Kennedy was born in and lived in the Kibera slum for the first 23 years of his life. In Kibera he saw the lives of many women crushed like his mother’s and sisters’, and dreamed of changing the position of women in his society. As the oldest of eight children, he assumed responsibility for his family at the age of ten. In Kibera he became a certified HIV/AIDS counselor, was a community health worker, and ran several slum-wide AIDS education campaigns. In 2004 he founded SHOFCO, one of the largest community-based organizations in Kibera founded and run by residents of the slum itself. Kennedy is now the co-founder and Executive Director of Shining Hope for Communities, a non-profit that works in Kibera to combat gender inequality and extreme poverty. Kennedy has received widespread recognition for his work. He is a senior fellow with Humanity in Action, Echoing Green 2010 fellow and recently wrote an Op-Ed that appeared in the New York Times. Kennedy is twenty-five-years-old, speaks five languages, and brings his extensive experience in grass-roots organizing as well as passion for social justice and poverty alleviation to his work with Shining Hope for Communities. Kennedy is the first person from the Kibera slum to attend a four-year college: Wesleyan University where he is now a junior.
You can also follow Kennedy on twitter:http://twitter.com/kennedyodede/
About Shining Hope for Communities
Shining Hope for Communities won the 2010 Dell Social Innovation Competition, and won the 2010 Do Something Award. Shining Hope for Communities is currently building a desperately needed community health center. We also just opened a bio-latrine center providing residents with clean toilets. Shining Hope also finished constriction of our expanded community centre offering vital services to thousands of Kibera residents. Shining Hope also expanded the Kibera School for Girls by 48% in just one year. Shining Hope has also recently been featured on CNN, and in Fast Company Magazine.
To learn more about his organization visit: http://www.hopetoshine.org/