Naomi Kamanda was the first employee of Ngong Road Children’s Foundation (NRCF), and like all other NRCF employees, she began her work with the organization as a volunteer.
Naomi was born in Nairobi and lived in Kibera (the largest slum in Nairobi) for most of her childhood. Her mother is a seamstress and her father works in the electronics field, primarily for a company in Tanzania. She has four brothers and is now 26 years old.
Naomi attended Nembu Girls School and upon completion was asked by her pastor, Rev. Peter Ndungu, to help with a children’s program he was hoping to start. During this time Naomi was attending a catechism class taught by Peter. This was in 2006, shortly after Paula Meyer and Peter Ndungu had met for the first time in Nairobi.
On Saturdays, Naomi came to teach songs and play games with four sponsored children and others who came along for fun. That was the beginning of our Saturday Program. At that time there were four students being informally sponsored but neither Friends of Ngong Road nor Ngong Road Children’s Foundation had been formally established.
In 2007, she also started a two-year diploma course in Community Development. In early 2007, Paula came to Kenya to help launch NRCF. At that time, Peter was still employed as a pastor and Naomi became our first employee. She continued her studies and grew with the organization.
She has been a primary school caseworker, head of the Primary Department, a secondary school caseworker, and is now the leader of the Secondary Department at NRCF. Naomi has helped recruit most of the students in the program and knows almost every student. Peter has designated Naomi as his second-in-command as she has taken on increasing responsibility in the day-to-day operations of the program.
When we asked Naomi to reflect on the past seven years, she said, “I love my work! It makes me so happy to play a role in helping all these children find a path to success. I am so grateful to be doing what I am doing since in the entire Dagoretti area there is no organization that does what we do for our children. The organization is very unique and may God bless all our sponsors for their continued support”.
Naomi continues to invest in her own development and will complete her university education in August 2015.
Naomi will be coming to the United States in September 2014 and looks forward to meeting many sponsors and supporters during her visit.