Despite having one of the most advanced economies on the African continent, Kenya is still a developing country. Compared with its neighbors, Kenya demonstrates relative political and social stability, though sometimes aggravated by conflicts related to tribalism. Even though the agricultural sector employs 75% of the workforce, the country remains largely food insecure.
Just 40 miles southeast of Lake Victoria lies the district of Kuria West on the Kenya-Tanzania border. A single paved highway lined with concrete shops, tiny restaurants, and service providers cuts through the border town. The rest of the district is a web of dirt roads amid rolling hills dotted with farms and homesteads.
Because of the hunger, disease, child mortality, and illiteracy levels in the community, a visionary named Philip Mohochi invited Nuru into in his community to launch our first project. We planned that after enabling Kuria West to lift itself out of extreme poverty, Nuru would scale to Kuria East and eventually to countries struggling with more severe levels of poverty.
Farmers enroll as members of Nuru Kenya Agriculture in exchange for a farm input loan (seed, fertilizer, and training). Farmers repay the loan and sell their surplus produce at a fair market rate to Nuru Kenya Social Enterprises—which it commercializes for profits that are reinvested into Nuru Kenya.
Nuru farmers learn money management skills through financial literacy training and one-on-one coaching. Joining a savings group provides the farmers with access to basic financial services, specifically access to savings accounts and micro-loans.
Nuru households receive home visits from Nuru Kenya health-care field officers who provide tailored interpersonal communication for how to prevent and assess disease; referrals to Ministry of Health services as needed; and the opportunity to buy commodities such as soap, bed nets, and water purifiers.
Nuru Kenya Education runs an Outreach Program that offers biweekly literacy sessions for students in each class level at rural public primary schools. Throughout the year, it also conducts facilitator training, provide support through 1-on-1 teacher meetings, and develops curriculum.
“Nuru has given me the ability to provide for my family.”
Nuru Kenya is on track to achieve impact in each impact program in the coming year. Leadership sustainability will be achieved by 2015, and the entire country’s operations will be 100% Kenyan led. Nuru Kenya will continue to scale throughout the country, empowering tens of thousands to lift themselves out of extreme poverty forever.