Garden of Hope Foundation

Ambassador: Victor Odhiambo , Kenya

Victor founded the Garden of Hope Foundation in May 2014 to develop the skills of underprivileged young people living in the Kibera slums in Nairobi. Garden of Hope Foundation has worked with 5,000 young people since its inception, helping them to develop their entrepreneurial and leadership skills. The foundation runs an entrepreneurial skills training programme for women and girls living in Kibera. It develops their business skills, and helps them generate new income streams that have the potential to help lift families out of poverty. This programme is primarily targeted towards those who have been victims of forced marriages or have dropped out of school at a young age. So far 3,000 women and girls have been equipped with entrepreneurial skills through this programme.

Garden of Hope Foundation also educates women on sexual health and rights, as well as providing sanitary towels to 500 girls each month to help them manage menstruation properly. This makes these products accessible for people who would otherwise be unable to afford them. Garden of Hope Foundation also works to improve the leadership capacity of young people through the Mentoring and Leadership Programme. Working with 20 high schools across Kibera, Garden of Hope Foundation links high school students with university students who then provide career guidance and personal development opportunities. The main purpose of this programme is to create behavioural change amongst at-risk young people. In the past year, 250 young people have benefitted from this programme.

After attending the One Young World 2018 The Hague Summit on the MFA Enterprise for Peace scholarship, Victor won the Pan African Award for Entrepreneurship in Education through a nomination from the MFA. This award included a $5,000 grant given to the foundation, as well as a three year incubator partnership