Radically Reinventing Community Development
The Mama Hope story began in 2006 when founder Nyla Rodgers suffered the sudden loss of her mother, Stephanie Moore, to cancer. In an effort to heal from her terrible loss, Nyla traveled to Kenya to meet a young man whose education her mother had sponsored since 2001. To her surprise, she was greeted by hundreds of others whom her mom had also helped. Nyla describes that day as the day that her work found her … and Mama Hope was born.
Nyla Rodgers is the founding director of Mama Hope. She received her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in Global and International Studies. During her senior year Nyla interned at the International Peace Bureau and UNESCO’s International Bureau of Education in Geneva, Switzerland where she conducted an independent research project, “Children as Emissaries of Change: Peace Education in Post Conflict Societies.” Nyla then completed a Master’s Degree at the European University of Peace Studies in Austria, where she held a graduate research position at Education for Peace International in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Later, Nyla was employed as the Program Director of the Pacific Rim Foundation (PRF) in San Francisco. At PRF she directed day-to-day operations and worked with diplomatic organizations from five continents to secure participation in international peace events. In 2007, Nyla was the Africa Program Coordinator for the UN Environment Program’s San Francisco Delegation to Kenya. It was during this trip that Nyla decided to create her own organization to provide resources to community based organizations in the developing world.