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Announcing the 2018 Hilton Humanitarian Prize Recipient: SHOFCO

August 22, 2018

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is proud to honor SHOFCO (Shining Hope for Communities) as this year’s Hilton Humanitarian Prize recipient. Based in Nairobi, Kenya, SHOFCO’s mission is to build urban promise from urban poverty.

Kennedy Odede started SHOFCO 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. He took these dreams seriously and turned them into reality. In 2009, Odede officially incorporated SHOFCO as a nonprofit with his wife and working partner, Jessica Posner Odede, by opening Kibera’s first free school for girls.

Photo courtesy of Audrey Hall.

Today, SHOFCO is a grassroots movement that catalyzes large-scale transformation in urban slums working in six settlements throughout Kenya, providing a pathway out of poverty to over 220,000 people. First, SHOFCO provides critical services that disrupt the survival model—giving people the opportunity to not just survive, but thrive. SHOFCO’s programs, which include health care, education and economic empowerment for women and girls, and sustainable delivery of clean water through a cutting-edge aerial piping system, are always demand-driven and community led. SHOFCO then builds community organizing platforms to advocate for systemic structural change. Finally, SHOFCO educates the future female leaders who will ultimately transform the structures that keep urban poverty in place. In providing communities with the opportunity to realize their full potential, SHOFCO creates sustainable, systemic change within urban informal settlements.

We are so pleased to celebrate SHOFCO’s achievements at this year’s Hilton Humanitarian Symposium and Prize Ceremony at The Beverly Hilton on Friday, Oct. 19. Nominations for the 2019 Hilton Humanitarian Prize will be accepted from Aug. 22 - Oct. 25, 2018 and should be submitted through the Hilton Humanitarian Prize site. Continue to be part of the conversation by following #HiltonPrize on social media, or sharing some key images below.

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