When we launched Friends of Ngong Road in 2006, we said our mission is “to provide education and support to Nairobi children living in poverty whose families have been affected by HIV/AIDS so they can transform their lives”. The board has had long discussions about the ways lives have been transformed in the intervening nine years, but we all agree that ultimately our graduates must secure jobs in the formal Kenyan economy. By climbing the economic ladder, they will lift themselves out of poverty and their families out of the slums. The cycle will have been broken.
This is now beginning to happen. It is very exciting to witness.
Class of 2012
Our first five students finished high school in 2012 and one boy finished a mechanics course. Now three of our 2012 graduates are employed as is the boy who completed the mechanics course. Here is what they are doing today:
Marline Wanjiku is attending university and also working at Digital Divide Data (DDD). With support from her sponsor and a scholarship from DDD, Marline will complete a degree in accounting from Nairobi University in 2018. When she has time Marline also serves as an Associate with Karibu Loo, where she has worked several weekend events.
Esther Wangari completed a diploma at Nairobi Aviation College in Tours and Travel in November 2014. Although unable to find employment in her field of study, Esther is now working as a part-time caseworker for Ngong Road Children’s Foundation. Esther has also applied for a professional designation through the International Air Transport Association to increase her credentials as she looks for a full-time position.
Jackline Nyarwai earned a diploma in Front Office Management in November 2014 and began working as a receptionist for Karibu Loo and Ngong Road Children’s Foundation. In May, a visitor to our offices was so impressed with her skills that she helped Jackline land an interview at a veterinary supply company in Nairobi called Bimeda. She now has full-time employment at Bimeda as a Customer Care Representative. Jackline said she is excited to be part of the international business world.
Maureen Wambui is in the last few months of completing her course in business management. When she finishes, Maureen plans to pursue an internship to gain work experience that will help her qualify for full time employment.
John Githeu was not able to attend high school due to his low KCPE scores. Instead we sent him to be a trainee in mechanics and later to a mechanics school. Recently we supported him in getting a commercial driver’s license and he is now a full-time truck driver for Karibu Loo.
Class of 2013
The class of 2013 was twelve students, one of whom decided to marry but the remaining eleven are in the midst of their post-secondary studies. Two of the eleven have a job they will be able to pursue while continuing their education. Three more work part-time for Karibu Loo or Ngong Road Children’s Foundation.
Sheila Muhonja began a course in accounting at Visions Institute of Business Management in January. However, she discovered an opportunity to compete for job training with G.S.U., a paramilitary branch of the Kenyan government. Sheila was one of hundreds that competed and we are delighted that she won a spot in the 10-month training program. After completing the training she will become an employee of G.S.U. Sheila will continue her accounting classes in the evening after completing the training program and begins her new full-time job.
Eric Badi earned a job at Digital Divide Data and is currently in his probationary period. Assuming he successfully performs, he will have the opportunity to attend university while working part-time at DDD.
George Odhiambo (left) and James Kyalo Mutuku are both pursuing their post-secondary diploma courses. In the meantime, they are regular Sales and Operations Associates at events for Karibu Loo. George said “Working for Karibu Loo is teaching me to adapt to different situations and how to step out of myself for the sake of the business to tell the Karibu Loo and NRCF story.”
Class of 2014
The class of 2014 includes 37 students, most of whom are just now enrolling in or beginning their post-secondary education. However, a few students from this group already have jobs:
Winnie Anyango works as a receptionist for Karibu Loo and Ngong Road Children’s Foundation, filling the opening left by Jackline Nyarwai. She said, “In my new position I am learning how to communicate with people of all backgrounds. I am also learning how to use technology better. I will be able to use these skills when I get a job in future and am so grateful.”
Asaph Waweru graduated from high school in 2014 and is passionate about sales. He secured a full-time sales position with Basaam Clothing Ltd, focused on marketing clothing and will do this job while pursuing a part-time diploma course in sales and marketing.
Class of 2014 students who have worked as Sales and Operations Associates for Karibu Loo and remain on the roster include Helen Nyambura, Augustine Voro, Victor Wambua, Sarah Fazira, Jane Njoki and Harrison Otieno.