A nonprofit social enterprise that combats extreme poverty and endemic, often violent, negative treatment of girls and women in Kenya’s two largest slums, including Kibera, the largest slum in Africa. SHOFCO’s approach is holistic, providing a range of social services with free medical clinics, clean water, community advocacy programs, and young girls’ education as its core areas of focus.

Countries Served

Nairobi, Kenya



  • 15 slums in Kenya are home to 56% of the country’s urban population.
  • Over 70% of Africa’s urban population lives in slums.
  • Urban slums are characterized by inadequate public infrastructure and a lack of basic health care services, safe drinking water, public education, formal job training programs, and financial services.

Programs Offered

SHOFCO provides a growing array of social services, including:

  • Kibera School for Girls, a primary school delivering a high-quality curriculum meeting international standards, daily nourishment, health care, psychosocial support, after school programs, uniforms, and supplies, all free of charge. Together, the schools in Kibera and Mathare currently serve around 400 of the slums’ brightest and most at-risk young girls.
  • A growing network of health clinics serving tens of thousands of patients annually, providing primary pediatric and adult healthcare, child immunizations, a pharmacy, cervical cancer screening, HIV care, and maternal healthcare, among other services. Community health workers and two satellite clinics extend the reach of services to those unable to visit the primary clinic.
  • SHOFCO Urban Network (SUN) provides a vast community organizing platform for Kibera and Mathare residents to raise awareness about social issues and advocate for peace and reconciliation. SUN also offers high school scholarships to community youth, provides micro-life insurance, and runs community savings and loans groups.
  • Essential community services, including community centers and libraries, early childhood education, and our Gender Department that works to reduce incidents of gender-based violence.
  • Sustainable Livelihoods programs, including skills training and job placement for Kibera and Mathare youth, entrepreneurship training and mentorship, and SHOFCO Women’s Empowerment Program (SWEP) which provides employment to HIV-positive women.

  • The Ghetto Mirror, a newspaper distributed across Nairobi’s slums.
  • A community library with thousands of books.
  • A gender-based violence response and prevention network.

All these programs are provided in Kibera. A girls’ school was opened in Mathare in 2014, and additional SHOFCO programs have been added as resources and capacity permit. SHOFCO Mathare currently provides community programs and health services. The need in each of these slums far outstrips SHOFCO’s current capacity to address it.

Historical Results

  • 219,985 program beneficiaries in 2017, an increase of more an 80,000 from 2017.
  • 165,505 patients treated in 2017 at the primary and satellite health clinics in Kibera and Mathare.
  • 519 students are enrolled in the girls’ schools in Kibera and Mathare. In 2017 the Kibera School for Girls graduated its first class of 8th grade girls and placed all 22 in prestigious boarding schools throughout Kenya and the United States.
  • 11,095 people received daily water from SHOFCO’s clean water kiosks in 2017. SHOFCO provides clean water at 60% lower cost compared to private water vendors.
  • In 2017, SHOFCO had a total of 40,558 SUN beneficiaries of whom 5,878 are principal SUN members. SUN is currently sponsoring 188 students through high school and supporting 275 community savings groups.
  • In 2017, 4,248 SHOFCO members benefited from our Sustainable Livelihood programs and over 22,000 members benefited from our Essential Services offerings.

Use Of Funds

  • $100 – 17 babies delivered safely
  • $500 – 20 entrepreneurs receive training
  • $1,200 – 1 student sponsored for a year
  • $5,000 – 515 individuals receive health care
  • $10,000 – 1 water kiosk is constructed
  • $25,000 – 281 instances of gender based violence addressed

Path to Credibility

  • Has been a Focusing Philanthropy partner since 2015 and the subject of two Focusing Philanthropy due diligence visits to Kibera and Mathare
  • Founder Kennedy Odede well known personally to Focusing Philanthropy and named one of Forbes 30 Under 30 Social entrepreneurs in 2014; winner of People’s Choice Award for Outstanding Social Entrepreneur in the same year
  • Supported by numerous grantmakers trusted by Focusing Philanthropy, including ELMA Philanthropies and Deerfield Foundation

→ Read 2016 Trip Report→ Read 2015 Trip Report

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