First Impression Paper
World Quest Dorothy children’s home was founded by Elias Mbaabu on the 18th of august 2009. Elias lived in the United States of America with his wife. On one of his visits to Nairobi with his wife, he came across street kids, his immediate instinct was to help them however he only had a thousand shillings in his pocket. On his next return to the city after the last one, with twelve children he came up with Dorothy children’s home. The foundation was named after Elias’s wife’s niece Dorothy, who was murdered by her husband.
Celebrating their 10th anniversary in august, WQDCH can boast that they currently shelter twenty-three girls, with a four-year-old being their youngest. Eight are in house, two from Meru, two from Nakuru, two from Machokos and two from Roasters Marurui. Dorothy children’s home has a school within the premises, classes up to class 4, then they follow up their studies in Marurui. The children sheltered by the foundation, are gotten from children’s offices, government or families who are unable to provide the necessary resources for their children.
The mission of Dorothy children’s home is “Our passion is to give a home, love and hope to orphaned and destitute children in Kenya, Africa”.
By 7.50 am on the 13th of May 2019, I got to Dorothy Children’s Home pumped and extremely nervous about my first day. I remember vividly taking the back gate, which is located inches away from the cows’ herds, I wasn’t sure if I was more terrified about being accidently touched by one of the cows. After successfully walking past them, I saw ducks and at that point I just ran as far as I could from them and immediately prayed, I wasn’t going to be put on ‘animal duty’. I met my supervisor Doreen who ended up directing me to where the children’s classrooms where, there it was “the playground”, where there are couple trees and plants and three playground equipment. The swings have two seats, the playhouse had one broken slide and the other was barely functional with, however nothing caught my attention like the classroom did. It wasn’t like anything I have ever seen before and at that moment my brain started to cycle so many questions, one of the biggest questions was “how am I going to fit in?”. The children range between the ages of 1 and 7 years old, what blew my mind was that none of them spoke English well enough to understand little things I said to them, and that right there was my biggest challenge.
As days went by, I felt more and more comfortable around children but teaching became more and more challenging by the day because I had to teach the kids alphabets, animals, objects and so many more. I would draw letters, pictures of objects, and animals for all five kids. Finding out that my pronunciations of alphabetic letters are very different from Kenyans and East Africans in general, this made teaching the students much harder. In addition, there are two boys I instantly connected with, Ambrose (3 years old) and Edwin Ochieng (2 years old). Ambrose came in one day with a dislocated wrist, his right hand was so swollen he could not lift the chair he sat on or even hold the pencil, he compensated for the right hand. It took all of me not to yell at the teacher or his parents, because I strongly felt that he needed immediate medical attention and bed rest. What was more disappointing is that he came to class day after day with his hand like that, unattended to and I immediately understood that his family couldn’t afford to the proper care that he needs, for every day that I came to teach them in class and I saw him, I would feel so bad that there wasn’t anything I could do about it.
On my 6th day I asked to be assigned in the kitchen because I did not want to get too comfortable with just teaching and playing with the children. I was given green and really tiny looking beans to clean up which I later found out are called ‘Ndegu’, I still have no idea what they are used for and I spent three good hours picking ndegus.
Day 15 came and it was probably the most challenging day of them all because it involved me facing my fears. As mentioned earlier I have an animal issue, especially with cats, chickens, ducks, and the scariest of them all turkeys. On this day I was assigned to cleaning duty, which involved me cleaning the hen house (female chickens or other fowls are kept safe and secure. There are nest boxes found inside the hen houses for egg-laying, and perches on which the birds can sleep). Cleaning really smelly chicken poo was not my problem however falling on the cows were, so the hen house is built right on top of the cow sherds, as I swept, I could see the cows as they laid with comfort, those were the most nerve racking three hours of work.
“SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis is a framework used to evaluate a company’s competitive position and to develop strategic planning. SWOT analysis assesses internal and external factors, as well as current and future potential.” (Grant, 2019)
It presents key insights into both internal and external factors that can have an effect on the overall performance of an organization. It can help the leadership of the organization to optimize performance, look for new opportunities, and minimization of a number enterprise and coverage making risks. (Lynda M. Applegate, 2018)
· Strengths of Dorothy children’s home:
- Philanthropy; they have the desire to promote the welfare of others, this is expressed through sheltering and feeding of the children.
- Sponsorships; Dorothy’s children’s home sponsors the education of their girls to high school and sponsors their feeding as well
- A lot of team members; there are a good number of people working on different aspects such as the gardener, the one in charge of animal feeding, those who cook for the children, volunteers from various universities etc.
- Dorothy children’s home has fixed assets like office, land, and furniture.
- he foundation has a potential to attract international volunteers and supporters for its activities, through its connection to organizations like USIU-Africa
· Weaknesses of Dorothy children’s home:
- Advertisement; the foundation’s Facebook page is outdated and doesn’t have any website. Lack of a social media presence will not allow them to connect with the right people, which affects their networking
- Competition; Although the foundation is non profitable, they still have other foundations such as Happy life children’s home, who have more competitive advantage such as location, and popularity.
- Most marketing is by word of mouth; most of the volunteers are from schools, someone has to tell you about the home before one can discover it.
- Cost of their services; Because most expenses are covered from the foundation’s pocket, however there are services being rendered by people who need to be paid, leading to more cost incurred.
- Neglect of Staff Development / Skills Development; because of staff shortage, they basically have to ‘make good use of what they have’. They do not have the chance to be selective about their volunteers, most times these volunteers do not possess the appropriate skill.
· The following are opportunities:
- Giving a home and also giving love to every child they in need
- Giving adults the opportunity to be parents, raise a child of their own.
- World Quest Dorothy children’s home is networked and works with other stakeholders in the regions and donors and other stakeholders are willing to support the foundation.
- WQDCH located in the Hub of East African community, and a Kenyan city hence an opportunity to network with international supporters and volunteers
· The following are the existing threats:
- Cost of services; some of the workers there are not volunteers, for instance the teachers are paid for their services.
- Competition; even though Dorothy’s children’s home is a non profit organization, there is still competition from other homes to be considered.
- Abortion; an increase in abortion, reduces the number of children in homes.
- Overseas adoption; some families may decide to start adopting children from different countries that will leave more Kenyan children without homes
- Donor change of priority funding and withdrawal from funding the projects. Donors are not reliable, as they give out of their own free will so therefore are not obliged to continue. Although the foundation’s day to day running depend on those donations, they are not guaranteed.
- Unfriendly infrastructure (roads, water services, electricity and roads) to some of our focus areas.
- High expectation of communities for the services rendered in the home, because not a lot of people have a work vision for homes (with no reliable donors).
Expected Improvements for the Site.
Although most children in children homes are cared for by family members or communities in some way, many of these families are living in poverty. Some form of assistance is required to provide these children with adequate food, health care, clothing, education and psychosocial support. There are a few expected improvements for the site which include:
- Dorothy children’s home should meet children’s emotional & behavioral needs as set out in their care plan. The world is changing such that children are observed more because the society understands now the power of childhood in shaping adulthood. I believe this is not exercised to its maximum potential, each child has their personality, and at the home the children are addressed as a unit. Though they are a ‘family’ but the children should be encouraged embrace their individualism, by allowing them to partake in activities that focus on them.
- All staff should have access to training to develop the skills and competences necessary to understand children’s behavior and intervene constructively; as mentioned earlier in the paper all the children are taught in one class room by one teacher, I believe it is necessary that children in ‘baby class’ should be taught by a different teacher, and have their own classroom. In addition, there should be a standard evaluation for teachers, who posses’ adequate skills to pass knowledge unto the students.
- Education: This includes school fees where they exist, funds required for uniforms, books and other supplies, and special fees. Especially the uniform aspect, the students have torn and worn out uniforms, sometimes ill-fitting uniforms. This does not give a good impression of the teaching system, and curriculum used to teach the students. Another aspect would include, the books. Students should have their own table and chair, access to required materials for teaching and learning. Many organizations realize now the importance of educating their youth, so they may need school supplies to help children finish their education.
- A sizeable Dorothy children’s home bus; Asides from the obvious reasons which is for easy and necessary movements. Another reason would be for events, there some event such as school competitions or other competitions being offered to homes.
- Creating a more detailed social media for exposure; So far Facebook and google maps are the only platforms that have some sort of information about the foundation. The Facebook page is very bland and uninformative, I believe that can be adjusted by updating their page with better pictures, adding a kittle information about their background which will positively impact their exposure.
I started off with many challenges, the past six weeks have been an interesting experience as it has opened my eyes to a different world that required it to be seen with a different set of eyes. World Quest Dorothy children’s home is small and growing foundation that like any other has its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and the threats. For instance, its major strength is the philanthropist side, they have the desire to promote the welfare of others, this is expressed through sheltering and feeding of the children and that they identify as a big happy family. Its major weakness is its lack of social media exposure which is a major set back as it doesn’t allow networking to its peak. One of its opportunities being it is located in the Hub of East African community, and a Kenyan city hence an opportunity to network with international supporters and volunteers and the threats include, donor change of priority funding and withdrawal from funding the projects. For the next six weeks the goal is to help the foundation improve in the areas of concern such as creating a more detailed social media for exposure, helping children find their independent ground and so on.
- Grant, M. (2019). Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat (SWOT analysis). Investopedia, 1.
- Lynda M. Applegate, S. S. (2018). Worldwide Orphans Foundation Harvard Business Review Case Study. . Blue Ocean, 1-10.