Greetings from a world that has changed. We are all coping as we work to understand what COVID-19 will mean for people across the globe and what the downstream economic harm is likely to be. Like most people, I don’t yet understand the long-term implications however I have already deeply internalized an important lesson: We are all in this together! Viruses do not respect borders, income levels or political preferences. We all have to pull together to overcome this threat.
In that spirit, Friends of Ngong Road board members Amy Johnson, Keith Kale and I have been working long days for the past ten days to establish a Crisis Management process for Ngong Road Children’s Foundation (NRCF) and Karibu Loo (KLL) in Kenya and for Friends of Ngong Road (FoNR) in the United States. Teams meet daily in Kenya while the U.S. and global teams confer weekly. We have taken steps to reduce expenses in both organizations with a goal of weathering this storm.
There are several important staff changes you should know about…
- Lacey Kraft joined Friends of Ngong Road as our first full-time paid employee in February 2016. Her assignment was to build upon the work volunteers did during Friends of Ngong Road’s first ten years and formalize the organization’s development program. Lacey tackled this assignment with great energy and made significant contributions during her four years with the organization. Sadly, she has decided to leave for another non-profit in the Twin Cities. We are sorry to see Lacey go and wish her all the best in the future.
- We have made the difficult decision to eliminate the position of Program Director spanning both NRCF and KLL in Kenya. Maureen Mulievi is the current incumbent in that role and has served the organization well. We are sorry to say goodbye to Maureen and wish her the best in her future endeavors. In this environment, we believe the organization must streamline leadership so we are as effective and efficient as possible.
- Kelvin Thuku will assume leadership of NRCF while Emmanuel Mukasa (business development) and Steve Muendo (operations) will co-lead Karibu Loo through the crisis.
In all cases, Kenyan staff members will report to Crisis Management teams comprised of people in both countries.
In Kenya, the immediate and significant need is for food aid. Families in our community faced great food insecurity before this crisis hit. Today, they are also told to stay home and work remotely – except when your work is casual labor such as cleaning homes, doing laundry or construction, remote work is not possible. And these families don’t eat if they don’t work. We are increasing food aid and appreciate your support in helping us feed these children and their families. For $35/week we can provide enough basics so a family of four can eat at least one meal daily – with 255 families with children in our program, the unplanned-for cost could be as high as $9,000 per month.
If you would like to help us provide food aid in Kenya, please click here. We are all in this together, thank you!