The Good. In July we reported that we were having difficulties with one of our partners, so in August we moved to our own building in Mathare. In our new location we have been able to focus more on recruiting, training, and building excitement about our work in the community. We invited community leaders from Mathare to visit our main office in Kawangware. Over thirty community members attended and were very excited and supportive of our work.
In August we also made a lot of progress documenting and standardizing our training. We updated and finalized our training manuals so that we can easily replicate and control for quality of training across all locations. We also created a morning meeting curriculum to refresh our morning meetings with new material on sales as well as leadership and team building. This new material will inspire our agents, build camaraderie, improve their sales and increase our retention level.
The Challenges. In August our training and jobs numbers were lower than we expected, which also leads to lower sales. We encountered problems with our training and recruitment as many other nonprofits in the new areas we work pay people to attend their trainings. We’re able to get high numbers of people to attend the first day of training, but because of the payment expectations, the number falls on the second day after they learn that we will not pay them. We believe that our training is valuable and, since it leads to a job opportunity, we should not have to pay people to attend. This expectation of being paid to attend training also perpetuates the handout mentality, where we are trying to build a model that offers a hand-up. With greater local engagement, however, we hope to convince community leaders of the value of our intervention so that they can help us recruit and retain youth who are really ready to work their way out of poverty.