Wycliffe Ouma joined the program in 2007. His widowed mother is HIV positive and was barely getting by with her fish stand on the side of the road. Through an HIV support network, she learned about Friends of Ngong Road. She applied almost immediately, and was overjoyed to learn that her son, Wycliffe, was accepted.
However, Wycliffe was not a strong student and graduated from secondary school with a D-. But he has always had a charming, out-going personality and stuck close to the staff at Ngong Road Children Association and his sponsor, Tom Gleason. Among Friends of Ngong Road and Ngong Road Children Association Wycliffe found positive mentors to help him build resiliency and he learned how to recognize and build on his strengths.
When Wycliffe graduated from high school he was faced with another challenge – his business course was more difficult for him than he had anticipated. With the trusted advice of caring adults around him, Wycliffe changed his path and took a barista course. Today Wycliffe is an intern at Connect Coffee and earns a comfortable income at least three times the normal slum wage. This puts him on the first rung on his way up the ladder into the Kenyan middle class. Wycliffe talks excitedly about becoming a manager and working his way into more responsibility at Connect Coffee.
Students who graduate from our program and add some post-secondary training are highly employable. With the academic and leadership training they have received at Friends of Ngong Road and Ngong Road Children Association they are able to escape the slums and move into the middle class.
Way to go Wycliffe!