I recently joined a group at Wesleyan University called Shining Hope for Communities. Shining Hope for Communities is dedicated to increasing education, empowering women and lowering poverty levels in the slums of Kibera, Kenya, which is among the largest slums in the world. The group was started by Wesleyan graduate Jess Posner and current student Kennedy Odede. Jess, upon return from a study abroad trip in Kenya, and Kennedy, who grew up in Kibera, turned their dreams of improving the slums in Kibera into a reality when they arrived in Middletown. They organized a group at Wesleyan and found funding to create the Kibera School for Girls, which opened last fall. We are now hoping to build the Johanna Justin-Jinich Memorial Clinic of Kibera, dedicated to a Wesleyan student who was tragically killed on campus last year. We recently submitted a grant to the Dell Innovations Grant contest and received first place in the popular vote out of over 300 submissions!
However, there are still two more rounds involved in winning the Dell Innovations Grant, which would provide $50,000 to build the clinic, and the likelihood of success is slim due to the competitive nature of the grant. We continue fundraising for the health clinic in a variety of other ways. Next Thursday we are holding a fundraiser at Thai Gardens in Middletown, Conn. If you live near the area, please stop by and bring your friends to eat delicious Thai food and support a great cause! Thai Gardens will donate a percentage of the proceeds to our cause with no added cost to you!
Thursday, March 25
300 Plaza Middlesex Main Street
Building schools and clinics in Kibera will greatly improve the lives of many, many residents there. The Kibera School for Girls was a great start, contributing to increasing education and decreasing gender differences. Empowered women in society is one of the best indicators for societal growth and improvement in developing countries. This can often lead to a general rise in standard of living and population decreases in impoverished areas. We need to continue aid for the development of the area, which requires dedicated individuals, fundraising and support. Improving the situation in developing countries can improve the current global situation. This is a small start to a great task, but together we can make a difference.
If you can't come to dinner on Thursday but would like to help, you can also donate online! Take a look at our website
Picture: Wendy Barreto