Our mission is to support students on their journey to life transformation. We believe impoverished young people transform their lives by first getting an education and then a job. We enhance students’ employability through Life Skills Training, Career Development Assistance, Employment Opportunity Maximization, Entrepreneurship Training, and an Alumni Program. We also have intern and employment opportunities at Ngong Road Children’s Foundation, and with Karibu Loo Limited.
Life Skills Training
To help prepare our students for success, we offer a robust program designed to develop the critical skills necessary for success through training sessions that begin in secondary school and continue for several years. The program consists of three major components that teach students:
(1) General self-awareness and self-management skills
(2) social skills
(3) information and skills specifically related to career development
Skills are taught using various techniques, including lecture, demonstration, feedback, reinforcement, and practice.
Students are led through lessons such as discussing personality style, effective communication and listening, emotional intelligence and resume and interview preparation. The curriculum progresses from basic skills like formal handshakes to interview skills and clearly articulating one’s strengths and goals
Students confirm the training provided is helpful, as demonstrated through regular surveys.
- “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.”
Career planning is a journey. As with any journey, students first need to know their starting point, and from there, they can determine where they might want to go. In addition to Life Skills Training, case managers work closely with students individually and in small groups to help students set goals and obtain the necessary skills necessary to succeed in their chosen career path.
Beginning in Form 2 (Sophmore year), students meet regularly with their case manager to review their performance and start to develop a plan for their future. Developed throughout their involvement in the program, guidance plans help students become aware of themselves and identify their full potential based on their skills. They are then guided to identify realistic career choices based on their personality and grades and learn the importance of working hard in the subjects related to career choices. This provides a clear road map that helps identify any obstacles that may come on the way and offer support and guidance that will help a student arrive at their correct destination/career.
Computer Skills Training
Since most jobs today require computer skills, secondary school graduates complete a six-week computer skills certificate program broadly recognized in Kenya. The Computer Society of Kenya (CSK) administers the certification exam in our Computer Lab.
Maximize Employment Opportunities
Unemployment is one of the challenges experienced globally among youth, and Kenya is no exception. We assist students in identifying and securing internships and jobs. In some cases, we offer internships through Ngong Road Children’s Foundation and Karibu Loo, Limited to provide work experiences for graduates.
A new job preparedness program called TechMates was started in late 2020 to help Tech and marketing students gain hands-on experience through training and working on real-life projects for Ngong Road Children’s Foundation, Friends of Ngong Road, and Karibu Loo Limited, and other external clients. We also partner with other organizations and companies.
One example is our partnership with Bimeda, a veterinarian supplier that needs employees trained in veterinary medicine or animal husbandry, which is hard to find in Kenya. Bimeda has sponsored students through related post-secondary programs to prepare them for employment. Three alumni are currently employed there, after pursuing a related post-secondary education.
In addition, the Board of Directors in Kenya consists of well-connected professionals committed to our mission. One of their central mandates is to assist students seeking employment by invoking their networks to secure that critical first job.
The alumni have an association with a mandate to foster a spirit of loyalty and encourage all members to give back to Ngong Road Children’s Foundation and the community.
This is an excellent opportunity to meet other alums and expand their network through interactions, networking gatherings, and volunteer opportunities. The alumni organize and engage each other in meaningful activities spearheaded by leadership chosen during their annual meeting.
The Alumni Program supports students in obtaining internship opportunities and job placements through seeking and creating relationships or networks with employers following graduation. It also supports and encourages alumni to give back to the NRCF community in terms of their time, in-kind and monetary gifts, and an annual gathering to reconnect with other alumni.
The alumni have an association with a mandate to foster a spirit of loyalty and encourage all members to give back to Ngong Road Children’s Foundation and the community. This is an excellent opportunity to meet other alums and expand their network through interactions, networking gatherings, and volunteer opportunities. The alumni organize and engage each other in meaningful activities spearheaded by leadership chosen during their annual meeting.
Over 100 alumni have graduated from at least secondary school, and most have completed post-secondary education. We conducted a survey of all alumni in June 2021, which will be repeated annually. The results serve to highlight the success our students are experiencing and inform where we can improve services to ensure they gain viable employment. Since our first survey was in 2021, the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic was significant.
Our current Alumni survey data shows that:
- 80% of the respondents had at least one job within the last 12 months, and 20% had more than one job
- Less than 50% were currently employed (at the time of the survey in June 2021)
- 76% of employed students work in the formal economy
- Of those students not currently employed, 90% worked in the casual or informal sector. And those in the informal sector earned considerably less money.
- 59% are supporting someone besides themselves