Since Friends of Ngong Road (FoNR – U.S.) and Ngong Road Children’s Foundation (NRCF) were founded in 2006, over 500 young people have been on the journey of life transformation with our organizations. They have been educated through the generosity of sponsors and more than 150 students have graduated and transformed their lives through employment.
We measure academic outcomes in several ways:
- Exam scores – both KCPE (Kenya Certificate of Primary Education) and KCSE (Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education)
- High school graduation rates
- Transition to post-secondary education
Kenya’s education system is in transition from a test-based system to a Competency-Based Curriculum. This will result in changing approaches to the measurement of student achievement. Nonetheless, it is helpful to review historic results.
Our students perform well above the average for Kenya as a whole. While comparisons to Kenya as a whole are no longer available. our students’ 8th grade exam achievement results have climbed steadily.
We also track graduation rates, from primary, secondary and post-secondary.
Our mission since inception has been to support life transformation through education and, ultimately, employment. In 2021, we recognized we must increase our focus and effectiveness on the employment dimension of our mission.
Much of the employment in Kenya is called “casual” and is referred to as the informal economy. The alternative is the formal economy, or what we would typically know in the U.S. Since there aren’t enough job opportunities in the formal Kenyan economy, people must create their own employment to survive. Most families of students in our program support themselves through casual labor. At the low end, this means cooking food in the slums, running a small kiosk selling various items, or doing day construction labor. For those who have an education, casual labor may be as a contract position or temporary work, and increasingly, working in the gig economy.
We currently assist our students in getting jobs by developing guidance plans with each student to help them identify realistic career choices based on their personality and grades. They soon learn the importance of working hard in the subjects related to their career choices.
In secondary school we conduct a Life Skills Program to teach students general self-awareness and self-management skills and provide information specifically related to career development. Students take personality and strengths assessment tests, prepare resumes, and practice interviewing skills.
Once they are in post-secondary school, we assist them with finding attachments (which is like an unpaid college internship in the U.S.) as part of their course work. Those who have finished their post-secondary studies may enter a paid internship to get relevant work experience. We also help gradiates secure an entry-level job. Sometimes that is through an opportunity at Ngong Road Children’s Foundation, or our wholly-owned subsidiary (Karibu Loo), where they work as Sales and Operations Associates. We also tap board members, partner organizations, other alumni and other external resources/networks to help graduates find employment.
The ultimate measure of Friends of Ngong Road’s success is employment of graduates. It is our belief that when young people get educated and then get a job, their lives are transformed. We hit a milestone this year, we now have more than 100 alumni! We refer to them as the First 100 Alumni. In a recent survey we found that 80% of our alumni had one or more jobs from May 2020-May 2021.
After transforming their lives, through education and employment, 59% of our alumni support at least one other person either in or outside their household. This breaks the cycle of poverty for entire communities.
Three FoNR success snapshots:
Eric joined the program in 2007 and was sponsored by Keith and Kathleen Kale. Since a young age, Eric has been a focused, dedicated student and has wanted to make his family proud. However, to get to where he is today hasn’t been easy. Eric was raised by his mother.…
Mercy joined our program in 2006 when she was 13 years old. Her mother had already died from AIDS, and her father died soon after in 2008 making her and her five siblings orphans. After graduating from Stephjoy High School in 2014, she attended St. Paul’s University and studied Community…
Elisha was born in the rural area near the coast of Kenya where life was tough but his family close. When he was 10, his father died from AIDS. Soon after, his mother learned she too was HIV positive. She became very ill and unable to work. Elisha loved his…