As a sponsor, one of the best ways to help your child is to build regular correspondence with them. This helps them improve their English reading and writing skills and it helps inspire them to work hard in school because they know that their sponsor cares about them. For many of the children, especially those living with guardians, having a person show that they really care about them is of deep emotional value.
Our Sponsor Portal makes it very easy to communicate with your child. Here’s an overview of the process along with a video demonstration:
- Use the SIGN IN button at the top of any ngongroad.org webpage to log in to the Sponsor Portal. Never signed in before? Forgot your password? No problem, follow these instructions.
- Click on the tab titled “Inbox” for your child. Note that if you sponsor more than one child you will have a separate inbox for communicating with each individual, just scroll down the page to see them.
- Click on messages to read them. New messages are in bold type. Messages you have read will remain in the Inbox so you can refer to them when you have time to write.
- Click on “+ COMPOSE NEW MESSAGE” to start a new message to your child. Short messages are fine. Do not feel that you need to write a long letter every time. A quick note with a few photos attached are equally appreciated.
- Use the ‘Attachments’ portion to add photos, videos, scans of handwritten letters, etc. to your messages. You can drag and drop files or click “browse” to find them on your computer.
The portal is the easiest way to communicate with your child. We hope you will enjoy using it often.
If you have any issues using the portal you can alternatively send an email to MyStudent@NgongRoad.org which we will print for your child. Please put the full name of the child in the “Subject” line of the email and the full name of the sponsor of record so we can make sure that the right email goes to the right child.
We used to promote sending letters via the mail but in recent years the postal service has become so unreliable that we can no longer recommend this. If you have something handwritten to send and don’t have the ability to digitize it you can mail it to us at Friends of Ngong Road PO Box 581308 Minneapolis, MN 55458 and we’ll scan it and send it for you.
FoNR does not accept material cash gifts to individual students apart from sponsorship.
Small cash gifts (e.g. up to $100) may be carried to Kenya by FoNR representatives. The best practice for handling such gifts is for the relevant caseworker will take the recipient shopping and send a photo and thank you from the recipient to the sponsor giving the gift.
When sponsors visit Kenya, we encourage them to take students shopping or on a field trip with a cost up to $100.
Modest gifts of clothing or educational materials can be carried to Kenya when people travel.
Gifts of personal computers may be given to post-secondary students whose educational programs require that they have a personal computer with appropriate communication with the giver that FoNR will not be able to monitor the laptop after given to their student. Alternatively, sponsors can contribute to a laptop lending fund allowing the program to purchase computers that are owned and managed by the organization and lent to post-secondary students for a period of time.
What to Write About
We have found that writing one or two simple questions in your correspondences can help you get to know your student better and form a deeper relationship. Attaching photos or video messages is strongly encouraged–the children really appreciate them.
How Your Communication is Delivered
Children that have regular access to our computer lab facilities will be able to log in similar to the way you do and view the messages you send electronically. When this is not possible our staff print the emails and deliver them through other means.
We try to deliver communications promptly but replies can be delayed for many reasons. During exam weeks at the end of each trimester, students are not able to travel to the office and caseworkers are not allowed in the schools for routine visits. Therefore, the student’s responses will be delayed. The exam weeks are typically at the end of each trimester (late March/early April, late July/early August, late November/early December). Please keep this in mind as you anticipate your student’s reply.