Building urban promise from urban poverty in six settlements throughout Kenya by providing community-led services to over 220,000 people.

Transforming Urban Informal Settlements

Kennedy Odede started SHOFCO (Shining Hope for Communities) as a teenager in 2004 with 20 cents and a soccer ball. Growing up in Kibera, one of the largest slums in Africa, he experienced extreme poverty, violence, lack of opportunity, and deep gender inequality. Odede also dreamed of transforming urban slums, from the inside-out.

Based in Nairobi, Kenya, SHOFCO provides critical services that disrupt survival mode—giving people the opportunity to not just survive, but thrive. SHOFCO’s programs, which include health care, economic empowerment, and sustainable delivery of clean water through a cutting-edge aerial piping system, are always demand-driven and community led. Through its education programs for girls, SHOFCO empowers the future female leaders who will ultimately transform the structures that keep urban poverty in place.

Grassroots Movement

SHOFCO is a grassroots movement that catalyzes large-scale transformation in urban slums.

From the very first meeting inside an iron-sheet shack to the launch of the SHOFCO Urban Network, a community organizing platform, SHOFCO is—through and through—a community-driven grassroots movement. In providing communities with the opportunity to realize their full potential through collective action, SHOFCO creates sustainable, systemic change within urban informal settlements.

Photo: ©Joop Rubens/SHOFCO