Kennedy Odede is one of Africa’s most prominent community organizers and social entrepreneurs.

"I believe that well organized urban communities hold the power to create their own change."

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Writer. Social Entrepreneur. Community Organizer.

About Kennedy

Kennedy Odede is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer at SHOFCO, Kenya’s largest grassroots movement, and one of Africa’s most esteemed social entrepreneurs and community organizers. He is best known for his award-winning work to transform the lives of slum residents and direct resources and decision-making power to local community organizations.

Kennedy became a street child at the age of 10 and lived in the Kibera Slum for 23 years. During this time, he experienced extreme poverty first-hand, but also witnessed the palpable hope that persists in slums and recognized that people sought something different for themselves, their families and their communities. Through earning $1 for 10 hours of work at a factory, Kennedy managed to save 20 cents to buy a soccer ball, which he used to bring community members together, and, with that, SHOFCO was born.

Today, SHOFCO impacts more than 2.4 million people annually in Kenya by organizing and strengthening community groups across 68 sites and fostering partnerships to deliver essential services to support them.

Administrator Samantha Power appointed Kennedy to the USAID Advisory Committee and has served as a Fellow with Humanity in Action, Aspen Institute and Echoing Green. He is also a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum, an Obama Foundation Africa Leader and a member of the Clinton Global Initiative. Before this, Kennedy served on the United Nations International Commission for Financing of Global Education Opportunities, and on the Board of Directors of Wesleyan University.

Media Pack

Writer. Social Entrepreneur. Community Organizer.

About Kennedy

Kennedy Odede is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer at SHOFCO, Kenya’s largest grassroots movement, and one of Africa’s most esteemed social entrepreneurs and community organizers. He is best known for his award-winning work to transform the lives of slum residents and direct resources and decision-making power to local community organizations.

Kennedy became a street child at the age of 10 and lived in the Kibera Slum for 23 years. During this time, he experienced extreme poverty first-hand, but also witnessed the palpable hope that persists in slums and recognized that people sought something different for themselves, their families and their communities. Through earning $1 for 10 hours of work at a factory, Kennedy managed to save 20 cents to buy a soccer ball, which he used to bring community members together, and, with that, SHOFCO was born.

Today, SHOFCO impacts more than 2.4 million people annually in Kenya by organizing and strengthening community groups across 68 sites and fostering partnerships to deliver essential services to support them.

Administrator Samantha Power appointed Kennedy to the USAID Advisory Committee and has served as a Fellow with Humanity in Action, Aspen Institute and Echoing Green. He is also a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum, an Obama Foundation Africa Leader and a member of the Clinton Global Initiative. Before this, Kennedy served on the United Nations International Commission for Financing of Global Education Opportunities, and on the Board of Directors of Wesleyan University.

Find Me Unafraid: Love, Loss, and Hope in an African Slum

Kennedy Odede is the co-author of the New York Times Best Seller Find Me Unafraid: Love, Loss and Hope in African Slum, which he wrote with his wife and business partner, Jessica Posner Odede. His work has been featured by President Bill Clinton, and on multiple occasions by Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times.

The book tells the story of Kennedy and Jessica whose collaboration sparked a successful movement to transform the lives of vulnerable girls and the urban poor and fight against poverty and hopelessness.

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Following reduced rains, flood victims left our centres in Kibera yesterday after a two-week stay. @hope2shine supported them with essential items, foodstuffs and rent money to begin their lives after floods swept away all their belongings. #Sunpower

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Well-done @MwendeMunuve and the team!

Eight Members of Parliament drawn from Budget Committee of Ugandan Legislature came to benchmark on our community-led budget process which has yielded fruits in the implementation of our programmes across Kenya.

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