Kennedy Odede from Kibera slums has gone down the annals of history as the first Kenyan to win the coveted Hilton Humanitarian Award worth Sh200 million.
Odede through his organisation, Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO), bagged the biggest global award given to humanitarian causes,
“The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is proud to honor SHOFCO (Shining Hope for Communities) as this year’s Hilton Humanitarian Prize recipient.” an official statement from the foundation read.
The award will be presented to the NGO in October.
“I thought they were joking, it felt so unreal until they sent me an email to confirm that we are to receive the award after being nominated,” he remarked.
Odede started the organisation in 2004 in Kibera and was later joined by his co-founder Jessica Posner in 2007.
He is the brain behind aerial piping connected to storage tanks that ensure the residents receive pure and clean water.
The method sees the water pipes hoisted up in the sky with strong poles rather than having them laid down on the ground where the water can easily get contaminated due to the poor sewerage systems.
Storage tank holds 100,000 litres of water dispensed through a water dispenser kiosk where the residents pay 2 bob per 20 litre.
SHOFCO has also set up a primary school, Kibera School for Girls that has 500 girls currently enrolled.
“The school is a radicalisng change to show that if women and young girls are given the opportunity a lot of great things can happen,” Odede mentioned.
Area residents also benefit from medical facilities with a clinic setup to offer free medical services, offering maternal care for pregnant women before and after birth.
SHOFCO Urban Network (SUN) was formed 3 years ago with an aim of improving the living standards of slum dwellers.
Through SUN, the community has greatly benefited Community SACCO’S and welfare groups that have enabled the Kibera residents to start their own business ventures.
They also cater for bereavement matters where members are given an amount of sh.50,000 to fund funeral plans.
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