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.
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