Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) is a non-profit social enterprise that combats extreme poverty and endemic, often violent, negative treatment of girls and women in Kenya’s two largest slums, including Kibera, the largest slum in Africa. SHOFCO’s approach is holistic; the organization provides a range of social services with free medical clinics and young girls’ education as its core areas of focus.

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  • 15 slums in Kenya are home to 56% of the country’s urban population.
  • Over 70% of Africa's urban population lives in slums.
  • Urban slums are characterized by inadequate public infrastructure and a lack of basic health care services, safe drinking water, public education, formal job training programs, and financial services.

Programs Offered

SHOFCO provides a growing array of social services, including:

  • A primary school for girls, delivering a high-quality curriculum meeting international standards, daily nourishment, health care, psychosocial support, after
    school programs, uniforms, and supplies, all free of charge. Together, the schools in Kibera and Mathare currently serve 299 of the slums’ brightest and most at-risk young girls.
  • A health clinic serving 250 patients per day, providing primary pediatric and adult healthcare, child immunizations, a pharmacy, cervical cancer screening, HIV care, and maternal healthcare, among other services. Community health workers and two satellite clinics extend the reach of services to those unable to visit the primary clinic.
  • Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs, which includes clean water infrastructure (a 100,000 liter water tower), water kiosks, public latrines and community sanitation and hygiene education.
  • Community empowerment services, including savings/lending groups, adult classes in literacy, entrepreneurship and computer training, early childhood education, and a variety of youth
  • The Ghetto Mirror, a newspaper distributed across Nairobi’s slums.
  • A community library with more than 1,000 books.
  • A gender-based violence response and prevention network.

All these programs are provided in Kibera. A girls’ school was opened in Mathare in 2014, and additional SHOFCO programs have been added as resources and capacity permit. SHOFCO Mathare currently provides community programs and health services. The need in each of these slums far outstrips SHOFCO’s current capacity to address it.

Historical Results

  • 76,000 program beneficiaries in 2015

  • 37,977 patients received treatment during 2015 at the primary health clinic in Kibera.
  • 300 students were enrolled in the girls’ school in Kibera and Mathare in 2015. 100% of 2nd graders at the school can read a 2nd
    grade level English paragraph, compared to 15% nationwide.1
  • On a test predicting future 8th grade performance, Kibera School for Girls 3rd graders had a mean score of 475 out of 500 and 4th graders had a mean score of 445.
  • 10,280 people received daily water from SHOFCO’s clean water kiosks in 2015. 6,000 people used SHOFCO public latrines.
  • SHOFCO’s team of Community Health Promoters provided WASH education to 10,280 people in all 12 villages in Kibera in 2015.
  • In 2015, 42% of female SHOFCO members reported having savings, a 21% increase over the prior year.
  • 64% of the Kibera community practices family planning versus 80% of SHOFCO members

Use of Funds

  • $100 – 17 babies delivered safely
  • $500 – 20 entrepreneurs receive training
  • $1,200 – 1 student sponsored for a year
  • $5,000 – 515 individuals receive health care
  • $10,000 – 1 water kiosk is constructed
  • $25,000 – 281 instances of gender based violence addressed

Path to Credibility

Focusing Philanthropy has conducted due diligence site visits to SHOFCO’s operations in both the Kibera and Mathare slums in Nairobi, Kenya. In the course of these visits, the Focusing Philanthropy diligence team met with Kennedy Odede and Jessica Posner Odede and with individuals who lead or play senior management roles in each of SHOFCO’s programs. We also met with senior managers with nonprofit-wide responsibilities in Kenya and the United States. These visits, plus follow-up communications over phone and email, have combined to give us a very favorable opinion of SHOFCO, its operations, its program impacts, and its leadership. In addition, we have interacted with other organizations that support SHOFCO, comparing views of institutional capacity, current impact, and potential. Each of these exchanges was confidence inspiring. The founders of Focusing Philanthropy personally support SHOFCO.

Countries Served



Nairobi, Kenya




Building Community Infrastructure | Basic Health Care | 

Building Community Infrastructure | Electricity & Clean Water | 

Building Community Infrastructure | Libraries | 

Building Community Infrastructure | School Buildings & Training | 

Increasing Income | Access to Job Opportunities | 

Increasing Income | Micro-loans | 

Achieving Self Sufficiency | Primary & Secondary Education |