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The Dilemma

Kibera, Nairobi is Kenya’s most economically depressed area. 1 in 5 children from Kibera do not live to see their fifth birthday. There are many issues arising from the extreme poverty in this area, lack of adequate clean water, sanitation, education, oppression of community leaders and gender inequality.

Kennedy Odede was born and raised in Kibera. Because of the incredible hardship suffered by his family, Odede has dedicated his life to helping women and children in the region. This young visionary founded SHOFCO, an organization that has placed a free school for girls in the community as a portal for large-scale social change. This approach invites both genders to be a part of the solution and builds a community invested in it’s own future with education as the catalyst. Ultimately, this will transform the face of urban poverty while creating tomorrow’s leaders.

The Mothers' Day Movement Campaign

In 2011 our inaugural campaign raised over $135,000 for Shining Hope for Communities, including a $10,000 grant from the Oak Foundation. This outpouring of support for SHOFCO came from over 2,000 individual donors who wanted to celebrate the mothers of Kibera and make Mother’s Day more meaningful. With this influx of funds, SHOFCO was able to build a new school that now houses the Kibera School for Girls, the centerpiece of their programs.

Since 2011, SHOFCO has grown tenfold, quickly moving beyond the school to holistic community services helping in the areas of health, community empowerment, clean water and sanitation. Now SHOFCO has opened a second school, the Mathare School for Girls, a group savings and loan and a free medical clinic.

After MDM introduced Nicolas Kristof to SHOFCO, their success multiplied exponentially. Kristof and WuDunn featured SHOFCO in their 2015 PBS documentary “A Path Appears.”

In Their Own Words

“Through the support of the Mothers' Day Movement, we built our beautiful expanded school for girls in Kibera. This is an incredible movement that gives the opportunity for every woman to have an impact. When women come together, the world must listen.”

Kennedy Odede,
SHOFCO Founder & CEO