Background: USAID’s Democracy and Governance (DG) activities support the goal of Bangladesh becoming a middle income country by 2021 by promoting democratic institutions and practices. Bangladesh’s economy has benefited significantly in recent decades from a thriving garment sector, with estimated exports of $21.5 billion in 2012-13. The industry is estimated to directly employ between 3.5 - 5 million people and as many as 10 million indirectly. Approximately 80 percent of the workforce in the garment industry is women, many of whom are migrants from poor households in rural districts. Worker protection has failed to keep pace with the explosive growth of the garment sector in the past two decades. 

USAID asked us to produce a film to demonstrate how USAID’s support has contributed in protecting workers’ rights, getting union registrations, developing capacity of young men and women workers and contributing to uphold labor/human rights.

Challenges: Our first challenge was identifying the right subject who worked in a factory throughout the transformative changes in workers rights who could explain what it was like before and what it is like now. Our second challenge was identifying someone who met this criteria whose factory would also let us film inside. Because of all the bad press around garment factories in Bangladesh many factories are closed to the press. We started by talking with the U.S. Embassy staff and their implementing partner, Solidarity Center, about their programs and potential subjects for our film. They identified a handful of potential options whom we called and conducted pre-interviews over the phone to get additional details about their family, where they work, and their involvement with unions. On the other side Solidarity Center liaised with the factory leadership to request approval to film inside. 

Outcome: We produced a 4 minute film and 30 second trailer about Shahara Khatun, 28—a garment factory worker who moved hours away from her family to make H&M blazers at East West Industrial Park in Gazipur, Dhaka District. The factory was very accommodating and let us film inside for half a day. With the money she earns she supportsher parents, husband and two sons. When she first started at the factory 7 years ago, conditions were rough. She did not get paid on time, she didn’t have paid leave, and they couldn’t talk to management to address problems. After joining a trade union, Shahara learned about workers rights and labor laws. Her union elected her as the general secretary and together they negotiated better working conditions at the factory. Now, they can discuss issues with management, they get paid on-time, they have daycare at the factory to keep their children, and they have scheduled leave. With her income, she supports her eldest son’s education and has bought a plot of land next to her parents’ house where she’ll build a new house for her family.


About the Client: USAID is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential.

Client: USAID Bangladesh
Initiative: Democracy & Governance
Partner: Solidarity Center
Subject: Shahara Khatun, 28
Location: Gazipur, Dhaka, Bangladesh


Production: Mehedi Hussain
Translation: Mehedi Hussain / Ahsan Khan (USAID)
Videography: Josh Estey / Morgana Wingard
Photography: Josh Estey
Editing: Sarah Grile
Music: Ryan Huff


Background: USAID’s Food for Peace (FFP) development food assistance programs are multi-disciplinary approaches to addressing the key root causes of hunger and poverty in developing countries. They wanted a documentary that would explain the backdrop of extreme poverty, vulnerability and hunger in Bangladesh and how Food For Peace assistance is breaking the cycle of poverty by investing in skills development, health and resilience for communities. They wanted to convey core messages and tell an emotionally engaging story through a creative and visually captivating product. They asked us to capture the essence of the beneficiaries’ situations through different and unexpected perspectives, the challenges they face and the assistance that allows them to overcome those challenges in a film product that is targeted at the layperson and appeals to basic human emotions through beautiful and vivid visuals and a gripping storyline. 

Challenges: Our first challenge was identifying the right beneficiary to capture their multi-faceted approach to alleviating extreme poverty. We wanted to capture the full breadth of the program, yet tell it on a personal level through one individual. We worked with the embassy staff and their local partners to identify leaders in their various programs in the country. We then conducted pre-interviews over the phone with the selected candidates to get additional information about their stories to see if they would meet our messaging requirements. We discussed the finding from the pre-interviews with the U.S. Embassy staff to select a final candidate. 

Our second challenge was getting there. Because these programs work with the most vulnerable, they are often in remote, rural areas. We drove for half a day to stay at a lodge as close as possible to our subject, but she still lived another 1-2 hours awayso throughout the shoot we woke up before sunrise and drove in the dark to arrive at her home as the sun was rising. 

Outcomes: In the end, we produced a 5 minute film and 30 second trailer in Sirajganj, Bangladesh about Monjuara. When Monjuara’s sons were young, her family struggled to survive. Some days they had nothing to eat. In 2011 things changed. A community group arrived and began training Monjuara about better agriculture techniques, proper healthcare and nutrition, women’s empowerment, communicating with local government organizations, and how to prepare for and respond to disasters. Five years later, the program is program is complete, but it lives on through Monjuara. Now, a community leader, Monjuara continues to teach members of her community what she learned. She advises pregnant women teaching them about proper healthcare for their unborn baby. Now, her husband helps her with the household chores including bathing and feeding their 3 sons and caring for their animals. Monjuara also liaises with local government representatives about community needs especially in times of disaster. Her dream is to provide this service to her village and a good education for her sons.

Client: USAID Bangladesh
Initiative: Food for Peace
Partner: CARE
Subject: Mossamat Monjuara Khatun, 27
Location: Purba Dhublai Village, Sirajganj, Bangladesh

About the Client: USAID is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential.




Production: Mehedi Hussain
Translation: Mehedi Hussain / Ahsan Khan (USAID)
Videography: Josh Estey / Morgana Wingard
Photography: Josh Estey
Editing: Sarah Grile
Music: Ryan Huff


Client: USAID
Location: Senegal, Tanzania, DRC, Ethiopia

Project Overview: USAID commissioned Namuh to capture stories of their diverse work across the African continent. The photo and video stories were used on their new online immersive storytelling experience as an awareness raising tool to showcase their projects to alleviate extreme poverty around the world.

Challenges: Our first challenge was finding the subjects to focus on for our human interest stories in each country. Beneficiaries are often in remote regions of the country with limited access to communication. We worked with program staff on the ground and the U.S. Embassy in each country to identify the best stories and coordinate the logistics to film them for 2-3 days. In every country our subject spoke a different language so we also had to coordinate translators and transcribers for the interviews. To keep costs down, we combined all the shoots into one 5 week trip with a skeleton crew of 2 people and a bare bones DSLR equipment kit to be nimble as we traveled across the continent. For some shoots we traveled 2-3 days just to get to the recipient and often woke up before dawn to get to their homes before sunrise. Sometimes logistical challenges cut our filming time short and we had to work quickly within much shorter time frames to capture all the footage we needed. When we were filming a survivor of sexual violence in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), we wanted to protect the identity of the girl and her family so we filmed the entire film in a way that the viewer never sees her face or identifying characteristics. That shoot was then interrupted by political violence and we were evacuated from the country.

Outcomes: In the end we produced 5 videos with accompanying photos and written stories. Each one tells the story of a specific challenge and how one person, with the help of USAID, is overcoming this obstacle.

In Senegal, we filmed Hapsatou -- a Community Based Solution Provider who's fighting malnutrition on the border of Senegal and Mauritania by educating her community and training them on better health and hygiene, better farming techniques, vaccinating livestock, and launching small businesses. 

In Democratic Republic of Congo we filmed a young girl who is a survivor of sexual and gender based violence. USAID provided psychosocial, medical, legal, and economic support to her and her family.

In Zanzibar, Tanzania we followed a community health worker who is fighting Malaria with technology and her motorcycle.

In Arusha, Tanzania we filmed Elizabeth at her Masaii boma where solar power is bringing light, hope and new opportunity. 

In Ethiopia, we filmed Dhaka who has formed a milk collective in her community to sell to a local wholesaler.

Awards: The film series won a 2015 Silver Davey Award and USAID's online storytelling experience won 5 Addys for Online Interactive Campaign, Microsite, Interface & Navigation, Responsive Design Entry, and User Experience.

About the Client: USAID is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential.

Filming Hapsatou's story in Senegal.

Filming Hapsatou's story in Senegal.


Out of every 100 girls in Malawi who begin Standard 1, only about three will enter into secondary education. Of those three, only one will enter university.

The Project: CARE believes a strategic entry point for education and engagement of policymakers and key stakeholders is through travel to see the impact made by effective development programs. Several times a year, CARE hosts high-level delegations in the countries where they work to experience firsthand the impact of U.S. investments on the ground.  

We traveled with Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA 13th District) when she visited one of CARE's Join My Village programs in Malawi and met 13 year old Mwai Banda.

Join My Village is a unique initiative that unites corporate philanthropy and public engagement to make real progress toward ending global poverty and hunger. To date, Join My Village has benefited more than five million people in Malawi and India. Mwah is one who is now able to pursue her education thanks to a scholarship provided through Join My Village. 

The Goal: These learning tours can be transformative for the participants. Our goal was to capture the stories on the ground and the unique intersection of those stories with the journeys of the participants.  

The Client: CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. They place a special focus on working alongside marginalized women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. Women are at the heart of CARE's community-based efforts to advance basic education, improve maternal and child health, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity and protect natural resources. CARE also delivers emergency aid to survivors of conflict and natural disasters and helps people rebuild their lives. In 2014, CARE reached 97 million beneficiaries in 90 countries around the world, implementing long- term development and humanitarian programs to tackle the underlying causes of poverty and social injustice and to bring lasting change to the lives of poor and vulnerable people. 

Client: CARE
Location: Malawi
Music: Ryan Huff
Cinematography: Morgana Wingard
Editing: Morgana Wingard


The Project: CARE believes a strategic entry point for education and engagement of policymakers and key stakeholders is through travel to see the impact made by effective development programs. Several times a year, CARE hosts high-level delegations in the countries where they work to experience firsthand the impact of U.S. investments on the ground.  Our film team flew to Malawi in advance to film the programs on the ground and traveled with the delegation throughout their journey. 

Due to the Malawi's heavy reliance on agriculture, combined with climate changes and massive flooding, much of the population suffers from chronic food and nutrition insecurity.

53% of children under 5 years old in Malawi are stunted.

Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL 23rd District) visits CARE's Pathways program which aims to increase the productivity and empowerment of women farmers by providing expertise in smallholder agriculture, financial inclusion, nutrition, women’s empowerment and market engagement. Working in partnership with others, Pathways promotes transformative change in women’s lives and the lives of their families to improve nutrition and food security.

The Goal: These learning tours can be transformative for the participants. Our goal was to capture the stories on the ground and the unique intersection of those stories with the journeys of the participants.  

The Client: Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor girls and women because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty.

Client: CARE
Location: Malawi
Music: Ryan Huff
Cinematography: Morgana Wingard
Editing: Morgana Wingard


Client: PCI Media
Location: Liberia

Project Overview: PCI Media hired Namuh during the height of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to film the stories of survivors in Liberia to share locally and internationally. The films were aired within Liberia to fight misconceptions and educate people on prevention and treatment. Internationally, the stories were shared through social media and news outlets including Mashable, Newsweek, CNN, and BBC.

Challenges: We lived in Liberia for a couple years before the outbreak exploded so it was personal to us. Everyone we knew was impacted in some way. We'd been covering the unfolding events and response for months, but when PCI Media contacted us to film stories of survivors we leaped at the opportunity. At the time not many positive stories were coming out of West Africa and people needed hope. Our first challenge was finding the right stories to film. We started by reaching out to our friends at UNICEF and the Ministry of Health. They connected us to survivors they were working with and let us speak at a meeting for Ebola survivors at the Ministry of Health where we explained our project and asked for volunteers who would like to be involved. After compiling a long list of names and phone numbers, we began the lengthy process of calling and conducting pre-interviews with all of them. We were looking for diverse stories that would show the range of people effected by the disease -- people with dynamic stories that were also comfortable in-front of a camera and ready to share their stories with the world. In the end, we selected 15 brave souls who shared some of the worst and terrifying moments of their life -- from a pastor who fled the Ebola treatment unit and eventually turned himself in to an ambulance driver who contracted the virus while trying to save the last boy alive in a family stricken by the disease.

Outcomes: We produced 11 videos and written stories featuring Ebola survivors from various walks of life in Liberia and a film on one organization's unique approach to burying the dead -- one of the most controversial issues during the outbreak.

2015 Silver Davey Award
Six 2015 IndieFEST film awards:

  • Award of Excellence: Contemporary Issues / Awareness Raising
  • Award of Excellence: Documentary Program / Series
  • Award of Excellence: Public Service Programming / PSA
  • Award of Excellence: Health / Medicine / Science
  • Award of Excellence: Use of Film / Video for Social Change
  • Award of Excellence: Dramatic Impact

 SIMA 2016 HUMANITAS Award in the IMPACT VIDEO Category

About the Campaign: #ISurviedEbola is a global campaign that places Ebola survivor stories at the center of efforts to inform, protect, and inspire. Commissioned by campaign partners -- the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and Vulcan Productions -- #ISurvivedEbola is being implemented by PCI Media Impact in collaboration with UNICEF. The campaign is part of Paul G. Allen’s broader #TackleEbola initiative, and is consistent with Mr. Allen’s overall efforts.

About the Client: PCI Media Impact empowers communities worldwide to inspire positive social and environmental change through storytelling and creative communications.

Sarah filming Amadu's story in Monrovia, Liberia.

Sarah filming Amadu's story in Monrovia, Liberia.


Project: Title: Playing to Live
Client: UNICEF
Location: Liberia
Date: December 2015
Services Provided: Videography and Editing

Overview: In December 2015 UNICEF LIberia commissioned Namuh to work on various Ebola related stories to raise awareness about the disease. One of the stories that NAMUH worked on was about Helena Baker, an Ebola survivor who lost her husband to the disease. While in the Ebola Treatment Unit, Baker met a young girl named Deedeh, an Ebola survivor who had also lost her parents to the Ebola. Baker later adopted Deedeh into her family. Baker was able to find work with the UNICEF supported NGO, Playing to Live. The organization uses art, play and self expression to help children cope with trauma.

Goal: Helena Baker looked at her circumstances with the will to make the best out of her situation. The objective was to show how UNICEF helped to support Helena to keep her children safe and in school with the stipend she received working for Playing to Live. Also, the film was used to show the difficulties Ebola survivors face even after the epidemic stopped spreading.

Challenges: Namuh discovered Playing to Live through a local contact and learned that UNICEF had given the organization a six month grant. After the UNICEF Communication Specialist approved the story, we contacted the organization. We met with one woman the organization thought would be a good candidate, but felt her story was not strong enough. Once we were told about Helena’s story, we thought it would make a compelling film. She agreed to participate and we started filming. There were many parts to Helena’s story that needed to be addressed in order to achieve the overall goal of the film. Weaving all of the details of her narrative into a four minute film while trying to keeping it personable proved challenging.We interviewed Deedeh and her older sister a month after Helena to help tie the story together. It also gave both girls time to become comfortable with the camera.

Result: The final film was displayed on UNICEF USA’s Facebook page and YouTube site to help raise awareness and support. When shown on UNICEF USA’s Facebook page, the film received 9,465 views.

About the Client: About the Client: UNICEF is the agency of the United Nations mandated to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential.

Music: “Tokyo Love Theme,” “Untitled #7,” “Untitled #10,” “Untitled #4” and “Untitled #9” by Yusuke Tsutsum`
Cinematography: Sarah Grile
Editing: Sarah Grile

Playing to Live Screen Grab 5.jpg