Tag Archive for Shining Hope for Communities

Newman Foundation Awards Shining Hope for Communities

Shining Hope for Communities, a Wesleyan foundation that serves Nairobi, Kenya’s poorest slum, was recently awarded a $750,000 grant from the Westport, Conn.-based Newman’s Own foundation to expand a school for girls in Kenya.

Shining Hope for Communities was co-founded by Jessica Posner ’09 and Kennedy Odede ’12.

Called the Kiberia School for Girls, the school is the first tuition-free school for girls in the community. The expansion of the school effectively doubles its size with 22 new classrooms.

Newman’s Own Foundation has contributed nearly $1 million in grants to Shining Hope for Communities since 2010. In addition to funding for education, some of the funds are used for health and sanitation services as well as job and skills training through its Johanna Justin-Jinich Community Clinic and the Shining Hope Community Center.

Read more about the grant in this Middletown Press article.

Students, Alumna Mentor Children in Summer Institute in Kenya

Emily Weitzman ’14 hugs one of her students at the Shining Hope for Communities Summer Institute. Weizman says many of the girls want to be teachers, pilots and doctors when they grow up.

Six Wesleyan students and one alumna spent part of their summer in Nairobi, Kenya as volunteers in Shining Hope for Communities Summer Institute. The institute brings college undergraduates and recent graduates together with students from the Kibera School for Girls.

Institute participants provided tutoring and mentoring during the mornings and helped run a summer camp at the school in the afternoon. The volunteers also worked on other Shining Hope projects, including the Johanna Justin-Jinich Community Clinic, a clean water project, toilet access project, community center, and a garden project.Shining Hope for Communities was founded three years ago by Kennedy Odede ’12 and Jessica Posner ’09.

Their inaugural project was the Kibera School for Girls (KSG), a day school set in the Kibera slum in Nairobi,

Odede ’12 Joining Panel with Bill Clinton, Sean Penn


Kennedy Odede '12 is president of Shining Hope for Communities.


Kennedy Odede ’12 will be a featured panelist at the fourth annual meeting of former President Bill Clinton’s Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), which will be held at the University of California – San Diego on April 1-3. Odede is one of three participants on the panel; the other two are Clinton and actor Sean Penn.

“This is very exciting and a tremendous honor for me, and for my foundation, Shining Hope for Communities,” Odede said.

The CGI U is part of the former president’s Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) foundation. According to CGI’s website, CGI U “challenges students

Student Non-Profit Wins Dell Award; Presenting WESeminar

The Shining Hope Kibera Clinic will become an integral piece of our innovative model changing the realities of women in Kibera through the integrated links between girls education and services unavailable elsewhere.

Shining Hope for Communities, a student-founded non-profit organization, has been named the winner of the 2010 Dell Social Innovation Competition.

The award is based on a world-wide competition among college students who create projects that can “make the world a better place.”

Shining Hope for Communities founded The Kibera School for Girls in 2009 in the Kenyan slum of Kibera, and is creating the Johanna Justin Jinich Memorial Clinic and a community center this year at the same site. Initial funding for the Kibera School for Girls was provided by the Davis 100 Projects for Peace program. The Dell award includes $50,000.

The group has also received a $50,000 grant from Newman’s Own Foundation and a $1,000 award from the MTV People’s Choice Awards this year.

Shining Hope for Communities includes Executive Director and Kibera native Kennedy Odede ’12,

Students to Create Health Care Clinic in Kenya Slum

A student-created health care clinic in Kibera, Kenya, named for Johanna Justin-Jinich, receives grant from Newman’s Own Foundation

Last year, two students from Wesleyan founded the first tuition-free school for girls in Kibera, Africa’s largest slum, located in Nairobi, Kenya. This year, they’ve teamed with three more Wesleyan students and medical experts to create a health care clinic on the same site.

Pictured in center, Kennedy Odede '12 and Jessica Posner '09 operate the non-profit organization Shining Hope for Communities in Kibera, Kenya.

The Johanna Justin-Jinich Memorial Clinic of Kibera will be the first community-driven clinic in Kibera that specializes in women’s health. The student-created Shining Hope for Communities non-profit organization will preside over the clinic’s construction and daily operation.

Johanna Justin-Jinich was shot and killed off campus during her junior year at Wesleyan in May, 2009.

More than $37,000 in construction seed-funds has been provided to Shining Hope for as part of a $53,000 grant from Newman’s Own Foundation in support of The Johanna Justin-Jinich Memorial Clinic of Kibera. Additional funds from the grant will also fund an on site Green Bio-Latrine Center.

“When I first heard Kennedy Odede and Jess Posner speak about Shining Hope’s work in Kibera, I immediately knew this was the type of program we should look at, and Kennedy and Jess were the type of committed young people we want to encourage,” said Bob Forrester, president of Newman’s Own Foundation. “We are proud to support Shining Hope.”

Shining Hope for Communities also operates the Kibera School for Girls and the Shining Hope Community Center. The Kibera School for Girls was also the recipient of a 100 Project for Peace grant in 2009.

Designed to initially serve 5,000-6,000 Kibera residents annually, the Johanna Justin-Jinich Memorial Clinic will be a community-driven initiative staffed by a Kenyan nurse five days a week in tandem with community health workers and a full-time administrator. A physician will also maintain hours at the clinic one day a week. The clinic is scheduled for construction this summer.

Shining Hope for Communities’ senior administration consists of Executive Director and Kibera native Kennedy Odede ’12; Managing Director Jessica Posner ’09 and Wesleyan students Leah Lucid ’10, Ari Tolman ’10, and Inslee Coddington ’10.

The land and medical permits for the clinic are in hand and the students are now working to secure funding for the future sustainability of the project.

One of the primary health care concerns the students hope the clinic will affect immediately is the issue of reproductive health.