Kennedy Odede is an internationally recognized community organizer and social entrepreneur. He was born and raised in Kibera, the largest slum in Africa. As the oldest of eight children, he assumed responsibility for his family at the age of ten. The first time Kennedy ever had extra money—20 cents in 2004—he bought a soccer ball and started Shining Hope for Communities. As President and CEO of Shining Hope, Kennedy started The Kibera School for Girls, the slum’s first tuition free school for girls. Under Kennedy’s leadership, Shining Hope has gone on to open and run a community health clinic, has built eco-friendly toilets, and operates a community center from which the organization runs extensive community programming such as health care and education outreach, gardens, gender violence support groups, microenterprise and entrepreneurship, literacy/computer training and the creation of hundreds of jobs. Kennedy was awarded the 2010 Echoing Green Fellowship, which is awarded to the world’s best emerging social entrepreneurs. He won the 2010 Dell Social Innovation Competition, wrote an Op-Ed that appeared in the New York Times, and is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative. Kennedy speaks six languages, and is one of very few people from Kibera to ever attend an accredited four-year college—Wesleyan University—from which he recently graduated. Kennedy is a Humanity in Action Senior Fellow and has been featured on CNN and NBC Nightly News.
Updated October 2012
More from Kennedy Odede
Kennedy Odede appointed a Board Member of Americares
In April 2022, Americares announced the election of Kennedy Odede to the Americares Board of Directors. He will serve a three-year term on the Americares board, overseeing all aspects of our organization’s life-changing health programs.
SHOFCO recognized in Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards
Congratulations to Senior Fellow Kennedy Odede and SHOFCO (Shining Hope for Communities) organization for being recognized in Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards 2021!
Senior Fellow Kennedy Odede goes live on Globacom broadcast
As the Guardian reports, African Voices Changemakers program, sponsored by the Nigerian multinational telecommunications company Globacom, will be honoring its social change advocates. Senior Fellow Kennedy Odede will be one of the two speakers, going live on the 30-minute Globacom broadcast.
Senior Fellow Kenneddy Odede writes about chances to avert the Covid-19 disaster in urban slums in Kibera
In the article "Chance to avert Disaster in Urban Slums", published by Daily Nation, Senior Fellow Kennedy Odede writes about the role of community engagement and importance to address the Corona crises collectively, together with the government and the public sector not to move from a health crisis to class warfare.
Senior Fellow Kennedy Odede's Shining Hope for Communities in The New York Times
Senior Fellow Kennedy Odede's organization, Shining Hope for Communities, gets recognition by The New York Times for its leadership during the coronavirus outbreak in Kibera, Kenya.
Senior Fellow Kennedy Odede founded World Poverty Forum, which is to take place in Kenyan slum
The Guardian speaks to Senior Fellow Kennedy Odede about the upcoming World Poverty Forum, which he founded. Kennedy, who was raised in the slum of Kibera, in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, has founded the event to bring world leaders and policymakers together to “change the dynamic” of the way the big global issues are discussed.
From homeless kid to hero of Africa's biggest slum
Listen to BBC Outlook's recent interview with Senior Fellow Kennedy Odede of Shining Hope for Communities on his childhood in Kibera and what inspired him to fight for the inhabitants of Kibera.
On #WorldKindnessDay, A Mango Thief Tells How Kindness Saved His Life
2009 Senior Fellow Kennedy Odede, founder of Shining Hope for Communities in Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya, talks about World Kindness Day and how a kind act during mob violence against him changed his life.
Why A Fearless Dad-To-Be Was Scared Of Fatherhood
In a story by NPR, 2009 Paris Senior Fellow Kennedy Odede talks about how his fear of fatherhood is linked to his activism.
Meet the young world-changers coming to Davos 2019
Senior Fellow Kennedy Odede is named "world-changer" attendee at Davos 2019 by the Word Economic Forum