If your ministry disappeared tomorrow, would your community miss you? That’s the hard question that churches and nonprofit organizations face when considering their impact on the world around them. With this new year, Ndoto set out to find out the answer, and longtime team member Tobias Onyango was the man for the job.
“Many people believe that Ndoto has brought a transformational change in Obunga,” Tobias writes, “And it is also acknowledged that Ndoto has tried to eradicate poverty in the community. However, 30-40% of the community is unaware of Ndoto or what we do.” In reaching out for these conversations, Tobias identified 10 teams of boda boda drivers (bike and motorbike taxis) and 28 registered women’s self-help groups and set out to meet with many of them.
Boda boda drivers make up one of the largest workforces in Obunga and contribute to the local economy, but since they rent their bikes, they say at the end of the day they only bring home $2-$5 in profit. Many have dropped out of school and some don’t even have driver’s licenses. As for the women’s groups, many of the most well-known pillars in the Obunga community are leaders of these self-help groups. These small groups meet weekly and do small informal banks that save each other’s money and make loans to each other, but most still run tiny small businesses that don’t make much money, and they struggle to provide for their families.
These community meetings give Ndoto an opportunity to learn from the perceptions of the community while also sharing helpful information about what we do and how we can help. These new community outreach meetings are already giving our Kenyan team new ideas about projects to work on in the community and ways to expand our influence. They’ve reinforced our view that our community knows and values the ministry we do, but that we always have work to do to combat misunderstandings, to spread awareness, and to learn!