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Munro is Swedish, and worked for eight years for the Swedish government in the bureau of housing research. She then began her career as an advocate for the poor in Kenya, pressing for their right to housing as a staff member of Habitat and the head of African Housing Fund, an advocacy group for the homeless.
Her father was a missionary and medical doctor. She herself is a Christian, and has mustered the support of churches in Sweden, although Jamii Bora equally serves the Christians and Muslims living in Kenya.
In 1999, upon Munro's retirement, she founded Jamii Bora along with 50 women beggars, loaning them twice as much as they agreed to save. Munro said she came to know the women after she and her husband, a Canadian, adopted first one boy who had lived on the street, then his two brothers, beginning in 1988. The New Yorker quotes her as saying, "It was a small seven-year-old boy who more or less adopted us....And then we later found his two brothers and adopted them. With a situation like that, like in all great love stories, in literature and in real life, you are a helpless victim, you know?"
In 2012 Ingrid Munro was featured in the documentary Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide premiering on PBS October 1st and 2nd. The series introduces women and girls living under very difficult circumstances and bravely fighting to challenge them. The Half the Sky PBS TV series is produced by Show of Force along with Fugitive Films.