Kennedy Odede

Founder, Shining Hope for Communities


Kennedy Odede is founder of Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO). A former street child who lived most of his life in Kibera, Africa’s largest slum, he founded SHOFCO with savings from his $1 per day factory job.  SHOFCO’s programs will collectively serve over 76,000 individuals in 2015.  The organization is scaling across Kenya’s slums with a model that links free schools for girls to holistic community services for all, currently focused on the Kibera and Mathare slums. Odede was named a Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur, and recently won the Mohammed Ali Humanitarian Award.  The New York Times, CNN, and Project Syndicate have published his opinion articles on urban poverty.  His work has been featured by President Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, and on five occasions by Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times, including in Kristof’s most recent book and documentary. Kennedy received a full scholarship to Wesleyan University, where he currently serves on the board of trustees.  He is currently writing a book Find Me Unafraid: Love, Loss and Hope in an African Slum with his wife and partner, Jessica Posner, forthcoming from HarperCollins this October 2015.

Back to the Academy List


Get Teacher Prize Updates

Connect With Us