News & Events
The Power of Soap in Africa’s Largest Slum
In early January, we hosted an Indiegogo campaign and raised $3,235 for the Power Soap Campaign which launches in February 2014. Check it out here.
UOL Notícias Internacnal (translated from Portuguese)
According to the executive director of the nongovernmental organization, Power of Hope Kibera (POHK), Kelly Fenson-Hood, despite experiencing common problems of informal settlements around the world, as the absence (or deficiency) of sanitation and housing, Kibera is quite sought after by those who live in Nairobi. She says in an interview with UOL, many people choose to live in Kibera “because the rent is cheap and because it is near the center of Nairobi.”
With a population density of 2,000 persons per hectare, Kibera, on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya (East Africa), is an urban informal settlements most densely populated in the world, according to UN-Habitat (United Nations Program for Human) settlements. The site houses a third of the inhabitants of the Kenyan capital. Yet according to UN-Habitat, the total population varies between 500 000 and 700 000 people, which is the second largest slum in Africa and most sub-Saharan African continent. Read more.
UK Daily Mail
It’s probably hard to imagine what life must be like in the slums of Africa. The Kibera slum in Nairobi is six hundred acres of mud and filth. It’s not on any map because it’s squatters camp – an illegal, forgotten city, yet at least one third of Nairobi lives here. Over the years the illegal slum has grown amongst the filth. Little businesses thrive with the inhabitants building and renting wooden shacks. The slum is can also be a dangerous and violent place. The Kenyan Government has done nothing for Kibera. No title deeds, no sewage pipes, no roads. There are no services of any kind. One American photographer recently traveled to Kibera to document a development project (Power of Hope Kibera at POHK.org). Maureen Ruddy Burkhart describes her experience in her blog as a ‘journey of discovery; a discovery of virtue.’ ’With one eye I saw the ever-present poverty, lack of plumbing, and constant energy… and with the other eye I saw joy and love,’ she says. Read more.
Maureen Ruddy Burkhart found herself examining her life last March while preparing to memorialize her recently deceased mother.
It wasn’t the first time she had stepped back to look at herself, but it was the first time—at age 59—she had lost a parent. She wanted to honor her mother by giving whatever she could by volunteering her time and talents for someone who could use them. “Losing a parent really brings home the finality of this life; it represents the last phase because now you have become the oldest generation,” she said.
Kelly Fenson-Hood, a good friend, had recently quit her job to become a full-time unpaid administrator of a nongovernmental organization with Power of Hope Kibera (POHK), a hygiene-centered microenterprise based in the Kibera slum—the largest slum in Kenya and the largest urban slum in Africa—outside of Nairobi. Read more.
Power of Hope Kibera Partners with Living GREEN Foundation
In November 2013, Power of Hope Kibera became a fiscally sponsored project of the Boulder-based Living GREEN Foundation (LGF). Fiscal sponsorship enables nonprofit organizations to further their mission by providing administrative, legal and tax-exempt status to smaller charitable groups. LGF was established in 2007 as a means to encourage creative environmental conservation, education, social entrepreneurial, philanthropic and nonprofit activity, both nationally and internationally. They look for partners with great ideas that make a positive contribution toward social and environmental well-being.
Friday, November 15, 2013, Power of Hope Kibera and the Firehouse Art Center held a multi-media event to celebrate Maureen Ruddy Burkhart’s photography of Kibera and POHK projects.
Burkhart join the POHK team this past July for a month. Now, after winning several awards, including the Firehouse’s Artist Member of the Year, admirers came together to celebrate her work. The event included a silent print auction, African drumming and dancing, Kenyan food, a presentation on POHK projects, and a talk on Burkhart’s experiences. View photos.