My Sponsorship Story
By: Barbara Scharf
I was first introduced to Friends of Ngong Road (FoNR) when Lacey Kraft, Development Director, came to share the FoNR story at a networking meeting in my office at Tamar Fink, a Minneapolis-based financial services firm. I was especially excited when I heard about the mission of providing “education and support for Nairobi children living in poverty whose families are affected by HIV/AIDS so they can transform their lives.” At the end of the meeting I walked up to Lacey and asked “How can I help?”
After a follow-up conversation with Lacey, I decided sponsorship was right for me. I wanted to support and encourage Kimberley’s education and give her the opportunity to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor. I picked Kimberley because I have two adult sons and wanted to sponsor a girl, and because she was wearing pink (my favorite color). Kimberley was 12 years old when I became her sponsor. She lives with her mother in the N’gando area of the Dagoretti Slum, where FoNR works. Kimberley’s mom is not permanently employed and depends on informal labor opportunities such as washing other people’s clothes. Her income is not enough to cover daily expenses. They, at times, have to forego some basic needs due to lack of money.
Kimberley and her mother stay in a single room house that is made of iron sheets and timber and does not have running water. The house has electricity which does allow Kimberley to study at night. They use charcoal or a kerosene stove to cook their meals, and Kimberley sleeps on a sofa in the corner of the house. They have a small radio set where they get their news and entertainment.
Since I started sponsoring Kimberley, she has joined Jagiet Academy and wants to be a doctor when she grows up. Kimberley and I email every month and share stories of my family and her school. I enjoy learning about the culture of Kenya as well as Kimberley’s favorite school subjects. Kimberley’s enthusiasm for her school work shows in her school numbers. I feel like I have gained a third child in Nairobi named Kimberley! I am so proud of the work Kimberley is doing and look forward to my next letter from her.
How can you get involved? Do what I did, go to the FoNR website: ngongroad.org/sponsor and select a child to sponsor. The staff are also willing to help match you to a student if you prefer. Your sponsorship of $100/month pays for a student to attend school and with a new uniform, shoes and school supplies.
Sponsorship has been a joy-filled experience for me. I know it will be for you too.