Shining Hope for Communities

Shining Hope for Communities combats inter-generational cycles of poverty and gender inequality by linking tuition-free schools for girls to essential social services for all in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya. By concretely linking essential health and economic services to a school for girls, we demonstrate that benefiting women benefits the whole community, cultivating a community ethos that makes women respected members of society.
Aug 20, 2015

Summer at SHOFCO!

SHOFCO Summer Institute participant with student!
SHOFCO Summer Institute participant with student!

SHOFCO's schools are always bustling in the summertime—so let’s dive in!

At the Kibera School for Girls, it has been a summer of innovative learning. Our 4-week Summer Institute—an educational summer camp run by American college students and SHOFCO youth—came to what is always a joyful but emotional end. The program's closing ceremony was filled with songs, dancing, and a charming fashion show!

Also in July, our 6th graders participated in i2 camp! It was our second experience with this wonderfully hands-on STEM program. Around this year's theme of renewable energy, the girls burned grass through magnifying glasses, built toy cars powered by solar energy, and constructed handheld windmills.

In early August, five students from grades 4 to 6 were selected to participate in a technology and art day camp hosted by AkiraChix, a non-profit organization that focuses on promoting women in technology. The girls engaged in a host of activities, ranging from designing computer games to building 3D models of their dream cities. 6th grader Velma chose Paris as her dream city, and used newspaper, cardboard, construction paper, crayons, and paint to build the city’s apartment buildings, hotels, offices, schools, restaurants, and many other institutions. Her favorite part of the experience was its encouragement of her creativity. Joyce, another KSG 6th grader, loved the technological components of the camp, namely that it taught her how to search for computer games on google and narrow down long lists of interesting games.

Finally, we could not be more proud of The 55 KSG girls, ranging from Kindergarten to 6th grade, who competed in the Kenyan National Music Festival in August. The 9 items they presented included poems (spoken and sign language), recorder songs, and African-style songs. They won five 1st place trophies, three 2nd place prizes, and one 3rd place prize. 

KSG student at STEM camp with solar powered car
KSG student at STEM camp with solar powered car
Some of the students who attended AkiraChix camp!
Some of the students who attended AkiraChix camp!
KSG Kindergarten won first place at Music Festival
KSG Kindergarten won first place at Music Festival

Links:

Jun 2, 2015

Eunice in the US & Chelsea Clinton in Kenya!

Eunice performing her poem at the Summit!
Eunice performing her poem at the Summit!

The Kibera School for Girls had its first student to ever visit the United States last month, and she knocked the socks off audiences in NYC and around the world!

Women in the World invited 12-year old KSG student Eunice to come to New York to perform her poem, "My Dream," at their 6th Annual Summit. During her trip to the US, Eunice had some amazing experiences. She soaked up countless NYC sights, tried new foods, and even visited schools! One highlight occurred on Eunice's first full day in NYC: she and Nicholas Kristof interviewed each other in his office at the New York Times! He gave Eunice advice about becoming a journalist, and she told him about the struggles that many students face in Kibera.

When the big day arrived for Eunice to perform her poem, we could not have been prouder! See why by watching the inspiring poem that earned her a spontaneous standing ovation.

Spreading the same message of optimism and hope, SHOFCO's CEO Kennedy participated in an interview with Chelsea Clinton, moderated by CNN's Christiane Amanpour, while in Morroco in May for the Clinton Global Initiative conference. They discussed how to create hope and opportunity for the next generation in Africa and the Middle East. Prepare to be inspired!

During her trip to Africa, Chelsea Clinton also came to Kenya and was thrilled to see our girls! She told our students she recognized them by their bright red sweaters! We are so grateful for her partnership and advocacy for women and girls everywhere. 

Looking for more SHOFCO reading material? We are so excited to announce that we have revamped SHOFCO's blog! Check it out for news, thoughts, and updates from the ground. Our most recent post captures the experience of visiting Kenya for the first time as a member of the SHOFCO team. Read the blog by Kaylie, our Community Officer, who visited Kenya in March and loved every second of it. 

Wishing all of our amazing supporters a wonderful start to the summer!

With warm appreciation,                                                                                   All of us at Shining Hope for Communities

Chelsea Clinton, Kennedy and KSG students!
Chelsea Clinton, Kennedy and KSG students!

Links:

Mar 17, 2015

A New School Year Begins & SHOFCO's Feature in A Path Appears!

KSG students in the A Path Appears documentary!
KSG students in the A Path Appears documentary!

The past couple of months have been huge for SHOFCO! Our feature in A Path Appears (available on iTunes) premiered on February 9th, and the response has been incredible. If you haven’t seen this amazing documentary by Nick Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, we urge you to watch the third episode and see SHOFCO’s work in action!

The recent outpouring of support has inspired and touched us, and we have never had so many donors—old and new—support us in such a short period of time. We are grateful for the powerful spotlight that A Path Appears has shone, and we can't wait for what the future holds. Know that without your support, none of this would have been possible.

In other news, we’ve begun a new school year! We are proud to introduce our newest class of 40 Pre-K girls, who started their first day at KSG on February 9th! They were welcomed with new backpacks, excited teachers, and smiling peers. KSG now has a student body of 216 girls, all of which are looking forward to another wonderful year!

Pre-K Student Feature: Pacifica

Pacifica is 5 years old and a student in Teacher Lydiah and Teacher Maureen’s class. She loves her teachers because they give her homework and they speak to her in English. When she grows up she wants to be a business owner and her favorite food is rice and potatoes. Her father works as a casual laborer in construction and her mother as a casual laborer performing domestic services, but they do not make enough money to pay school fees for their children. 

Your involvement allows us to empower, educate, and nurture minds and hearts in Kenya’s urban slums! We deeply appreciate your partnership.

Wishing you good health, happiness, and hope!

With deep appreciation,
All of us at SHOFCO

Pacifica
Pacifica

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