screens wherever they are no matter how big or small, from the 22 story 11 screen array of screens in NY's Times square to the smallest Iphone to screens in taxis, airplanes, buses, cinemas, broadcast tv, etc etc etc  with content that raises awareness about world hunger and what WFP is doing to fight it. That can mean producing news footage from Syria, Somalia or S. Sudan, producing PSA's with movie stars like Sean Penn or Penelope Cruz or better yet, letting the people we serve tell their own stories as we have done with Molly's World. The goal is to raise awareness so, that people who can make a difference will believe that hunger is a solvable problem and that they can do something about it."

Meal at school ( ())
Meal at school ( ())


What is the scope of your outreach for filmmaking with young people?

"We have a general youth engagement program that reaches out to students and teachers.

There have been other intiatives including several editions of a viral video competition for young filmmakers called "HungerBytes":  But we haven't been pursuing it lately as there are now so many similar competitions out there now (sigh.yes..imitation is the highest form of flattery)."

Thank you Jonathan for all you do with the World Food Programme by giving young people the tools and skills that empower them to tell their own stories.

Congratulations to MOLLY for her win, but also for her intuitive gift for being an interesting and inspiring filmmaker - telling her story and the stories of those around her with compassion, humor and clarity.

Page created on 8/3/2014 12:52:37 PM

Last edited 1/7/2020 5:08:35 PM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

World Food Programme - WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide and entirely funded by voluntary donations.
Molly's Film - Molly, a 12-year-old girl from the Mathare slum of Nairobi, Kenya shot this film. She's one of 20 million children around the world who receive a meal in school every day thanks to the World Food Programme. In 2011, the WFP gave her a small video and asked her to record scenes from her daily life.
Food For Thought - In this BBC World Class video, find out why school meals provided by the WFP make such a difference to children in a remote village in Nepal.Nepal is one of the hilliest countries in the world. The Nepalese people say that if it was flat it would be almost the same size as the USA!

Extra Info


Moved by Molly's story students at the ACS Egham International School outside of London joined together to fight hunger this World Food Day October 16th by raising money for the World Food Programme (WFP). Encouraging classmates and the community to fill cups with change, they raised over £300 (US$481) to help fund WFP school lunches for young people around the world.

As part of the campaign students took part in a special lesson on global hunger and poverty that featured Molly, a young girl who lives in the Mathare slum of Nairobi, Kenya one of the poorest places in the world.

This lesson enabled students to further develop their understanding of world hunger and poverty, and the work of WFP providing school meals to 26 million children around the world.

The activities were organised with the help of four students- Samantha Clarke, Charlotte De Fraye, Tessa Smulders and Molly Kelly Lewis. These students helped rally the whole school around the day by creating and putting up posters and collecting donations.

Cary Hart, a teacher and main organiser of the campaign at ACS Egham said:

"As an international school it is especially important to us that we instill our students with an understanding of global issues, like poverty, hunger and injustice, and the opportunities we all have to make a positive difference in the world. I'm thrilled we raised so much thanks to the support of the whole school community who got behind the campaign."


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