Is starting NGO a good Idea in Kenya?

My name is Clare and I am 33 years old. I completed a master’s degree in Environmental Science three years ago. Before I joined masters, I had applied for several jobs. Did over 20 interviews but unfortunately none was successiful.Due to desperation, I decided to join masters so that I could increase my chances of getting even a better job.

Armed with a Master’s degree, I once again started looking for a job. I applied for every job vacancy that existed in Kenya based on my qualifications, but I ended up nowhere. I finally gave up and went back to the village. I am now jobless and bitter about myself, the government and anyone I believe contributed to my miseries.
I have however decided to start an NGO because I think I might have a breakthrough as soon as possible. My background is Environment and I believe there are so many institutions that fund environment related NGOs in Kenya.

I want to ask whether it’s a good idea to start an NGO in Kenya.

Thank you Clare for writing to us. I would start by congratulating you for thinking outside the box. It’s always wise to have independent thoughts instead of waiting for a job from the government. However, as much as I can encourage you to start your NGO ensure that your main agenda is not money. Most of the NGOs you see around were started by philanthropists and people who had connections.

In order to succeed in your NGO you must have a good initiative, which is aimed at solving a problem in the society. Since you have mentioned that environment is a contagious issue in our society, you should first identify areas where there is environmental degradation, destruction of forests, industrial pollutions and any other environment related problems. Then start working on selected location without necessarily looking for finances from donors. After some time, write a good proposal about your work and how best you intend to achieve your goals. This will surely take you places.

If donors realize that you are only after money, they will deny you the grants thus making you more depressed and hopeless.

What I will advise you is to ensure you learn from those who have made it in this sector. Know how they work and what challenges they go through in the course of their work. Everything needs experience and with time you will be okay.

Finally, as you think hard about the issue, also try to think in the line of business. Instead of being idle just look for a small business to do; it might change your life. I know you might be tempted to ask about capital but I know several businesses in the country which you can start with as little as Ksh 5,000.






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