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.
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
Ted and Kathy Truscott have agreed to provide a match to the Friends of Ngong Road Annual Appeal for the sixth year in a row. Ted and Kathy first became involved when Ted learned that his colleague and friend from Ameriprise, Paula Meyer, was founding the organization. A few years later, another colleague of Ted’s, Amy Johnson, also joined the board and became heavily involved in setting up a program to provide life transformation for children through education.
Ted and Kathy believe in the power of education to transform lives. They both studied languages abroad and met while in college. Ted said, “Education brings awareness and choice to a person’s life. We support Friends of Ngong Road because lives are being completely transformed and without this program these kids otherwise wouldn’t have a chance. Paula and donor’s commitment to the students makes us proud partners with Friends of Ngong Road.”
Friends of Ngong Road sponsorships cover the education portion of the program including school fees, uniforms, and books. The Annual Appeal ensures all kids have access to other program elements such as the computer lab, library, caseworker support and holiday food packets for especially needy families. To learn more about the Annual Appeal or to get more involved, please email Lacey at [email protected]
Thank you to those who joined us at the 2016 Annual Gathering held October 24 at the Pourhouse in Minneapolis. Paula Meyer and the Ngong Road Children Association Board Chair from Kenya, Rajpreet Bains, provided program updates and shared stories of what our kids “can do.” Elisha can become a civil engineer. Michael can lead others. Winnie can read. Mary can transform her life. We are proud of our kids!
And just as our kids can do so much, we thank and applaud our sponsors, donors and partners for all you can and have done. Your support has made education possible for nearly 400 children. Your support gives children the chance to say “I Can” both today and in the future.
A special shout out to event volunteers and to the band Six Still Standing for providing entertainment at this year’s event. We hope to see everyone next year!
Kate, a 13 year old soccer player from Minnetonka MN, for the 2nd year in a row has collected soccer cleats with her summer soccer team to send to our kids in Kenya! Thank you Kate and team! Soccer (football) is a favorite sport among our kids, and they excited to receive the shoes!