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Review for Shining Hope for Communities, New York, NY, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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Role:  Volunteer