Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) has been ranked as the top known organization that has provided assistance to the needy since COVID-19 hit Kenya seven months ago.
In the survey results released by Trends and Insights Africa (TIFA) research firm, SHOFCO outshined Red Cross (16%) and other Non-Governmental Organisations (5%) by impressive 45%.
“Among those entities mentioned known to have provided assistance to the needy, the NGO, Shining Hope for Communities leads by far (45% – statistically identical to the 44% it received in Round Two) compared to the next most frequently mentioned individual provider of such assistance (Red Cross at just 16%, which received only 5% of mentions in Round Two),” TIFA said in the survey report.
SHOFCO has screened 1,830,931 people for COVID-19 symptoms, operated 348 handwashing stations across 17 slums that have been used 446,055,103 times and delivered 6,715,850 litres of free water in Kibera via an innovative aerial water piping system.
SHOFCO has distributed an additional 19,700,000 litres of water via water truck distribution, and reached 1,543,754 slum dwellers with household-level distributions of soap and sanitizer.
According to Kennedy Odede, SHOFCO Founder and CEO, slum residents bear the biggest risk during this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, as they lack the necessary infrastructure and access to basic services.
SHOFCO’s community-based approach has delivered critical help for slum residents, and created distribution channels for government, corporate, and NGO partners to support in Kibera, Mathare, Mukuru kwa Njenga, Kawangware, Korogocho, Nyalenda, Obunga, Maweni, Bangladesh, Mishomoroni, Likoni, Kamkunji, Manyatta, and Soweto slums.
“COVID-19 has shown the importance of community-led response to crisis. When the community takes ownership, it becomes possible to do rapid distribution of supplies and information that keep slum residents safe during this pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed vulnerable families to the edge of survival. Because of SHOFCO’s deep roots in urban slum communities, we were able to mobilize quickly and at scale, and provide a lifeline to families hit hardest by the economic devastation.
“We are working very closely with the United Nations, UN-Habitat, OCHA, Amref, and the Government National Covid-19 community task force to ensure that we reach all informal settlements in Kenya,” added Mr. Odede.
The organization is also collecting questions, rumors, and reports of COVID-19 misinformation from community members via SMS or door-to-door surveys that are fact-checked and addressed via local radio and other direct communication strategies.
“To date, we have enrolled 351,054 contacts in our SMS platform and analyzed 7,643 household-level survey responses,” Mr. Odede said.
Other initiatives that SHOFCO has undertaken include delivering 32,594 emergency food packages, and responding to 1,653 cases of gender-based violence since the start of the pandemic.
Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) is a grassroots movement that catalyzes large-scale transformation in urban slums by providing critical services for all, community advocacy platforms, and education and leadership development for women and girls.