This article was originally published on the Huffington Post website on 9 October 2015

By Kennedy Odede, Founder & CEO of Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO), a non-profit grassroots organisation combating extreme poverty and gender inequity in Kenya.

A decade ago, with just a 20-cent soccer ball and a group of young people that demanded change, I created a movement. I did not have a formal education, a fancy job or money. I just had a vision for the community I grew up in – a place that I knew was much more than the poverty that consumed its people every day.

Growing up in the slums of Kibera, my family couldn’t afford to eat every day, let alone afford the $3 monthly tuition for a nearby school. So, while I never formally learned how to write, I learned from my friends’ schoolwork. While they were in school, I looked for newspapers littering the streets or crumpled up in the garbage. I struggled through many words, and the ones I didn’t know the meaning of, I’d ask my friends to ask their teachers for me…. Read more


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