In late April, Paxful launched the #BuiltWithBitcoin Africa Fund to help equip various regions in Africa to fight against COVID-19. For Kenya, one of Paxful’s major markets, we’re partnering with Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) to alleviate the spread of the pandemic in slums, where social distancing is near impossible

A little bit about SHOFCO

A person sanitizing a man's hands at SHOFCO booth

Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) is a community-based organization that was set up in 2004 by Kennedy Odede in Nairobi’s Kibera slum. Over the past 16 years, SHOFCO has gathered 139,000 community members across ten of Kenya’s urban slums and actively delivers education, health, and water to over 350,000 beneficiaries.

SHOFCO’s COVID response in Kenyan slums 

Social distancing is an impossible luxury in Kenyan slums. Living quarters are densely packed and vulnerable families often lack the money and supplies to keep their surroundings hygienic. In response, SHOFCO is helping 11 different slums tackle COVID-19 on various fronts: 

  • Public awareness and community outreach: Nearly 100 community health workers and over 500 volunteers have distributed soap, hand sanitizers, and educational pamphlets to more than 34,000 households.
  • Screening: More than 50,000 people have been screened for COVID symptoms. Suspected patients are receiving testing in quarantine at the Ministry of Health. 
  • Handwashing and sanitation: 120 handwashing stations, 24 clean water kiosks, and 47 community toilets have been installed across 11 sites.

Two women tending the Paxful-SHOFCO booth

  • Clean water: SHOFCO is providing water for free using aerial water piping and water truck access points.
  • Scaled distribution of supplies: More than 5,000 liters of soap and 800 liters of hand sanitizer have been distributed to households in all 11 slums. Clothing items and masks have also been produced for community health workers by a group of 80+ women SHOFCO members living with HIV.  
  • Emergency food support: SHOFCO has distributed essential cooking supplies (cooking oil, rice, ugali) to more than 1,800 families who are at risk of starvation.
  • Direct cash transfers: With the help of Give Directly, 3,000 vulnerable families are going to receive 25 USD per month for three consecutive months.
  • Combating misinformation: In order to ensure only trusted and accurate information reaches the community, SHOFCO is rolling out a rumor-tracking project that enables the community to report possible rumors about COVID via survey or SMS messaging.

Help is there, but not enough 

As the largest grassroots organization working in the slums, SHOFCO has been able to improve the livelihood of a large number of families. However, their emergency COVID funding remains a constraint, and this is where we can come in to help.

Let’s do this together: Paxful has already donated 5,000 USD to SHOFCO, but we’re not stopping there. We’ll match all donations made to SHOFCO up to an additional 5,000 USD. That means we could be donating a total of 15,000 USD to SHOFCO—but we need your help.

Lend Kenyan slums a helping hand. Donate today.