Ask Headmistress Olwande of the Kibera School for Girls about her students and she will tell you "It’s one of my passions, to make them them realize that you didn’t choose, you didn’t sign to be born where you were born but you can choose to go where you want to be in the future." for anyone this would be good acvice, but for these girls this is a necessary philosophy. This is why I love this school and their organization Shining Hope for Communties. It is not only investing in the immediate education and well-being of every girl in the school, and their surrounding worlds, but it is building their foundation for a life of strength and progress. The organization is evolving their situation into something hopeful, something lasting. They are continuing to grow, both the girls and the movement, together. Keep going girls! I'm humbled by you!
The best way i can describe the visceral sense of hope I feel when I think about shining hope and their Kibera School for girls is to explain my first literal encounter with the school. You walk through the grey, brown streets of kibera and after ten minutes come upon a bright blue and red building. The color contrast alone makes your heart smile. Then you hear it. The sounds of young girls voices soaring high in song above the mud and the muck of the streets below. This is hope. This is the Kibera school for girls. Their work is tireless and in my humble opinion, the most important work on the planet. Keep it up!
This is an inspiring organization! I love their vision: by empowering girls and women we can uplift and transform communities. I've worked in the field of global development for years, and this is just so spot on. I am blown away by the range of initiatives (school, health clinic, water project, gardens, ...) run by Shining Hope, which manages to do so much with a lean organizational structure and funding. The people running this NGO are inspiring, dedicated, creative, visionary thinkers - and they deserve support and recognition for all they do. I'm so proud to be a supporter of Shining Hope and will continue to support them for a long, long time.
I am Kenyan, just like the founder of Shining Hope (Kennedy Odede). The way things work in Kenya; children who come from financially capable families, are the ones who are exposed to opportunities. These children will essentially get better education, be exposed to more opportunities and better jobs. This is sadly not the case for people living in slums such as Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya. The people who grow up there do not get access to basic primary education, healthcare and proper sanitation due to their income levels. They do not dream of become influential and prominent people in society. Most people in Kenya accept these inequalities as a truth of life. Shining Hope is an amazing organization as it does not accept this and challenges this societal norm. It does this by allowing children from impoverished backgrounds to have a shot at success. Shining Hope empowers these children, not just financially in the form of education and healthcare, but mentally by changing previous ideologies. The children now believe that they can succeed just as much as a rich child can. Because of Shining Hope, the children have opportunities to succeed. Wanjiru Ngige
My wife and I are retired educators. In fact, Jessica Posner, the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Shining Hope for Communities, was a former student of mine in middle school. Last year we chose a math program for the school, and in February of 2012 we spent two weeks at the school training the faculty on how to teach the math program. We are going over again in January 2013 to do follow-up with the math program, and to train them in an English literacy program. Why are we doing this? We are so impressed with the work that is going on at Shining Hope. The faculty at the school is amazingly committed to giving these beautiful children a top-flight education. They are open to ideas and are wonderful to work with. Of course, the clinic and the community center are also giving unique and new opportunities to the people who are living in the Kibera slums. Shining Hope for Communities is a magnificent oasis in the midst of the slum, and we are honored that we can be a part of the wonderful work that is going on there.
I have been volunteering with this organization for the past three years, and have been deeply impressed with several different aspects of how Shining Hope operates. First and foremost, I have been drawn to Shining Hope due to its grassroots beginnings and strong connection with the local community -- something that is absolutely vital for a successful and effective NGO/Community-based Organization. Kennedy Odede, co-founder and CEO, grew up in Kibera, where the projects are located, acting as a youth leader. His deep understanding of local issues and his ability to be in constant dialogue with the community, listening and responding to what they say they need, is an invaluable part of why Shining Hope is so effective. The grassroots connection also manifests itself in the ability for local people to be employed in the various aspects of Shining Hope's work. The local staff is highly effective and very passionate about their roles in the organization. In addition, the local community is completely behind Shining Hope, as it is an organization that came from Kibera, and was not brought in from the US or Europe without community input, as so many NGOs are. This is one reason I was drawn to Shining Hope when I first became involved in college. Another reason is the organizations mission and model, which seeks empower women and girls through a tuition free school for girls with social services for the entire community. By linking these social services to girls’ education, girls’ education becomes viewed as more important. As girls and women are empowered, the entire community is empowered. This model is, in my opinion, highly effective, and is the reason I have stayed involved for so long and will continue to be involved.
I've been volunteering with Shining Hope in different capacities for the past three years and have completely loved it. I got involved in college after having studied abroad in Kenya and was deeply impressed by the level of impact, accountability, and overall message of the organization. Six months ago, I came to Kenya to volunteer on the ground. I have been impressed and inspired by the local staff who have such zeal for life and a love and commitment for the job. And of course, the girls at the Kibera School for Girls are completely wonderful!
I volunteered for Shining hope for Communities in the Spring of 2012 as an intern in their New York office. I entered the position with the belief that I would be working for just another US based non-profit that was doing meaningful work somewhere in the world. I was sorely mistaken. The Shining Hope for Communities staff are a very committed bunch of individuals, dedicating every fasset of their life to improving projects and instilling change in Kibera. Since day one I have been not only impressed by the work and success of the entire organization but also become absorbed by the positive attitude and drive shared by everyone involved. I'm ecstatic to be a part of the movement and I consider myself lucky to have found them!
I first got involved with Shining Hope during my first year of college. Overwhelmed by the amount of clubs and organizations that were available to me, I knew I had to spend my time involving myself with groups I really felt passionate about and felt that I could really contribute to, as well as get a lot out of myself. As someone interested in education, gender equality and non-profit work, Shining Hope fit all of those criteria and more! At school, I helped start up my school's own SHOFCO Chapter, and have served as secretary since it's beginning. Currently, I am interning at their New York office and loving it. It's amazing to see the progress Shining Hope has made and continues to make and the life changing work that's being done in Kibera. Everyone involved is so passionate and kind, which makes it a great environment to be part of. It's particularly exciting as a college student, because regardless of if I'm fundraising at school, helping to put together an event, or organizing in the office, I can directly see how my time and effort is being reflected in the work Shining Hope is doing and can tell I'm making a difference.
I have been volunteering with Shining Hope on a pretty consistent basis for the past six months or so, starting with a trip to Kenya for the organization's Summer Institute. My month in Kibera was one of the most challenging periods of my life, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. Along with 12 other college students, I worked basically as a camp counselor for the incredible students at the Kibera School for Girls. The students at KSG radiate energy and excitement, and make every day a great one. I'll never forget watching Pre-K student Elizabeth read the word "strawberry" - she struggled to sound it out at first, but got the hang of it in almost no time. It seems like a small thing, but for this 5 year old girl learning to read, it made her day - and mine too! It was difficult to adjust to living in Kenya, but Shining Hope's staff was incredibly supportive through anything and really helped make my experience incredible. The work they do is consistently inspiring and remarkable, and I support it wholeheartedly.