Tag Archives: soap

Why We Do What We Do

In her words, this is the reason I do what I do for the POWER OF HOPE KIBERA:

The Reason Why

Kelly Fenson-Hood
Executive Director, Power of Hope Kibera

People often ask me why I do this work. I’m not sure why, but I never give a very straightforward answer. I guess it’s because it’s personal and it makes me feel vulnerable somehow. Well, I’ve been working with Power of Hope Kibera for three years, and I guess it’s time to share.

When I first met Eventa and Emma, they didn’t speak English. They were five years old.
I spoke basically no Swahili.
But somehow I understood Emma ask Eventa if she knew what my name was.
Eventa just shrugged.

That was six years ago.
Now their English is almost perfect.
It’s absolutely amazing.

My first research partner and I sponsor the girls to attend private school in the slum.
These are two girls that got a chance to succeed.
I empowered them to go to school.
And in front of my eyes, I watched them grow up and transform into smart, beautiful, bright girls.
But the thing is that the Power of Soap Project impacted their lives behind the scenes.
This project kept them healthy so they could attend school.

I am proud that I created a program that makes a real difference with big problems.
And to see first hand how it made a difference in the lives of these girls…
Well, there’s the answer.
I do it all for them.
For Emma and Eventa.
And for all the little ones.

 (Please click the link below to watch our video:)
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Kibera: a Slice of Heaven

ATTENTION ALL YOU RE-BLOGGERS!  This work in Kibera is a result of an INVITATION by the Power of Hope Kibera (pohk.org), to be a guest documentarian.   POHK was started by RESIDENTS of Kibera, Chris and Sylvia Okere.  They invited me to Kibera because they loved my photography and they know me personally. We all want to make this a better place to live, to improve the quality of life here.  The photographs will hopefully assist with that, that is our goal. 

I know it might sound odd to refer to Africa’s 2nd largest slum as  a ‘slice of heaven’, but the term just came to mind when I was looking over the day’s photos.  Indeed, there was solemnity, but the joyous looks on so many faces was quite contagious.

I’m in Kenya as a project documentary photographer for an NGO Power of Hope: Kibera.  It’s basically a hygiene project that empowers poor women through soap-making and selling.  There’s also an important education component.  This project overlaps with another NGO named Global Washes.  These grassroots movements were begun by activist members of the Kibera community and are now nurtured and supported by a wider group of non-governmental organizations.  More on that later.

Today I’m just going to post images that really caught my eye and my heart too, I must say.

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I couldn’t resist this dad who kept balancing his 4 month old son, Dylan, on his hand!

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These two chickens were peacefully resting on the doorstep looking inward to their futures…the stove

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More balancing act…keeps them occupied and everyone else entertained…
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Keli Fenson-Hood Okere, co-pilot of Power of Hope…and my host in Kenya.IMG_5372 IMG_5377 IMG_5380 IMG_5381 IMG_5385This is a mission school in Kibera.  It’s very costly to send a child here and many of them are sponsored by individuals of means.  But these kids seem to love their school and the teachers keep some kind of magic control over their powerful energy…how DO they turn out such joyful little children?


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