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.
May 10, 2012

The perfect gift for Mother's Day, VOGUE magazine features SHOFCO, and a debute of new films!

Celebrating Mother
Celebrating Mother's Day! credit: Bella Zanesco

To our loyal supporters--

We're excited to share with you the recent news & updates from Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO)!


Mother's Day Matching Challenge-- honor your loved ones with a gift that has a lasting impact

"It's time to move the apostrophe so that it becomes not just Mother's Day honoring a single mother, but Mother's Day-- an occasion to try and help mothers around the globe."
     - Nicholas Kristof


Last year, your support on Mother's Day helped us build a new school: doubling the number of students we educate in Kibera, Africa's largest slum. This year, we need your help to secure a $50,000 Mother's Day Matching Grant from the Samuel Freeman Charitable Trust to provide essential funding for maternal and child healthcare! All donations in honor of loved ones for Mother's Day will help us secure the matching funds.

It's a powerful and meaningful way to celebrate Mother's Day-- and will have a lasting impact on the lives of women and children in Kibera.

The perfect gift! Donate & send a tribute card to your mother, spouse, sister, or friend today!

VOGUE magazine features Jessica Posner and SHOFCO! 

The May 2012 edition of VOGUE magazine features SHOFCO Co-founder Jessica Posner. Read the feature! Our New Media Platform

Watch the inspiring stories about SHOFCO in Kibera. The films feature three extraordinary individuals: a student's father who is unwavering in his belief that girls' education will lead to a better life; the head coach of the SHOFCO soccer program who is inspiring youth to follow their dreams; and the social worker who leads the 'Shining Girls of Kibera' group that provides a space for adolescent girls to study, support each other, dance, create art, and to just be teenagers.


Thank you for making a difference! Your support is building a brighter future for Kibera. 


With appreciation,

- all of us at Shining Hope for Communities

Vogue magazine features Jessica Posner & SHOFCO!
Vogue magazine features Jessica Posner & SHOFCO!
Mother's Day gifts will be matched!


Mar 20, 2012

Shining Hope: Stories from Kibera, March 2012

Teachers Sharon & Violet with the 2nd grade class
Teachers Sharon & Violet with the 2nd grade class

This report features Sharon Mbaki, one of the fabulous teachers at Shining Hope's Kibera School for Girls. 

Sharon Mbaki, born and raised in Nairobi, is a new Head Teacher at the Kibera School for Girls. She joined KSG in June 2011 at the Assistant Teacher for 2nd grade, and was promoted to Head Teacher at the beginning of the school year this January. She is trained in primary education and guidance counseling and is now the 2nd grade Head Teacher.

“When you love it, teaching is easy,” she says. Though earlier in life she dreamed of a career as a tour guide, she fell in love with education in her college years. She says she has “come to love and treasure it.” As the oldest in her family, working with students comes naturally. She “treats [the girls] like my sisters, my friends.” Our headmistress Anne describes Sharon as “bold, courageous, and innovative. She likes to face new challenges.”

Joining the team at KSG was a transition for Sharon. Having grown up on the strict Kenyan system, she says she much prefers the KSG “child centered” student. Throughout her own education, she became accustomed to rote memorization and lecturing, what she described as a “teacher centered” model. Here, the students learn to model concepts and the teachers are allowed extensive time for each lessons. “Kids love the lessons and that encourages you to teach.” Other schools “are all about books and the students fear the teachers,” she described. Our girls are “open, they’re ready to learn. Other girls don’t know how to express themselves.”

Sharon has been continually impressed with the girls at KSG. The girls “have a lot of problems back at home. Sometimes they bring it back to school. I tell them, if you didn’t eat, I didn’t eat too. Put your differences out and we can learn.” Sharon’s training in guidance counseling allows her to support our students who have experienced emotional trauma. Her impact is palpable – her confident and excited second graders learn with a big smile on their faces. They feel comfortable presenting in front of the class and they always have their hand in the air to answer questions.

When asked about the girls’ future, she hopes they continue to develop their self-expression and find that which excites them in life. She says, “the sky is not the limit, because past the sky are the stars. There is always room for an improvement. A journey starts with a step.”


Thank you for your continued support of Shining Hope for Communities!

Sharon works with Susan, Tracy, and Martha
Sharon works with Susan, Tracy, and Martha


Feb 24, 2012

Shining Hope Clean Water Project: Feb. 2012

Clean Water Kiosk
Clean Water Kiosk

Most homes in Kibera have no running water, forcing individuals to buy their water from private vendors who charge two to ten times what those living outside the slums pay for water. Often this water is not properly stored or treated, causing widespread water-borne disease.

In order to offer a safe, affordable, and convenient alternative, Shining Hope's new water point in Kibera is the slum’s largest single source of clean water. The Clean Water Project is substantially increasing our ability to provide the community water and is already bringing safe water to thousands of Kiberans everyday. Not only are we creating a more stable supply of water, but it is treated to prevent the waterborne illness we see every day at the Johanna Justin-Jinich Community Clinic.

Shining Hope is selling the clean water below the current market price to ensure those who need the water most will have access. The profits from this project will sustain the water system itself, and help to offset the operational costs of the Kibera School for Girls. This project will then grow to scale over the next year to serve more as community distribution methods are implemented.

Shining Hope is also developing a comprehensive community health and hygiene education and training for the best possible health outcomes; and implement a monitoring & evaluation process to ensure integrity and quality control.

Thank you for your continued support of the Shining Hope Clean Water Project!

The Shining Hope water tower: 100,000L capacity!
The Shining Hope water tower: 100,000L capacity!


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