Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) is a grassroots movement that catalyzes large-scale transformation in urban slums by providing critical services for all, community advocacy platforms, and education and leadership development for women and girls.
Our Vision: Building Urban Promise from Urban Poverty
Kennedy Odede started Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) in 2004 with passion,
20 cents and a soccer ball
Growing up in Kibera, one of the largest slums in Africa, he experienced extreme poverty, violence, lack of opportunity, and deep gender inequality. However, Kennedy also witnessed the palpable hope that persists in slums and recognized that people sought something different for themselves, their families and their communities. Visionaries like Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela showed Kennedy that great, systemic change can come from within. Women like Kennedy’s mother inspired him to build the solutions to urban poverty through addressing one if its core obstacles—the prohibitive level of gender inequality.
In 2007, Kennedy met Jessica Posner, a bright and driven American student studying abroad. Together they devised the model that SHOFCO utilizes today. Kennedy and Jessica’s partnership is a unique, pioneering collaboration in the field of international development. Bolstered by grassroots knowledge, they have dedicated their lives to bringing hope to urban communities. In 2015, they released their New York Times best-selling book: Find Me Unafraid: Love, Loss, and Hope in an African Slum.
Our Child Protection Policy
SHOFCO recognizes the rights of all children to be protected from harm in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) of 1989, The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of Children of 1990 and Kenya’s Children Act No. 8 of 2001. SHOFCO takes seriously its duty to create an organization that is safe for children, where all efforts are made to prevent child abuse. SHOFCO sees the best interests of the child as paramount.
All SHOFCO staff are expected to uphold and abide by our Child Protection Policy, which outlines our approach to keeping children safe. Our approach includes promoting awareness of child protection issues among staff and the broader communities we serve, providing clear disclosure and reporting procedures for alleged violations, and conducting due diligence on all potential new hires. Key roles responsible for enforcing the policy and handling reported cases include: the SHOFCO Senior Management Team, Director of Education, teachers, social workers, and case workers. Although all SHOFCO staff are responsible for the prevention and protection of children against abuse, management should always uphold and demonstrate the commitment to the child protection principles.
The SHOFCO Child Protection Policy is reviewed as a minimum every three years and is adapted whenever there is a significant change in the organization or any legal changes. A copy of our Child Protection Policy is available upon request.