Shining Hope for Communities has developed an innovative, community-driven model to combat inter-generational cycles of poverty and gender inequality in Nairobi's Kibera and Mathare slums.
We link free schools for girls to accessible social services for all. In August 2009, we founded The Kibera School for Girls, the first entirely free school for girls in Kibera. The second step of our model provides the community-at-large with tangible benefits through a community center adjacent to the school. The unique services we offer include sanitary eco- toilets, a library and cyber café, gardens and food security, gender violence support, microenterprise for HIV positive women, a youth center, access to water, business and literacy training, and hundreds of jobs. We also operate the Johanna Justin-Jinich Community Clinic, which specializes in primary care and maternal health. By investing in health and economic success through a school for girls, we demonstrate that benefitting women benefits the whole community, cultivating a community ethos that makes women respected members of society.
Shining Hope for Communities is a 501(c)(3) non-profit founded in 2009 by Kennedy Odede and Jessica Posner. Kennedy was born and raised in Kibera and lived there for 23 of his 27 years. He brings years of grassroots community organizing and personal experience that informs our work at every level. We have received widespread support and recognition for our work with The Newman's Own Foundation, we won the 2010 Dell Social Innovation Competition, Kennedy and Jessica were awarded the prestigious 2010 Echoing Green Fellowship, and Jessica was recognized as America's "Top World Changer 25 and Under" by Do Something and VH1. Shining Hope was recently featured in Nicholas Kristof's column.