Empower Women. Create Jobs. Save Lives.
1 in 5 Children Die from Diarrheal Disease in Kenya’s Kibera Slum
Handwashing with Soap Prevents Diarrhea
We Empower Local Women Entrepreneurs to Start Soap-Selling Micro-Enterprises
and use their Businesses as a Platform to Promote Handwashing with Soap
Power of Hope Kibera News
It’s been two amazing years since POHK was launched as a joint US-Kenyan organization. In 2013, we developed the programming model, the business plan and gained non-profit status through fiscal sponsorship. In 2014, we successfully implemented the Power of Soap Model on a small scale!
Phase II of the Power of Soap program, the Handwashing Intervention, launched in September. Each week, as sellers visit their clients to sell Power Soap, they now discuss the family’s handwashing practices and help them adopt life-saving handwashing behaviors.
Successful Launch of the Power of Soap Campaign
We would like to thank everyone who donated to our Power of Soap campaign this winter. We are thrilled to report the project was successfully launched in February and continues to grow. Campaign highlights include:
- Conducted 50 blind-test washing demonstrations to generate product interest
- Distributed 4,000 soap samples in our target area
- Sold more than 800 bottles of Power Soap
- Our sellers have earned nearly $300 in 8 weeks
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.
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.
Power of Hope Kibera Partners with Living Green Network
In November 2013, Power of Hope Kibera became a fiscally sponsored project of the Boulder-based Living GREEN Network (LGN). 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.