Shining Hope for Communities, one of our two Kenya partners, is a phenomenal testament to She’s the First’s celebration of “firsts.” In 2007, Jessica Posner, Shining Hope’s co-founder, became the first non-native to live in Kenya’s Kibera slum, the largest slum in Africa. Shining Hope’s Johanna Justin-Jinich Community Clinic is the first and only free health clinic in Kibera to focus on women’s health. Lastly, the nonprofit’s Kibera School for Girls, a She’s the First partner school, is the region’s first tuition-free school for girls.
Currently, the Kibera School for Girls (KSG) has 67 girls enrolled in pre-kindergarten through 2nd grade. KSG will expand to provide an education for 570 students in grades pre-kindergarten through 8th. Assistant teachers were recently hired to ensure that all girls receive hands-on, individualized attention. Thanks to the assistance of a visiting teacher from NYC’s Chapin School, KSG teachers designed student-centered curriculum. Shining Hope for Communities recently added “Margaret’s Safe Place,” a boarding facility for KSG’s most vulnerable students.
In the words of Helen Mbithe, a member of KSG’s Parent Board, “The Kibera School for Girls is special in many ways. It is the only free school for girls that I have even heard of in Kenya. But there is something more. At the school there is also a center for the community with needed resources like computers, books, health education sessions, and vegetable garden open to all community members…My husband now says that good treats come with educating girl children, and because he is the last person I could ever think to say this, I can say that this idea will change lives in many ways in my struggling home community.”
Our Aspire blog readers may remember Jessica from this blog post, following her nomination for the nationally acclaimed DoSomething Awards. She’s the First is honored that two of our partner schools were founded by DoSomething Award winners! Both Jessica and Maggie Doyne, founder of the Kopila Valley Children’s Home, were awarded $100,000 for their incredible dedication to improving the lives of children around the world.
Sponsorship for The Kibera School for Girl’s education program ranges from $30 a month and from $360 a year. If you can’t cover the full year amount, other She’s the First fundraisers will make up the difference and you’ll support her together! See the directory for more details.