By Susan Plimpton
Michon Garrett, Director of FoNR Operations, and I traveled to Kenya this past May to spend 10 days with the staff of our Kenyan sister organization, the Ngong Road Children’s Foundation. Our primary purpose in going was to meet with the caseworkers for the post secondary students, those young people who had finished secondary school and were now enrolled in the Post Secondary Program to provide the skills, additional education and training to qualify them for employment. There currently are 83 young people enrolled and most are in one or two year programs from which they will receive a Certificate or Diploma upon completion. The fields our students enter are varied and range from automobile mechanics to hotel management to accounting to barista worker. We are very proud of the 93% success rate we are achieving in placing our alumni in internships or full time jobs.
Our objectives were to ensure we fully understood how the program was operating, to provide additional training on using the software we provide to track our students’ progress, and to understand some of the challenges our Kenyan team have in helping students select and complete the right program for themselves. We also met with every recent secondary school graduate to hear their plans for further education and to discuss with the staff if that was the best next step for that student.
In addition, we attended a Ngong Road Children’s Foundation Board meeting, participated in the Saturday recreation program for all students, met with our and other sponsors’ children, and interviewed some of our employed alumni. All in all, it was a very worthwhile and inspiring visit.