A new campus to accommodate growth
For the past 14 years, Ngong Road Children’s Foundation has operated in a residentially zoned neighborhood, first in a home adapted for office use, and then into a second one across the street when new space was needed. In this time, some 500 students, their families, sponsors, and supporters have passed through these offices en route to transforming many lives. Cozy confines might sound beneficial in that students and staff literally rub shoulders with one another, but cramped quarters created some real operational challenges.
Rapid growth meant continually adapting the office space to accommodate changing needs.
The library doubled as a storage room, a conference room, and an overflow workspace. The Computer Lab first began in a tightly squeezed attic space of the first building. Then it was moved across the street to a larger room. But that room also served as the entryway to the main office. And since the hallway cut through the middle of the room it meant that class instruction was constantly interrupted. The Karibu Loo offices were squeezed into a room that had an adjacent toilet closet, and when someone wanted to use that toilet, which also doubled as a storage room, the worker seated in front of the door needed to get up and out of the way.
Friends of Ngong Road’s Journey to 2025 strategic plan set a goal of doubling the number of students served by 2025. It was time to move.
In seeking a new location, Friends of Ngong Road and Ngong Road Children’s Foundation worked together to envision their needs for a new facility:
- Stay close to the students and their families.
- Expand and dedicate space to intended uses.
- Build upon the sense of community, which has been integral to getting the organization to where it is today.
- Accommodate a growing population of alumni. Alumni are encouraged to network and stay connected and live the concept of WePowerment, including being mentors and advisors to students.
- Constantly seek ways to enhance efficiencies, minimize administrative overhead, and leverage financial and “people” resources, ensuring the vast majority of resources are serving the students.
To these ends, a new location was identified, and the notion of a campus emerged. The NRCF and Karibu Loo operations now function out of a much larger, private residential building adapted for office use. The site accommodates an additional building (to become Elimu Hub) and outside space.