KILIFI, Kenya, 25 July – Some 400 students from Kilifi North and Kilifi South wards in Kilifi County have reason to smile after receiving scholarship checks worth over 4 million shillings from the CEO and Founder of Shining Hope for Communities (Shofco), Dr. Kennedy Odede Saturday.
Dr Odede, who was in the county to meet members of the Shofco Urban Network (SUN), sponsored 200 students to South and North Kilifi each.
“I am happy to be in Kilifi again. I have come here to support the bright students who are in high school as part of our ongoing educational sponsorship targeting over 2,000 students across the country,” said Dr Odede when he met over 1,500 SUN members in Kilifi North.
Shofco’s SUN programme, which has over three million members across Kenya, brings groups and individuals together to address pressing issues in their communities.
“When we come together, we are a powerful force. As SUN, we work together as a family to change communities. SUN helped people organize and engage well with government. SUN members also work as the eye of government in the community and identify issues that require government intervention,” said Dr Odede.
Joyce Mbodze, whose child benefited from the scholarship, thanked Shofco for stepping in for her.
“Shofco has always supported us. It is not the first time. We have already received maize seeds and foodstuffs and we are grateful. My child will now go to school without interruption this year thanks to this check. God bless Shofco,” said Mbodze, a resident of Kaloleni.
The Shofco boss was joined in Kilifi North by County Secretary Mkare Arnold Jefwa, Assistant County Commissioner (ACC) Reuben Maroon and Sokoni Ward MCA Gilbert Supai Peru.
Jefwa praised Dr Odede for presenting life-changing activities for the people of Kilifi.
“I have always heard of Shofco in Kilifi and came to see the owner today. I want us to work together because you have helped the people of Kilifi.
“I assure you of the support of the county government. In partnership with Shofco, we have secured 10 acres of land at Pwani University for cultivation by SUN members. We are grateful for what Shofco is doing to improve the lives of the less fortunate in this region,” said Jefwa.
At the same time, Maroon praised Shofco’s commitment to education, saying it was hard to find someone who cares to sponsor students away from home.
“I would like to thank Shofco for the work it does. Not everyone is keen on doing what Shofco and Odede are doing in this area. You have supported the government in its quest to ensure a 100% transition to secondary school,” Kilifi North ACC said.
Dr Odede promised SUN members that fertilizers and seeds would be used in the 10-acre land donated by Pwani University.
Members plan to plant corn, watermelon and cabbage.
Over 2,000 SUN members showed up to welcome their CEO to Kilifi South and received checks for their children.
Addressing them, Dr Odede called on them to keep the peace during and after the elections, insisting that Shofco is apolitical.
“Let’s keep the peace this season. As Shofco, we do not support any candidate, but we need people of integrity to be elected. Voting is secret and elections come and go. Let’s avoid tribalism, fight our neighbors and work together,” he said.
In Kilifi Sud, the boss of Shofco intends to deploy an adult literacy program, build a library and train young people in income-generating activities.
The Shofco boss has been at the forefront of preaching peace across the country. He visited nine counties in the past month including Nairobi, Kakamega, Siaya, Kisii, Nyeri, Mombasa, Kilifi, Nakuru and Uasin Gishu.
The organization has also held sessions for communities to engage and interview candidates for various seats ahead of next month’s elections.
Shofco started in Kibera, Nairobi and has now expanded to 20 counties in Kenya.
The organization, which has won several accolades, aims to reach 40 counties over the next five years.