Kenya’s slum transformation champion
Founder and CEO of Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO)
“There is a growing consensus that the future should and must be created and led by Africans, because real progress requires it to be on our own terms. And yet, this is just talk until funders shift resources and power, at scale, towards local solutions.”
Forbes 30 under 30 and polyglot Kennedy Odede is one of Africa’s best-known community organisers and social entrepreneurs. A former street child, Kennedy lived for twenty- three of his thirty-three years in Kibera, the largest slum in Africa, where he experienced the devastating realities of life in extreme poverty first-hand.
In 2004 he had a job in a factory earning $1 for ten hours of work. He saved 20 cents to buy a soccer ball and start Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO), a grassroots slum transformation movement that puts local communities at the head and centre of programmes delivering healthcare, girls’ education, and clean water.
Kennedy is a senior fellow with Humanity in Action, an Aspen Institute New Voices Fellow, a Young Global Leader (YGL) at the World Economic Forum and an Obama Foundation Africa Leader. He is the New York Times bestselling co-author of the book Find Me Unafraid: Love, Loss, and Hope in African Slum, which he wrote with his wife and business partner, Jessica.
Kennedy will join us live as a remote guest and will interact with the festival audience.