Dr. Izabela Steflja, professor of Global Development at Tulane University, attended camp 2017. I spoke to a couple of Dr. Steflja’s classes at Tulane in April and at that time we began a conversation that I believe is going to yield deep insights for Friends of Ngong Road. For ten years we have been collecting data about the program using SalesForce.com. We are beginning to mine that data and the results are very encouraging. Our analyses tell us that the program is yielding strong, positive results – in academics and ultimately in employment.
However, we want to understand not just what our results have been but why we have achieved the results. Dr. Steflja designed an interview questionnaire and conducted in-depth qualitative interviews with 35 secondary and post-secondary students from the program during her recent time in Kenya. In a future publication, we will share both our results and our findings as to why we have achieved them.
For now, I would like to share a story with you about a question Dr. Steflja threw into the interview at the last minute. She asked each person, “If you were rich, what would you do with the money?” The thing that struck her as unique about the responses is that 100% of respondents answered the same way. Every student she interviewed said that if they were rich, they would sponsor as many children as they could possibly afford.
She explained to me that among children in the program, the definition of rich is someone who can afford to help children they are not related to. For sponsored children, one of the magical things about having a sponsor is that sponsors are rich enough to help children they don’t even know. For our children, that is the definition of wealth.
Imagine – 100% of those interviewed answered the same way.
What would you do if you were rich? For children in this program, you are rich! Thank you for sharing your wealth with them. We hope that sharing your wealth has given you a rich and enjoyable experience.
You are making a difference. Thank you for all you do.