Find Me Unafraid: Love, Loss, and Hope in an African Slum

By Kennedy Odede, Jessica Posner

Find Me Unafraid tells the unusual love tale among unusual humans whose collaboration sparked a profitable circulation to rework the lives of weak women and the city bad. With a Foreword through Nicholas Kristof.

This is the tale of 2 teenagers from different worlds: Kennedy Odede from Kibera, the most important slum in Africa, and Jessica Posner from Denver, Colorado.  Kennedy foraged for meals, lived in the street, and taught himself to learn with outdated newspapers. whilst an American volunteer gave him the paintings of Mandela, Garvey, and King, teenaged Kennedy made up our minds he was once going to alter his lifestyles and his neighborhood. He obtained a football ball and commenced a adolescence empowerment workforce he referred to as Shining desire for groups (SHOFCO). Then in 2007, Wesleyan undergraduate Jessica Posner spent a semester in another country in Kenya operating with SHOFCO. Breaking all conference, she made up our minds to reside in Kibera with Kennedy, they usually fell in love.Their connection persevered, and Jessica helped Kennedy to flee political violence and satisfy his lifelong dream of an schooling, at Wesleyan University.

The alchemy in their outstanding union has drawn the aid of group contributors and celebrities alike—The Clintons, Mia Farrow, and Nicholas Kristof are between their fans—and their paintings has replaced the lives of lots of Kibera’s so much susceptible inhabitants: its women. Jess and Kennedy based Kibera’s first tuition-free institution for women, a wide, vivid blue development, which stands as a bastion of desire in what as soon as felt like a hopeless position. yet Jessica and Kennedy are only getting started—they have multiplied their version to attach crucial providers like future health care, fresh water, and fiscal empowerment courses. They’ve opened a similar venture in Mathare, Kenya’s moment greatest slum, and intend to extend their remarkably winning application for change.

Ultimately this can be a love tale a few struggle opposed to poverty and hopelessness, the transformation made attainable by way of a real love, and the ability of kids to have a deep influence at the world. 

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I think my middle pounding. i do know precisely the place we're going—to the mattress we’ve been sharing so chastely. I’m afraid of what the realm may well appear like at the different part of this second, of how every little thing may perhaps switch. the way in which Kennedy seems at me, it’s as though he sees issues in me that I haven’t but chanced on. Kennedy takes the foremost from his pocket and opens the padlock, protecting the door open for me. status jointly in his apartment, I blush, not sure of our new intimacy. I’d be mendacity if I stated I hadn’t imagined this second 1000000 instances. I’ve imagined what his mouth could suppose like. I’ve imagined what his epidermis may well flavor like. yet I’m uncertain I ever notion this might quite occur. Slowly, reverently, Kennedy starts to unbutton my blouse. His palms shake, and he makes no try and cover his nerves. He kisses my naked shoulder and asks me lightly, “Are you convinced? ” “No—are you? ” “No—I’m apprehensive. i'd count on an excessive amount of from you, greater than you could provide. ” “Later,” I say, kissing him again more durable. “Let’s fear approximately that later. ” His palms hint the description of my body, discovering the small of my again, resting on my hips. I pull his T-shirt up over his head, my fingertips skimming alongside his again, tracing his midline, his epidermis so gentle. He pulls me as regards to him, and that i think his weight urgent opposed to me, tethering me to this earth. eventually, there's purely him and this second, and our small unmarried mattress. later on, I draw the threadbare sheet with regards to my chest, and we lie on our aspects, simply one another. He says precisely what I’m feeling. “You convey me peace. ” For one of many first occasions in my existence, my brain stands mercifully nonetheless. i think the fibers of the cloth as they contact my naked pores and skin, get pleasure from the distance I take in within the mattress, and believe like existence has suddenly selected me. “Do you're thinking that this—what we have—that someone in the market will ever realize it? ” I ask quietly. “Honestly, I don’t imagine so,” he says matter-of-factly. “In reggae, we are saying ‘overstand,’ rather than ‘understand. ’ among us, we've got what I name jessken tradition. We simply overstand. ” I movement nearer, cuddling into his chest, either elated by means of this new mystery global we proportion and devastated to imagine the surface international may well by no means “overstand” it in any respect. commonly sooner than mattress, Kennedy talks to his highway puppy, Cheetah, scratching his ears and giving him a scrap of meat. this night, I seek advice from Cheetah myself. I provide him a few selection items of meat stored from my very own dinner and bend right down to whisper in his ear. I don’t wish Kennedy to listen to the fear in my voice. “Take care folks this night, Cheetah. safeguard us,” I say softly. numerous occasions in the course of the evening I’m woke up through sounds i assumed I’d grown used to. The sound of rats scuttling at the tin roof, a puppy barking far-off. eventually, the load of Kennedy’s hands round me, maintaining me, lulls me again to sleep. the following morning I get up early, yet Kennedy is already wakeful; he’s most likely been mendacity that manner for hours. “What are you going to do? concerning the elections, I suggest? ” “Just don’t fear approximately it,” he says, combing his hands via my hair.

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