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Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Announces Kenya-Based Grassroots Nonprofit as 2018 Recipient of $2 Million Hilton Humanitarian Prize


The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation announced today that the grassroots
nonprofit organization SHOFCO (Shining Hope for Communities) is this
year's recipient of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize. A
distinguished panel of independent international jurors selected SHOFCO,
which catalyzes large-scale transformation in urban slums by providing
critical services for all, community advocacy platforms, and education
and leadership development for women and girls.

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SHOFCO (Shining Hope for Communities) to receive world's largest annual humanitarian award for its l ...

SHOFCO (Shining Hope for Communities) to receive world's largest annual humanitarian award for its local approach to transforming lives in Kenyan urban slums. Photo courtesy of Audrey Hall.

Based in Kibera—one of the largest slums in Africa—SHOFCO was founded by
Kennedy Odede as a teenager in 2004 with 20 cents and a soccer ball. In
2007, Kennedy met Jessica Posner, a bright and driven American student
studying abroad. Together they devised the model that SHOFCO utilizes
today. Kennedy and Jessica's partnership is a unique, pioneering
collaboration in the field of international development.

While growing up in Kibera, Kennedy Odede saw firsthand the devastating
consequences of living in urban informal settlements, known locally as
slums. However, instead of thinking about how to escape his environment,
Kennedy saw the potential to transform his community by working
side-by-side with his neighbors within the slum. SHOFCO's programs,
which include health care, education and economic empowerment for women
and girls, and sustainable delivery of clean water through a
cutting-edge aerial piping system, are always demand-driven and
community led. In providing communities with the opportunity to realize
their full potential, SHOFCO creates sustainable, systemic change within
urban slums. What began as a grassroots movement in Kibera by Kennedy in
2004 has ignited transformation and hope in six Kenyan slums, reaching
more than 220,000 people.

"The jury's selection of SHOFCO to receive the 2018 Hilton Humanitarian
Prize really speaks to the power of local actors, and signals a nod to
the next generation of humanitarian and development leaders," said
Hilton Foundation President and CEO Peter Laugharn. "SHOFCO is a
remarkable example of citizen-led change, created by people living in
very challenging conditions. As Africa and the world urbanize and more
informal settlements are created, SHOFCO provides an inspiring example
of local creativity and solutions."

SHOFCO will receive $2 million in unrestricted funding, joining the list
of 22 previous organizations that have received the Hilton Humanitarian
Prize over the last two decades including, most recently, icddr,b, The
Task Force for Global Health and Landesa.

"We are thrilled and honored to receive the 2018 Hilton Humanitarian
Prize," said Kennedy Odede, founder and CEO of SHOFCO. "We will use this
tremendous opportunity to start an endowment to ensure the long-term
financial health and sustainable growth of our work. This will allow
SHOFCO to remain driven by community needs and leadership, not donor
demands, now and in the future. The endowment will strengthen our work
in partnership with community leaders and help us expand our investments
to transform urban slums."

SHOFCO will be honored at this year's Hilton Humanitarian Symposium and
Prize Ceremony, which will take place at The Beverly Hilton in Los
Angeles on Friday, Oct. 19, 2018. The theme of this year's symposium is
The Future of Humanitarian Action: Resetting Our Moral Compass. The
daylong conference will bring together thought leaders and humanitarians
from around the world to explore the issues and opportunities that must
be addressed to meet the most pressing humanitarian crises of today and
tomorrow. Featured speakers include: Charlize Theron, Academy
Award-winning actor, UN Messenger of Peace, and founder of Charlize
Theron Africa Outreach Project; David Brooks, New York Times op-ed
columnist and author of "The Road to Character"; Ambassador-at-large
Deborah L. Birx, M.D., U.S. Global AIDS coordinator and U.S. special
representative for Global Health Diplomacy; Los Angeles Mayor Eric
Garcetti; Congressmember Karen Bass, representing the 37th
District of California; Melissa Fleming, director of communications for
UNHCR and author of "A Hope More Powerful than the Sea"; among several

"I applaud SHOFCO's work to transform the lives of urban slum dwellers,
galvanize grassroots change, and reduce social and educational barriers
for women and girls," said Her Excellency, Margaret Kenyatta, The First
Lady of the Republic of Kenya. "Their efforts are an example for
organizations who seek to create paths out of poverty and inspire hope.
That is why I am a proud member of SHOFCO."

Each year, the Hilton Foundation reviews hundreds of nominations from
notable nonprofits throughout the world, and an independent,
international panel of distinguished jurors makes the final selection
after a rigorous vetting process. The 2018 Hilton
Humanitarian Prize jury
includes the following individuals: Sir
Fazle Hasan Abed
; Princess
Salimah Aga Khan
; Gro
Brundtland, M.D., M.P.H
.; Hawley
Hilton McAuliffe
; Strive
; Ann
M. Veneman
; and Mark
Rosenberg, M.D., M.P.P
. Nominations for the 2019 Hilton Humanitarian
Prize will be accepted from Aug. 22 - Oct. 25, 2018 and should be
submitted through the Hilton
Foundation website


SHOFCO (Shining Hope for Communities) is a grassroots movement that
catalyzes large-scale transformation in urban slums by providing
critical services for all, community advocacy platforms, and education
and leadership development for women and girls. Growing up in Kibera,
one of the largest slums in Africa, SHOFCO's founder Kennedy Odede
experienced extreme poverty, violence, lack of opportunity, and deep
gender inequality. Now, SHOFCO is focused on building solutions to urban
poverty by addressing those core obstacles. For more information, please

About the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international
business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left
his fortune to help the world's disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The
Foundation currently conducts strategic initiatives in six priority
areas: providing safe water, ending chronic homelessness, preventing
substance use, helping young children affected by HIV and AIDS,
supporting transition age youth in foster care, and extending Conrad
Hilton's support for the work of Catholic Sisters. From its inception,
the Foundation has awarded more than $1.6 billion in grants,
distributing $114.9 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2017.
The Foundation's current assets are approximately $2.8 billion. For more
information, please visit

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