PHOTO ESSAY: Kenya's Kibera School for Girls

Photographer Hilary Duffy captures images of Kenya's future at a groundbreaking girls' school inside one of the world's largest slums.


In August 2009, Shining Hope for Communities founded The Kibera School for Girls, the first tuition-free school for girls in Kenya's largest slum. Located on the outskirts of Kenya's capital city, infrastructure in sprawling Kibera is almost nonexistent, and its residents are often ignored and discarded by the rest of society. Kibera—on the margins economically and geographically—is rarely viewed as the center of anything. Photographer Hilary Duffy explores the energy inside the bright blue walls of the Kibera School for Girls to reveal a center of innovation and a training ground for future leaders.

Comment on this Editorial


The pictures tell a story of hope.

The idea behind the Kibera School for girls is commendable, particularly in the light of keeping girls safely away from societal vices. I am that someday, those girls will bring change to the long marginalized and forgotten slums of Kibera.

The girls beam hope for the world.Kudos to Hilary for telling the story as it is in such a stimulating manner.


I had the privilege of participating in a field visit of this school as part of the Global Fund for Children's Nairobi conference this past May. Our group walked from one end of Kibera, where our cars were parked, to the other, where the school is located. Yes, there is surely poverty, but there is also lively activity with much local business transpiring. In Hillary's last photo, you can see part of the rooftop playground. From there, on one side, you look onto the whole of Kibera; on the other, a well-off Nairobi suburb.Quite a contrast! In our classroom visits, we observed happy children who recited poems or sang songs with great enthusiasm. They also asked us questions without a hint of hesitation. I love the idea of families working in place of paying school fees: We saw a sewing room where mothers made clothing to sell. Bravo, Kibera School for Girls!