Annette Angose is a dynamic economics and finance major with a sales and marketing background currently working for a health multinational company. She is passionate about social entrepreneurship, innovation, health sector interventions and education, especially among teenagers, and is the founder of Change for Change, a social initiative that partners with children’s homes, offering financial aid as well as emotional support. In her words, she spends her energy and resources partnering with the local community to develop wholesome individuals in mind, body, and soul.
What do you do in terms of gainful employment?
I currently work for GE Healthcare based in Nairobi, Kenya. I support the company with sales and marketing of ultrasound in East Africa. I joined the company four and a half years ago.
Talk to me about Change for Change. When did that start? Why? How does it work?
Change for Change was founded in 2011. It’s an initiative whose aim is to provide a channel for young people to give back to the society by providing basic support to children’s homes in Kenya.
Tell us a little bit about the core team you’re working with and what they do
We are two co-founders. The other partner is called Naisingoi Saitaga. I’m responsible for fundraising and communication with potential sponsors while Naisingoi is responsible for the finances. Together, we monitor and evaluate our support to the homes. We have other friends who support with ideation regarding activities to engage the children with, as well as how to support the children in the home while sticking within the budget.
What procedures do you have in place to keep it running smoothly?
Changes for Change members meet biannually to visit homes within Nairobi. Prior to the scheduled visits, we conduct a needs assessment of the homes and mobilize the financial resources. Thereafter, we allocate the funds using a value-based approach. On the day, C4C members assemble at the home and spend the day: mentoring, cooking, cleaning and playing with the children.
What have you learnt or what are you learning as you run it?
For the first 3 years, we were changing homes with each visit so visiting a different home each time which we no longer do, we currently support one home, Riruta children’s home. There is a time we were sponsoring one home from Mathare slums. They were in need of a wall so I organized a concert to raise funds for the wall. We raised about USD 600 and bought the materials and actually put up the wall. On the day that I wanted to view the work, the owner of the home calls me early in the morning to tell me “oh people broke the wall and stole the materials”.
I was so disappointed. I couldn’t believe it. We did some digging and discovered that it was an inside job, they sold the materials and took the money. Needless to say, we stopped supporting the home, did better reference checks for potential homes to support and stopped offering money. We learnt that not all homes are run by people of integrity but it doesn’t mean that you stop doing good.
What’s been the biggest challenge so far?
Children grow which translates to growing needs in every aspect of their lives more so in educational costs. Raising enough funds to meet the needs of the children has been the greatest challenge.
What would it look like if all your plans/dreams for Change for Change were realized?
Change for Change for us is not just meant to be an organization, we would love it to be a movement. Basically, we can be an example of how it works and our fellow youth can take it up and use their friendships/circles of influence to make a difference wherever they are. Literally, all it takes is the little pocket change you have daily, weekly, monthly to be impactful in the lives of those less privileged in the society. We would hope our story would inspire others to take up a home or whichever area they see a need, focus on it and drive the change they want to see.
What keeps you going?
The children keep me going. The hugs, the smiles and the conversations from the children keep us going. When we see them graduate from high school to campus that keeps us going.
How can people support Change for Change?
People can reach out to us through our website C4CCommunity and we can get back to them on the various ways to support us financially.