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Activist Odede urges young leaders to focus on local communities

By Njange Maina
Sunday, August 2nd, 2020
Kennedy Odede
In summary

Celebrated activist Kennedy Odede has urged young African leaders to always prioritise in serving their local communities in their quest to provide leadership.

Mr. Odede, also a New York Times best-selling author, was speaking over the weekend at a webinar that had gathered over 250 people drawn from across the Eastern African region.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Shining Hope for Communities(SHOFCO) narrated how he started his organization with only Sh20 and a soccer ball.

“Inside me, I had a burning desire to make a difference among my people. Football was what I could access. I made it a platform for people to discuss issues and that is how SHOFCO was formed. The community felt the sense of ownership,” he said.

With presence in major slums in Kenyan cities, SHOFCO provides over 500,000 people with free healthcare, education opportunities, sanitation, and among other needs.

Mr Odede said his impoverished upbringing shaped his life mantra and urged young leaders to focus on transforming their local communities.

“In Kibera, we could not access healthcare. Going to school was also a preserve of the few. That made me sad, but I realized there was no need to complain. We had to do something. Right now, SHOFCO has seven clinics that offer free healthcare in Mathare and Kibera slums,” Odede.

In the webinar dubbed 'Unstuck Conference 2020' on Saturday, Mr.Odede also highlighted the importance of girls' education in the informal settlements where women are more vulnerable in communities of people living with poverty.

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