We have so much to be thankful for! The following people and organizations have generously donated their time, services, products, and other talents to further the mission of Friends of Ngong Road and Ngong Road Children Association.
Once our students graduate from a post-secondary program, their chances of becoming employed are over 90 percent. As of the end of 2017, 93 percent of our students were employed or in internships that we believe will lead to employment. But getting them there is hard work.
Over the last ten years, only 83 percent of our students who began secondary school (high school) completed their education. And 87 of those who entered post-secondary completed their post-secondary education. Students drop out due to unintended pregnancies, getting caught up with the wrong crowd, drugs and other challenges teenagers with significant trauma in their background often experience across the globe.
We are determined to increase our secondary and post-secondary graduation rates. To do so, we are kicking-off two new programs. In December we launched a sexual and reproductive health program, and just last month, Meghan and Evan Feige traveled to Kenya for the second time to lead a two-week life skills training. The training is designed to support recent secondary graduates in making the important transition from secondary to post-secondary education and into a career following their post-secondary education.
Meghan is the Global Talent and Performance Manager at Cargill Inc. and led students through topics such as personality style, effective communication and listening, emotional intelligence and resume and interview preparation. Evan is a Senior Planner in Graphics and Design Collaborations at Target. In the follow-up survey, students said:
- “I had to critically evaluate myself and think of my inner being and how I carry out my things. I had never done this before, so it challenged and stretched me.”
- “The training helped me learn how to communicate better with people and to provide the correct information. It also helped increase my confidence.”
- “I believe I can now make wiser decisions for myself.”
The program is going to be launched with all secondary students and recent secondary graduates in November of 2018 in partnership with a Rotary Global Grant. The South Metro Minneapolis Evenings and Kikuyu Rotary Clubs are sponsoring the program and are instrumental in making such an urgently needed program possible for our students to continue succeeding and transforming their lives.
Thank you to everyone who made Giving Tuesday 2017 a success! Your support helps people like Winnie’s mother no longer have to choose between education and food for her children. There are still match funds available before the end of the year! Double your impact and transform lives through education at https://www.ngongroad.org/donate
World Toilet Day/World Portable Sanitation Day was November 19, and to celebrate the occasion, the Portable Sanitation Association International (PSAI) put on a 5k Urgent Run fun run/walk in Minneapolis that benefitted Karibu Loo! Karibu Loo is our portable sanitation business in Nairobi that was established in 2015 with the mission of providing income to the nonprofit, providing jobs for graduates, and improving sanitation in Kenya. The PSAI focuses on helping to create a world in which clean and safe sanitation is accessible to all and is a helpful resource for portable sanitation companies across the world.
The Urgent Run was held at Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis on a cold November morning. Several Karibu Loo supporters, including Mike Switzer, the founding manager of Karibu Loo, showed up to test out their running skills among the portable sanitation competition. Mike won the Urgent Run by breaking the finish line made appropriately of toilet paper. Mike was presented with a medal and Karibu Loo was presented with a check for just under $4,000.
PSAI has been a supportive partner, resource, and cheerleader as we continue working to make Karibu Loo a success in Kenya. In August 2018, several PSAI members plan to visit Karibu Loo in Nairobi to provide even further support, meet the staff and students, and enjoy the beautiful wildlife of Kenya. Thank you, PSAI, for all of your support!
Meghan and Evan Feige have long known about Friends of Ngong Road (FoNR). They grew up with Meg Meyer, the daughter of president and founder, Paula Meyer. They saw the work of Paula and the board and heard stories of children’s lives being transformed.
Last month, the Feiges took their experience with FoNR a step further. Requesting leave from their full-time jobs at Cargill and Target, they spent some time in Nairobi working with our recent high school graduates. They created and led a variety of workshops including: personality styles, mock interviews, personal brand, emotional intelligence and more. Meghan and Evan stressed the importance of personal exploration through interactive activities, case studies, reflection and dialogues. Such skills are not usually taught in school in Kenya, but the personal awareness and critical thinking abilities are imperative to students’ post-secondary experiences and their success in future careers.
Our recent high school graduates were surveyed after the experience and the majority commented that it was one of the most valuable trainings they had ever received and enthusiastically recommended that workshops be conducted for future graduates.
The Feiges enjoy seeking opportunities to learn about new cultures. The couple lived in Mexico City, where Meghan worked for Cargill. They saw poverty and injustice in Mexico and have seen similar inequities in their own community. But what they saw in Kenya was different. They knew the kids. There was trust among the families, who welcomed the Feiges into their homes. The students opened their hearts to welcome and teach them. The FoNR staff helped them better understand. They left the country with hope for the future and a new perspective on life.
Their experience continues to have an impact both in the U.S. and Kenya. Evan has worked with peers at Target to donate cases of professional clothing to our recent graduates who are applying for jobs. Our board and staff are working to ensure similar training workshops happen in the future. And, our high school graduates are more prepared than ever to reach their highest potential.
Thank you, Meghan and Evan, for partnering to transform lives!
ALL SMILES FOR NGONG ROAD CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES. The year 2017 started with a bang at Ngong Road Children Association (NRCA). A total of 260 families and their children received a New Year’s present of food packs comprising of a full chicken, 4kgs of maize flour, 1 kg of sugar, 1 kg of rice ,1 kg of beans and 1 kg of cooking fat. The package is so appreciated since majority of the parents are manual laborers who earn below a dollar a day. It was all smiles for the children and their families since they were going to have a meal that most had not enjoyed for a long time. One woman was heard saying, “I am very grateful to Ngong road Children Association since I am going to have chicken with my family, a delicacy I have not had for the past two years.”
The event was special since it brought together all the families, the NRCA Board of Directors, NRCA staff, BIMEDA Managers and Chris Adams, one of our top Kenya sponsors and donors. We are very grateful to: BIMEDA and Kenchic who jointly donated 260 chickens, NRCA and Karibu Loo Limited (KLL) Board Chairs Rajpreet and Raj Bains who jointly donated maize flour, Chris Adams, Langata West Primary School, Jonathan Njeru and Ben Waweru who jointly donated sugar, rice, beans and cooking fat. Without our supporters, the day will not have been a possible.
Plans for Improving School Relationships
Some supporters do not realize that we do not run our own schools, Rather we’ve found it more beneficial to partner with schools in the local area who show good student outcomes.
One of our goals for 2017 is to improve the relationship with the schools we are working with to enable close monitoring of our students’ performance and ultimate improvement in grades. We are planning to achieve this through:
- Monitoring and evaluating student’s performance throughout the year and recommending whether it’s advisable to admit new students in that school.
- Visiting existing well-performing schools to strengthen the relationship.
- Identifying and building new relationships with other institutions that perform well.
- Working hand in hand with the school administration of our focus schools when called upon and during school visits to address any issues and also motivate students as they progress in their studies.
In our effort to improve the secondary student’s performance and break the poverty cycle, we are planning to take them through a study skills training using the expertise of our NRCA Board Members, Robert Murimi. Robert trained the staff and students of a Kenyan school whose performance ranking improved from 87 to 25 in the country in the annual Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination.
Plans for Study Skills Training
We plan to train our primary and high school children on effective study skills. The training entails: wise time management, good listening skills, being well organized, class attendance, use of study groups, taking short notes, setting and achieving goals, effective writing skills, approaching studies with the right attitude, choosing the right environment, minimizing destruction and setting realistic schedules.
Our plan is that the training should commence in March for the primary school children and our caseworkers, and then for high school children in April. Our long-term plan is to incorporate skills training in the August camp and have regular mentorship sessions throughout the year. It is our hope that our children’s final grades will improve after the training.
All of this work is possible because of the hundreds of individuals, organizations and companies across the world who believe in the children and are making a difference.
Ngong Road Children Association