Wesleyan University

Kennedy Odede ’12: Find Me Unafraid


This is the tale of two young people from completely different worlds: Kennedy Odede '12 from Kibera, one of the very largest slums in Africa, and Jessica Posner '09 from Denver, Colorado. Kennedy foraged for food, lived on the street, and taught himself to read with old newspapers. When an American volunteer gave him a book about Martin Luther King, teen-aged Kennedy decided he was going to change his life and his community. He bought a soccer ball and started a youth empowerment group he called Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO). Then in 2007, Wesleyan University undergraduate Jessica Posner spent a semester abroad in Kenya working with SHOFCO. Breaking all convention (and without telling her parents), she decided to live in Kibera with Kennedy and his family, and they fell in love. This is the unlikely love story of two uncommon people, whose collaboration sparked a successful movement to transform the lives of girls and the urban poor.

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