- Philippe, who served as French PM between 2017 and 2020, praised Shofco projects as life-changing and targeted towards the most vulnerable communities in the world – slum residents.
- Philippe is the third high-profile individual to visit Shofco in just under two months.
Former French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe visited Shining Hope for Communities (Shofco) and toured the organisation’s projects in the Kibera slums.
Philippe, who served as French PM between 2017 and 2020, praised Shofco projects as life-changing and targeted towards the most vulnerable communities in the world – slum residents.
“I’m impressed by what you’ve done here in Kibera,” Philippe told Shofco Founder and CEO Dr. Kennedy Odede during the visit on Tuesday last week.
During the visit, the former PM visited Shofco’s aerial water piping system, women empowerment projects, gender-based violence department, girls’ school and community library.
Philippe has been Mayor of Le Havre since 2010. From 2012 to 2017, he was also a Member of Parliament representing the 7th district of Seine-Maritime.
Philippe is the third high-profile individual to visit Shofco in just under two months.
In August, United States Senator from Delaware Chris Coons held a sideline meeting with Dr. Odede and lauded the organisation’s work in Kibera saying it has uplifted the lives of vulnerable women and youth.
“I’m happy to be with you Kennedy and I’ve enjoyed seeing what you have done for your community in Kibera. God bless you and Shofco,” Coons said in a short video clip shared by Dr. Odede on social media.
During the same month, Rockefeller Foundation President Rajiv Shah who said the organisation has achieved a lot by engaging in transformative projects.
“I'm just overwhelmed by what I have seen. Over the years, I've seen what Shofco has done, what Kennedy has done and all the staff, it is just amazing. "I've seen what women are doing after living through what they've lived through, sitting on that sewing machine and fighting for a better future," Shah said.
Shofco runs the largest grassroots movement in Kenya, Shofco Urban Network (SUN), with a membership of over three million, mainly in informal settlements and semi-rural areas.
Apart from SUN, the organisation runs six other programs which include education, healthcare, GBV response and prevention, WASH, sustainable livelihood program, and women empowerment program.
The SHOFCO boss was last year introduced by former United States President Bill Clinton as a family friend during the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) forum held in New York.
President Clinton also lauded Dr. Odede saying his initiatives have made a difference in society.
“Pleasure to introduce someone who to me truly embodies the best of CGI. His (Odede’s) work has improved lives in the most impoverished communities on earth. A long-time friend of our family,” the former President said before ushering him to the podium to speak.
Dr. Odede was appointed to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Advisory Committee by Samantha Power last year.
Dr. Odede founded Shofco in 2004 and the organisation has spread across Kenya serving three million people directly annually.
In 2018 Shofco became the first grassroots organisation to win the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize.
At $2.5 million (Ksh300million), the prize is the world’s largest annual humanitarian award presented to nonprofit organizations judged to have made extraordinary contributions toward alleviating human suffering.