I just returned from my 21st trip to Kenya as the organization nears the end of its 11th year of operations. The organization has made significant progress in strengthening financial controls, an objective that has been in place for several years and is now getting accomplished, and improving systems for the sponsored kids. The caliber of our new volunteer board of directors in Kenya and the quality of their deliberations impressed me greatly. We launched what I hope will be a dramatically more effective Sexual and Reproductive Health Program, focused first on training Youth Peer Providers who will educate our young people. There’s much to celebrate, but most especially the young men and women whom your generosity supports as they seek to create better lives for themselves.
Winnie is the eldest child in her family. She has been sponsored by Doug and Beth Ann Lennick since 2007.
Winnie is enrolled in a diploma program at the Kenya Institute of Mass Communications. There, she is studying video production and editing, interviewing skills, and related topics involved with television.
Currently, Winnie is in an internship at a local television station called Mother & Child, which does programming for mothers, families, and youth. She went with her team members to a Nairobi hospital where they interviewed doctors, patients, and nurses about a childhood disease. Her assignment was to edit the video as they put this program together. After her internship, Winnie will return to school until September 2018. She hopes to get a job in television production.
Emmanuel begins his final year of high school at Dagoretti High School in January. Pat and Kathy Halloran have sponsored him since 2009. Emmanuel, high school rugby captain, thrilled as we met before his team’s intensive two to three-week training trip to Kisumu.
The high school rugby team will play against other national high schools and if they win Kenya’s national cup the team will go on to Rwanda to play in the East Africa games, Sponsored by the government sports agency. When he was in school, he told me that he focused 90% on school and only 10% on rugby. Emmanuel does best in science subjects – chemistry and biology.
Etrose to my surprise attended the Ngong Road Children’s Foundation Alumni Gathering on December 2.
Etrose joined the program in 2007. Ted and Kathy Truscott sponsored her until 2016. For me, Etrose is a living profile of mistakes we made and lessons learned in the program’s first 11 years. Like most parents, we have not been perfect, yet Etrose has managed to make a better life for herself.
Etrose finished 8th grade. Today, we would have sent her directly to trade school where she would have graduated in two to three years with a job skill, like hairdressing or sewing.
Unfortunately, we sent Etrose to high school. She attended three different high schools and ultimately failed her final exams. Etrose then tried a course in food service, but again failed. After informing her of her alumna status, Etrose admirably secured employment as a restaurant hostess, displaying commendable determination.
Etrose still lives with her mother but now she pays the rent and contributes to other monthly expenses. Etrose has a sweet personality and has always valued the role the organization has played in her life. She promised to stay in touch. Etrose is excelling with the gifts she has received.. What more can we ask for?