The Supply Turns 5.
Today, The Supply turns 5. It’s crazy to think that it’s already been 5 years since we set sail.
I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t been a wild ride. In some ways, I never thought starting and running a nonprofit would be this challenging: the enormous pressures to fundraise, the constant outside scrutiny as a global development organization, the changing landscape for nonprofits, some of our operational, programmatic and strategic failures. There were many days in which it made a lot more sense to dock it up.
But despite these trials, tribulations, temptations, and failures, I’m proud to say that our organization never lost sight of the end goal, always adhering to the values and vision we set sail with. Not only have we accomplished great things, we’ve accomplished them in the right way. We’ve never cut corners, but have often gone down the harder and longer route to ensure that impact and change were truly realized and weren’t just buzz words we threw around.
Within 5 years, we have grown our Supply school network in Nairobi, Kenya to 10 schools, with our goal this year to have 1,500 slum youth actively participate in our SLUMS Curriculum program. We’ve rigorously tested (and will continue to do so) all the various aspects of our model and curriculum to achieve maximum impact and efficiency. Though it took longer than we had hoped, we remained steadfast in proving our concept.
As we look ahead to the next 5 years, we’re anticipating exponential growth. We’re looking to scale our school network to 100 low cost schools by 2020, serving over 15,000 slum youth in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. We hope our results and outcomes on academics as well as civic engagement through our SLUMS Curriculum will validate service learning in the slums and change how education is delivered to this demographic. And as we begin to see students graduate from the network, we hope to see leaders and changemakers emerge, creating a corps of citizens who will take their experiences from their service learning projects and turn them into lasting slum upgrading solutions.
Change in slums for the 1 billion affected is coming. And we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that it is an inevitable conclusion rather than a speculated uncertainty. But we won’t be able to do this alone. We’re still pushing to raise over $200,000 this year for our programs and looking to raise awareness of the issue through campaigns such as today’s World Slum Day.
We know that to make big change, we’ll have to take big risks. There will be larger, choppy waters ahead, and plenty of pain to endure. We look out to the horizon and often see a vast ocean ahead. But for today, we celebrate on our 5th birthday, grateful that we’ve come this far and thankful for all of you, who’ve been on this journey with us.
Founder and CEO