December is a busy time of year for all non-profit organizations, and Friends of Ngong Road is no exception. Like most U.S. non-profits, we raise a disproportionate amount of our annual budget in the 4th quarter and next year always goes better when we end this year strong. Our focus is on raising $75,000 to meet the Truscott match for our Annual Appeal – if you haven’t yet had a chance to donate, please click here to make a gift today.
In Kenya, our team is working at full throttle to prepare to get all students back to in-person school on January 4. Uniforms, school supplies and books are being purchased and school fees are being paid. We are also in the process of identifying a new office location in Nairobi as our current setting is no longer a fit for our needs – we hope to move early in 2021.
With your help, we fed 300 program families daily between April and year-end. This was a big undertaking, organized as the world quickly evolved with the onset of COVID-19. We raised the necessary funds to pay for food and used a partner church as a safe distribution facility. When students return to school in January, families will face less financial stress and we expect to move to our more standard approach to family food aid – giving food packets as needed to families in the most challenging situations.
The Friends of Ngong Road board of directors recently affirmed our 5-year strategy to “double our impact”. What this means is that we will, by the end of 2024, have more than 1000 young people in Kenya on their journey to life transformation. Just today, I got an update on Mercy Akinyi, sponsored faithfully by one Twin Cities couple since 2008. Mercy has just completed her 3-year coursework to become a nurse. She will take two days of exams in January and again in April, after which she will have earned her nursing licenses, enabling her to secure permanent employment. The school she attended is managed by a hospital and she will likely have an opportunity to work at that hospital. Kenya needs qualified nurses and Mercy is on her way!
For these and dozens of similar life stores, we are deeply grateful for you – the donors and supporters who make this work possible. While pandemic and other challenges will continue, we have learned that when young people have hope for a better future, many of them find a way to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles! Together, our job is to just give them a chance. Thank you and best wishes for a happy holiday season!