As we begin 2019, I believe that Friends of Ngong Road and our sister organization in Nairobi are turning a corner in three ways:
- The program is delivering results in young lives transformed by education and employment;
- Ngong Road Children Association in Nairobi is a dramatically more mature, effective organization than it has ever been; and
- Friends of Ngong Road is poised to move to the next level.
We began working with the first group of children in Nairobi’s Dagoretti slums in late 2006 – twelve years ago. That first group of sixty children are now young adults. Among the early classes of students who have successfully navigated the entire program, including Primary, Secondary and Post-Secondary schooling, 93% today have jobs or are in internships we believe will lead to employment. In the 2012 NRCA Plan, we dramatically strengthened our criteria for admission to the program. We expect as these later classes of students complete their education, more and more will be eligible for government scholarships in post-secondary colleges and universities. And, we have built programs designed to bolster success through Sexual & Reproductive Health training and Life Skills training. We are optimistic that the formula we have created will continue to work. You can learn more about the jobs our graduates have gotten from the poster below.
In 2016 the organization in Nairobi was roiled by embezzlement by the Kenyan Executive Director. We have successfully remade our Kenyan operations by outsourcing financial management to a professional firm, recruiting a very competent Kenyan board of directors to provide local oversight and strengthening Friends of Ngong Road’s role in financial oversight and control. Our leaders in Kenya, including the board and the new Program Director, are creating a professional, well-run Kenyan organization.
Finally, Friends of Ngong Road completed a strategic plan that includes replacement of my volunteer-President role to that of a new, paid Executive Director and transition of our joint organizations to one that can support even more children in the future. More than 550 children have been affected by this program, and while a few have moved away or gotten derailed, many have become young adults with bright futures. There is much work to be done to continue to deliver on our mission. Above all, I am most deeply appreciative of you – our sponsors, donors and supporters who have made this work possible.
Founder and President