Since its inception, Friends of Ngong Road has operated with the principle of establishing one-on-one relationships between sponsors and students. Up to this point, relationships were created largely by encouraging communications, namely exchanges of letters and materials sent through the mail or hand-carried between the U.S. and Kenya. This past year, the organization enhanced the ability for sponsors and students to become connected by establishing the Sponsor/Student Portal.
While still a new tool for many to yet explore, the possibilities of how the Sponsor/Student Portal may be used still seem limitless. And especially in this time of Covid-19 imposed realities — where distance learning, social isolation, and many of us are learning to embrace technology to connect (who hasn’t joined a Zoom call?) — we thought it was a good idea to have a conversation with a sponsor and student who have pioneered its use.
That led us to a Zoom conversation with FONR sponsor Jeri Pearcy who (along with her husband Jeff lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin) sponsors their student Perpetual in Nairobi.
Our conversation (available in its entirety here on Illumini Podcast) resulted in a wonderful conversation, starting with how they first met in 2008 and continuing with how they have shared letters through the mail over the years. Today, both Perpetual and Jeri are coping with the pandemic. A wonderful insight was revealed, learning that they both generally shared the same attitude about living amidst the new realities of living with Covid-19, regardless of how different their living conditions were.
The conversation about the use of the Sponsor/Student Portal revealed how both Perpetual and Jeri were testing the waters with the technology, but at this point found it easy and convenient to use. They appreciated confirming the quickness of sending and receiving emails, but also are interested in sharing more photos, news articles, and school assignments. Jeri is a retired nurse practitioner and teacher, and Perpetual is focused on post-secondary education as a systems and business analyst.
The discussion included ways both Jeri as a sponsor and Perpetual as a sponsored student have benefited from their connections thanks to Friends of Ngong Road. The energy between the connection is hard to express in written form, but in conducting this Zoom session, the loving energy was virtually palatable. We hope you enjoy listening in!