Project #3632

Transform Lives of African Youth by Making Films

by Hot Sun Foundation
Benta, Hot Sun Foundation Film School trainee
Benta, Hot Sun Foundation Film School trainee

I am Benta. I am 20 and I am from Mathare, a large slum in Nairobi. I live together with my mum and my older sister. I’ve been living in this place since I was born. When I was four, my father passed away.

We are lucky because we have good neighbours so it’s not dangerous for us women to live there. But it was hard for my mum to earn the money to support us, to give us food and to pay the school fees. She has a little charcoal business. She buys charcoal from someone else and then sells it in front of our house. It’s not much, but it is enough to get by. My sister helps her with the business and when I am home, I help her, too. But not now because I’m going to Hot Sun Film School every day. .

One day a few years ago, I was outside, doing the washing for my family. Suddenly, a group of youth passed our house. They were carrying cameras and other equipment. I saw one of my friends walking with them and I asked him what he was doing. He told me about community photography classes.

So the next Saturday I went to the photography classes. I found it so interesting that I joined. Since this day I’ve participated in many workshops. And now I am here, at Hot Sun Foundation, to gain an even deeper knowledge about photography and filmmaking.

I want to move away from Mathare. I’d also like to take my mother and my sister with me. Mathare isn’t so bad, but I don’t want to end up there. I want to improve my life, go a step further. I hope I can do this as soon as I earn my own money.

Now that I’ve been at Hot Sun Foundation for a while, I am more motivated than ever to go on with filmmaking and photography. I really enjoy the work. I think it can offer me the opportunity to fulfil my great dream – get into a plane and fly to visit other countries.

Hot Sun Foundation

Hot Sun Foundation offers opportunities to youth like me - to really learn filmmaking and make our own short films.  All of us who work hard and develop our talent will be able to make new lives for ourselves and our families. Almost all of the graduates get jobs in the Kenya media industry.

Bonus Day TODAY Wednesday 16 July 2014

That's why I am asking all of you, your families, your friends to donate on this very special day, Bonus Day,  today Wednesday 16 July.

Today and today only, your donation will be matched 50%!  But don't wait.  Donate now please.  Funds are limited. 

Your donation is very important just now, because the grant from the  major donor for Hot Sun Foundation is ending this year.

Please go to  now and make a donation.

Thank you for all you do! 

Benta shooting her film
Benta shooting her film


Ronald training other youth at Hot Sun Foundation
Ronald training other youth at Hot Sun Foundation

Ronald's Story

I grew up in Kibera, a very large urban slum in Nairobi. I was only nine years old when my dad died. Then when I was thirteen, my mom died. I had to leave Nairobi with my younger sister and go to my grandma's house in Western Kenya.

I had some luck. I got a scholarship to a high school in Nairobi. After high school, I got a sponsor for technical training, but the sponsorship abruptly ended.

I didn't know what to do. I just wanted a job. My younger sister was depending on me.

A friend invited me to a workshop at Hot Sun Foundation. Then I applied to the filmmaking training class.

My life has changed big time since Hot Sun Foundation trained me in filmmaking.   Now I have a profound interest in cameras and becoming the best possible cameraman and eventually a director of photography.

I am working as a cameraman with local and international film crews in Kenya and even in Tanzania and Uganda.  I am supporting my younger sister, paying her school fees and helping out my uncle who lives on a small farm in Western Kenya.

My life has direction and purpose.

Thank you Hot Sun Foundation for uncovering the talent that I didn't know I had.

Why should people support Hot Sun Foundation?

When I look at myself, I see that Hot Sun Foundation saw my possibilities. Since I joined Hot Sun Foundation, my life has changed totally

Hot Sun Foundation has changed the lives of many youth from the slums, who are now working successfully in the film industry. Hot Sun Foundation has changed the negative stereotypes against slum youth.

Quality training in filmmaking is very costly.  Up to date equipment is needed. Learning filmmaking is beyond the means of all the youth living in the slums of Nairobi. 

 We need more people to support us. Then we can get more creative people from urban slums into filmmaking. We can change the life and living of youth through what they see they can do in filmmaking.

BONUS DAY Wed. 16 July 2014

Please mark your calendars for Wed. 16 July BONUS DAY starting at 9 am (New York USA time).

On BONUS DAY, your support for Hot Sun Foundation will be matched 50%!

ONLY on this day.

 Donate any amount on Wed 16 July Bonus Day.

Donate EARLY in the day before the funds run out.

Donate online at

I want more youth living in Nairobi to have the opportunities I have had.

Asante sana. Thank you very much.

Ronald training other youth at Hot Sun Foundation
Ronald training other youth at Hot Sun Foundation


Stephen filming at Hot Sun Foundation
Stephen filming at Hot Sun Foundation

Greetings Global Givers!

My name is Stephen. I am from Kibera, a large urban slum in Nairobi, Kenya.

I came to filmmaking through working with a dancers group in Kibera called Wayo Wayo. I worked with a volunteer who was making a documentary film about organizations in Kibera, including, Hot Sun Foundation. That experience made me long to become a filmmaker and that's how I met Hot Sun Foundation.

When I complete my filmmaking training at Hot Sun Foundation, I hope to do documentaries, especially about groups like Wayo Wayo.

What I like best about Hot Sun Foundation is the people. The teachers are very good and open-minded. I also like the atmosphere at Hot Sun Film School. Everyone is so friendly and interactive. I’d noticed this already when I approached Hot Sun Foundation for the first time to gather information about the training. It felt like home immediately.

So Global Givers, please support Hot Sun Foundation because it is the only school that has affordable training in filmmaking for youth from slums like Kibera and gives young filmmakers the chance to improve and activate their skills.

Thank you.  Asante sana. 

Stephen with Hot Sun Foundation trainees
Stephen with Hot Sun Foundation trainees


Sammy, center, with Film School grads now trainers
Sammy, center, with Film School grads now trainers

Name: Sammy

Age: 22

How did you find out about Hot Sun Foundation's Film School?    

Before I came here, I had a little business with a friend. We used to sell DVDs in the streets. One day we decided that we wanted to sell our own films on DVD. It became our dream. So my friend started to look for schools. He walked around in the city, called people he knew. One of them used to be a trainee at Hot Sun Film School. This is how we got the connection.              

What do you like best about Hot Sun Film School?

I mostly like that everyone here is so committed to the subject. This pushes me and gives me the motivation I need. Furthermore, I love the readiness of the equpiment and that we have access to modern technology. It really enables us to learn as much as we can.

Why should people support Hot Sun Foundation on Global Giving?

Hot Sun supports young filmmakers that don’t have the financial means to attend a private film academy. By supporting Hot Sun, people support the filmmaking youth. They feel wanted and supported. They are even more motivated to carry on with filmmaking. Furthermore, there is a huge growth of local themes. So we need more filmmakers to tell all these stories. This can be achieved with the help of Hot Sun.

 Thanks to all supporters who make Sammy's dream come true... making his own films instead of selling DVDs on the street.  It's only possible with your support! 

Sammy with other Hot Sun Film School trainees
Sammy with other Hot Sun Film School trainees


Hot Sun Foundation film trainees
Hot Sun Foundation film trainees

Dear Friends and Supporters

First of all thank you so much for your support for Hot Sun Foundation - making it possible to train youth from urban slums in Kenya to become filmmakers.

Our graduates have had great success in finding employment and contributing to the TV and media industry in Kenya.

We want to do much much more and train more upcoming young creatives.

We are currently interviewing young people for our next four month full time hands-on filmmaking training in Nairobi, Kenya which begins April 14.

We have discovered five very committed young people, (two young women and three young men), who want to learn filmmaking but have no source of funds.

We need your help to make their dreams come true.

Our fees are only one third of our actual costs. Filmmaking training is expensive. We constantly update our equipment and use industry professionals to teach our classes. Every trainee makes two short films during the four months training.

We are making this special request to ask if you can pay the fees of one or more filmmaking trainees for four months.

The fees, which pay for all supplies as well as equipment and instruction are USD 167 per month for four months for a total of USD 667.

If you can pay the total amount, either on a monthly basis or all at once, we will send you the information about the trainee, her or his progress as well as an online video of her/his short films.

If you contribute any amount between now and 10 April, all funds donated to our project will go to paying the fees of a trainee.

Please think about the change you can bring in one young person's life by ensuring they can join our filmmaking training course.

Any amount contributed by 10 April will help make it possible.

Thank you.

Pamela Collett

Trustee Hot Sun Foundation



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Organization Information

Hot Sun Foundation

Location: Nairobi, Kenya - Kenya
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Nathan Collett
Nairobi, Kenya
$50,398 raised of $70,000 goal
686 donations
$19,602 to go
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