Our Team Day 2019 began with a round of introductions to the team, which has fortunately grown considerably in the meantime, and a comparison of expectations. To experience so many new and committed people in the round motivated all participants.
The acquisition of private supporters as family members, on the other hand, is unfortunately very slow. It has become apparent that it is unfortunately difficult to create the necessary awareness that the network as an educational project in Germany, Austria and Kenya also needs a financial basis, that it is not just a matter of supporting the slum schools through donations. We have some hopes for the fundraising: Marcus has made various applications, but unfortunately, experience shows that it takes one to one and a half years of preparation before the necessary contacts are made so that funds really flow.
Once again it became clear that nyendo has a huge potential: “At the moment our partners are the slum schools in Kenya, but nyendo is neither limited to them nor to Waldorf schools or Germany and Austria. The impulse can be scaled up and down as required:
We mediate partnerships between schools in our rich countries and in slums to provide young people with a framework of action and reference for developing their social entrepreneurial initiative!
Our internal structure
The management, for which an office assistant is still being sought, is Irmgard’s responsibility with Jasmine’s support, but in the long run Irmgard wants to withdraw from the management in order to finally be able to dedicate herself completely to networking as a shareholder of UG. The Institute, headed by Brigitte and Alexander, is responsible for supporting the network schools and student companies as well as organising the retreat conference, for which 46 people have now registered at the beginning of 2020. The “Finance and Fundraising” team now consists of Jasmine, Uwe and Marcus and Gisela. The marketing department includes PR and IT and is responsible for communication, information channels and external presentation with Gabi, Ramona, Hélioda, Sonja, Tobias, Uwe, with newsletter, monthly review and website. However, for the various channels in the social media and for traditional press work, someone is currently being sought. Then of course there are the partners in Africa, with whom Jasmine keeps in touch in everyday life by collecting and forwarding her project applications, making the donations of the school companies available, documenting the project implementation and then reporting to the school companies on the use of the money. In Kenya, nyendo Ltd. also has an office and two proactive and competent employees who support the headmasters of the slum schools in presenting the finances of their schools and documenting the project implementation transparently.
Furthermore, Irmgard put the current situation into the big context of the history of the Nyendo impulse on this day, which was not only enlightening for the new team members: What is unusual for many people and therefore difficult to grasp about nyendo is that it is not primarily about development aid or development partnerships, nor only about student companies and entrepreneurship, but rather about education in the field of social entrepreneurship, i.e. about opening up scope for the currently clearly perceptible system-changing impulse of our youth, which is also manifested in Fridays For Future. nyendo wants young people to develop the skills needed to solve the problems of our increasingly globalised world!
The Nyendo concept was developed in the three years in which Irmgard built up the first nyendo student company in Ismaning and was “eavesdropped” on the needs of the young people in their active cooperation: no lessons, get out into life, learn from each other, develop own ideas, accompanied by a coach, not taught by a teacher, travel to Kenya, get to know the partners there etc.
Use of donations as a research issue
The question of how the money generated by the student companies can be put to good use in the slum has been a central research question from the very beginning. At first we mainly researched long-term perspectives, but the concrete implementation at our partner schools failed, there were failures because the acute needs are different: First of all, people simply need food. In Kenya, for example, there are no lessons for four months, i.e. there are no school fees and no salaries for the teachers. Here, since 2017, an attempt has been underway to pay the teachers a small basic income three to four times a year. The installation of toilets etc. has also paid off: our funds have a quasi homeopathic effect on the self-healing powers of the social organisms around “our” slum schools.
We now distinguish four different elements that must be equally served or strengthened in order to initiate the long-term development of economy in a traumatized community: Firstly, we must help to secure livelihoods, and secondly, we must establish long-term structures. The latter are, for example, maker spaces, such as our new school furniture carpentry workshop, the media lab at the Five Star and educational opportunities for graduates of slum schools in cooperation with NairoBits. As a third element, we support particularly proactive school principals in their impulses, who act as role models against the lethargy resulting from misery. And fourthly, a sense of community is needed in the slum, which is particularly important in a nationwide community of 43 ethnic groups with 43 different languages, because originally only the people of one language community felt connected to each other. Twelve slum schools are now networked, have joint meetings, work together, receive training in accounting, exchange information. A great deal of structural work and trust building has been done here in recent years – but with the small team of the past it was often an almost superhuman task.
In this respect, it is all the more gratifying that we are now such a large community of committed people with diverse skills in the most diverse areas!