What really goes on in Kenya’s NGO Ict Projects – Part 2
I – used to ride the bus on Saturday mornings where I always sat in the left aisle 2nd last seat at the back looking out the window wondering why on earth am I going to work on a Saturday, and knowing its cause the bosses just want us there even though everyone knows and clearly sees full well there is 0 productivity that happens on Saturday not after yrs of Mon-Fri, and the fact that our office was far from Nairobi that when you look out the window from your desk you see donkeys roaming around the dusty road and you know you’re in their habitat, surely doesn’t help.
The organisation I worked for was IT NGO and there once was a major software IT multinational that had called about 2-3 high school principals to donate 20 computers each to the respective schools, now at face value it was a great PR event even a few journalists had come to cover the event and at this point the NGO had “received” a 5 acre piece of land in one of the satellite towns in Nairobi and built offices out of containers (loved that). I had a database of almost all the high school principals in the country, funny I had the task of selecting the schools that would get the donations under the guidance of the director, I later learned that the multinational software company had bought the computers from us, the NGO and would donate it to the schools from our offices, now, as if it wasn’t enough that our NGO had made a handsome profit our organisation ensured that in order for the principals to get these computers even though they were paid for by someone else the school had to sign a one year 150k maintenance contract with us in order to receive the pc’s. At this point I was bewildered and what’s more is that I took the photos and had to upload on twitter to show the world what a great job our organisation was doing, never mind that I have to try and keep a straight face and hide the shock.
Overlooking the windy balcony of the Bishop Magua building where I’m seated I can see the expansion construction of Ngong road, being an engineer myself I can make sense of what I see construction wise, if I speak to anyone around me and ask how was the Ngong rd contract issued they would quickly delve into the vices utilised to issue the contract. I ask myself what are we in the NGO space missing? Why is there such a high density of NGO’s in Kibera yet the impact minimal, why are the 4 beautifully parked ambulances parked along Juja road but people still die in Kariobangi, why do we donate Computers, have workshops, have trainings but the ICT illiteracy still so high.
When I was 20yrs old 5 other people and I applied for a Job at an international sunglasses retailer in the upper end of Joburg, that stocked sun glasses that cost a small fortune, we were interviewed along the normal procedures but there was final test that made us all cringe, if we all past this test we would be hired, what was it? A real life Lie Detector test, a chain around your chest to detect breathing rate, a palm sweat detector and of course heart rate monitor, needless to say the out of the 5 of us only 2 got hired it also just happened to be the 2 people who not South African myself and my Congolese friend passed the test and met the minimum standards.
Before I took the test I stared at this old white man with sheer apprehension, he made me sign agreement and explained that we have all lied, we have all stolen either as children or adults, but the key here is to what extent, we have all stolen 5bob from our mothers purse to buy sweets but have you stolen groceries from a supermarket, stolen stock from you workplace, have you stolen a cellphone have you taken money that you didn’t earn, have you lied to a police officer, lied under oath, the question here is can you be trusted.
The issue is not that my boss (Director) was a bad leader or doesn’t know management or isn’t qualified or uneducated on the contrary he was DR. The truth is most of us are educated and know the basics of right and wrong and know supreme ethics but don’t apply it, that’s all. There was a building that collapsed in pipeline just over a month ago, now, is it that the Engineers didn’t know what they were doing that caused the building to collapse, NO I can confidently say there is high chance they knew what ought to be done to ensure structural stability.
The issue is much deeper we need a reference point to adhere to, that is GOD, some will say that we don’t need GOD or the bible and human beings can self-govern without a God (atheism) or a moral compass for direction to tell us what is morally justified and what’s not. The reality is we need the morals of Christ to adhere to not as a Sunday thing but as culture so as to make us great again. If you don’t believe we need a moral compass a supreme being greater than us whatever the direction Islam, Christ, Buddhism etc… Its fine you just ask yourself this, Do you lock the door when you sleep at night?