The beginning of January has been quite eventful (literally!) for all of us at Shining Hope for Communities. Thank you for your continued support, particularly of our program for adolescent girls, the Shining Girls of Kibera. We couldn't have won the Girl Effect Challenge without you, and we are thrilled to share with you the news & updates below to keep you informed about what's happening at Shining Hope!
US Ambassador to Kenya Scott Gration, and his wife, Judy Gration, hosted an event the first week of January to honor Newman’s Own Foundation, and their support of Shining Hope for Communities. The event brought together local and international organizations, foundations, and individuals to learn about Shining Hope’s work, and to watch a stunning performance by some of the students from the Kibera School for Girls on the importance of education.
Shining Hope also hosted Ambassador Gration and Mrs. Gration for an event in Kibera, marking the official opening of Shining Hope’s new school building and water tower. The new school building expands the Kibera School for Girls, the first tuition-free school for girls in the community, and will include 22 classrooms, art and music studios, and a space for performance and community meetings. The new building effectively doubles Shining Hope's capacity to educate girls in the Kibera slum.
Shining Hope's new clean-water tower is now Kibera's largest safe-water station with a capacity of 100,000 liters. This water station will provide clean and affordable water to those who are most in need, and help to address some of the health and sanitation problems in Kibera.
And for updates on the Shining Girls group—the girls have started the New Year off in style! Over the past few weeks, they’ve been designing New Year's resolutions for the group in the year ahead, as well as setting their own personal goals. The girls have recently been practicing African dance routines and spoken poetry, and one of the group's goals for the year ahead is to make frequent performances in public forums around Nairobi. Evelyne, one of the coordinators of the Shining Girls, is helping them in every way she can-- knowing that public performance will increase the girls’ confidence and self-esteem, one of the main intentions of the Shining Girls group.
This Saturday, the Shining Girls are holding an event at a public park to engage with one another through team-building activities and further goal setting. This year--and directly because of your support--Shining Hope is paying the middle and high school fees for all the Shining Girls members, ensuring that these young women will be able to focus on their education and extracurricular interests. Thank you for your support, and for making so many opportunities possible for the Shining Girls of Kibera!
Wishing you a wonderful start to the New Year, and looking forward to being in touch again soon--
With much appreciation,
all of us at Shining Hope for Communities
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