Batchelor creates videos to help others

Published 9:19 pm Thursday, May 3, 2012

Matt Batchelor frames his shot of Aster Mogus during filming of the Because Every Mother Matters documentary in rural Ethiopia. (Contributed Photo/Amy Smith)

The scene opens on a dirt road lined with ramshackle huts and clothes drying on a line. It cuts to an American woman telling her story, and then to the children and mothers who inhabit the poverty-stricken towns of rural Ethiopia.

This is the story of Because Every Mother Matters, a nonprofit organization promoting health for mothers, orphan prevention and family retention in Ethiopia, as filmed by Matt Batchelor, a Washington resident and student at the University of North Carollina at Wilmington.

Batchelor created the seven-minute documentary during a three-week filming mission to Ethiopia in March, where he also produced a short film documenting one of the ministries being conducted there by members of Christian Skaters.

Available for viewing on the website, where Batchelor has posted 28 of his films, documentaries like these — that tell a story of people who need help — are exactly what Batchelor wants to create in the future.

“That’s my goal. I want to tell stories of people who need help and wouldn’t get it otherwise,” Batchelor said, adding that he hopes to travel the world filming people in need so others can learn about them and help.

Batchelor has produced several videos for Christian Skaters, a nonprofit organization sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ through the common bond of skateboarding, traveling with it to film the skateboarding ministries it conducts in such areas as Panama and Ethiopia.

It is through his work with CS that Batchelor became aware of BEMM.

“It’s really an orphan-prevention program. They have 70 volunteers in Ethiopia. They find families and take care of the mother to keep the mothers alive so they can take care of the family all together,” Batchelor said.

With captivating, heart-warming videography, Batchelor tells the story of how and why BEMM began and how it is helping more than 80 mothers and 400 children survive in a land of abject poverty through a mothers-sponsoring-mothers program.

He shares the story of BEMM helping one mother start a small business.

“Now, we can all eat three times a day. They came and helped change my life,” said Ethiopian mother Aster Mogus in the film.

Unable to get all of the stories he taped while in Ethiopia into the documentary, Batchelor plans to make short clips of individual mothers to get their stories heard.

Videography has been the go-to medium for Batchelor since he was a child.

“Growing up, video was a constant thing in my life. For projects (at school), I always took the video option. Later, it turned from more of a hobby to something I can make money at, doing documentaries and commercials,” said Batchelor.

Many of Batchelor’s videos are films of surfing and skateboarding, two things he enjoys doing and is good at filming. But it is the work he does for nonprofits and nongovernmental agencies that give him the most satisfaction, he said.

“I’d love to continue freelance filming. I enjoy filming the surfing and skateboarding, but I’d really like to tell more stories. I enjoy telling people’s stories. I get to meet people and tell stories that other people wouldn’t normally hear about.”

To view Batchelor’s film, go to and type his name into the search field in the upper right. You may also learn more about him at