Understanding Travelers Philanthropy

Travelers Giving Back: Travelers Philanthropy
September 8, 2008, 6:13 am
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“Exquisite Safaris Philanthropic Travel is pleased to announce our humanitarian fund raising partnership with Friends of Ngong Road in Nairobi, Kenya. The Friends of Ngong Road team on both sides of the Atlantic execute their mission with professional attention to detail that is truly world class -a best practices case study in The Globalization of Empathy. -David Chamberlain Founder Exquisite Safaris Philanthropic Travel


Life in Kenya is Hard
The mission of Friends of Ngong Road (the fund-raising arm based in the U.S.A) and its sister organization Ngong Road Children Association (the operating arm in Kenya) is to fund education and provide support for children living in Nairobi whose lives are affected by HIV/AIDS. Their goal is to bring hope to these children by pairing a specific child and sponsor thereby giving sponsors a direct role in these children’s lives.

The Kenya operations are based in the poor area of Dagoretti in Nairobi where they currently sponsor nearly 200 children.

Every day life is a challenge in Dagoretti, living conditions are crowded, most families live in row houses constructed of corrugated steel packed closely together. Each family shares one, or if they are slightly less destitute, two small rooms.

Clothing is hung on nails pounded into the walls. There is no running water and almost no one has electricity. Bathrooms are pit latrines shared by multiple families. Food is cooked outdoors with charcoal or wood. The streets are usually dirt and become rutted and muddy during the rainy season.

AIDS Makes Life Much Harder
For the typical person in Dagoretti life is difficult but not desperate. Life gets much tougher for children whose parents suffer from or have died of AIDS.

A meal is an uncertain event. Some days the parent or guardian can work and there is money for food. Other days they may be too ill to work and the children go hungry. There is little money for school. Public schools are very crowded and of low quality. Absenteeism is frequent for children whose lives are affected by AIDS, as they often have to miss school to take care of a sibling when their parent or guardian is ill.

Children living in these circumstances are often more quiet, less hopeful and smile far less often than the norm. They are simply surviving with little optimism about the future.

The Smiling People of Ngong Road Walking the streets in Dagoretti is fascinating. People of all ages are on the street or in front of their small one-room shops.

Many of the people around you are friendly and will smile at you as you walk by. They greet each other with big smiles and handshakes. Children run everywhere.

Goats, chickens and the occasional cow all mingle with the people even in these urban areas. There are shops selling a few vegetables, beauty salons, charcoal dealers and places to get a car battery charged to power a T.V. or radio. The occasional car bumps slowly by passing the hand-drawn two-wheeled carts full of wood, or water or something else to sell.

There is always someone interesting to greet.

The Story of The Friends of Ngong Road
The Program is based one man’s vision.

Peter Ndungu grew up in the poor areas of Nairobi. He was orphaned at 11 but was befriended by a Lutheran pastor who arranged funding for his education. Peter eventually graduated from both primary and secondary school in Kenya and went on to complete his Masters in Nairobi and Masters of Arts in Evangelism at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Peter had long nurtured a dream of helping children living in poverty to prosper through education. In 2006 he met Paula Meyer while Paula and her family were on vacation in Kenya. He told Paula of his dream and she decided to help make it reality. Friends of Ngong Road and Ngong Road Children Association were founded to turn Peter’s dream into a program to help children living in poverty. The volunteers in the U.S. and staff in Nairobi share a deep belief in the value of education and the hope it can bring to young lives.

The Manifestation of One Man’s Vision
Friends of Ngong Road and Ngong Road Children Association provide education and support for children who are affected by HIV/AIDS in Nairobi. Their objective is to give children the tools and support to improve their lives through education.

You can Make a Difference: A $750 annual gift allows a child to enter the Program and begin their education at our select schools.

1. Schooling: Tuition, tutoring, uniform, books, supplies and a daily lunch
2. Saturday Program: A day of fun activities and a wholesome meal
3. Family Support: Case worker support, food assistance and access to basic medical care

Sustaining Funds: Sustaining funds provide needs that are beyond a sponsorship (such as extraordinary health care, extracurricular activities and staff/office support)

Scholarships: Funds are needed to provide tuition assistance for children who are best served by a boarding school this includes children whose home situation has become untenable, the top-performing 7th and 8th graders as well as secondary school students whose tuition is higher than primary school costs

Value for Your Investment: Your Contribution Goes to its Intended Purpose

100% of Money Raised is Sent to Kenya:
2007 audit is available on request. Fund-raising and communications in the U.S. are managed by volunteers allowing us to send all of the funds we raise to Kenya.

89% of the Budget Goes to Direct Student Support
Kenya administrative costs total 11% of 2008 forecast freeing the remainder to be spent on direct student costs such as tuition, food as well as student and community outreach.

Focus Schools to Ensure Quality Education
Children in our Program must attend one of our focus schools. These schools were selected based on their strong academic results. Their goal is to form partnerships with a few schools so we can influence them on behalf of our children.

Food for the Family and for Students
Children in our Program receive at least one nutritious meal per day from the Program, Monday through Saturday. Sometimes this is their only meal that day. We also supply a supplemental packet of food monthly.

Community and Friendship for Students and SponsorsSaturday Program and Vacation Camp build a sense of belonging and self esteem. Children write at least two letters annually to their sponsors. In many cases a strong bond is formed between sponsor and child.

A Program Run by Kenyans, for Kenyans
All staff and volunteers in Nairobi live in or were raised in Nairobi’s poor urban communities. They understand the challenges faced by our children from personal experience.

Admission Criteria to Select Successful Students
Since space in our program is limited, we select students with the highest academic ability from a range of primary grades. After preliminary selection, we visit their home to review our expectations with the guardian. We look for a home situation conducive to study and where the child receives at least one meal daily.

Learn More:
Exquisite Safaris partners with Friends of Ngong Road
Globalization of Empathy: Philanthropic Travel
Exquisite Safaris partners with Black Rock Solar
Native American Elementary School gets Free Solar Installation
Collaboration creates Prosperity: Philanthropic Travel
Global Cooling?
The Wisdom of Stone Soup
Travel Connoisseur Magazine on Exquisite Safaris
Exquisite Safaris clients say…

Philanthropic Travelers:
The The One’s Who Do: Visionary Philanthropic Travelers
Jane Kaye- Bailey: Philanthropic Traveler
Richard Branson: Philanthropic Traveler

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“If you are coming to help me, you are wasting your time but if you are coming because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” -Indigenous Saying

Philanthropic Travel: Enlightened Experiences

The Exquisite Safaris Philanthropic Travel experience integrates indigenous local culture into every personalized luxury trip we recommend. These personal introductions create authentic cross cultural friendships that generate trust, respect, and generous donations funding philanthropic travel projects worldwide.


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