Happy Birthday Nuru
If I could choose a superhero power, I would choose to be able to stop time. Mostly, so that I could sleep. Which probably isn’t what a superhero would do. Then again, my second choice power would be to be able to eat 5,000 calories a day without gaining weight. Yes, these are the things I think about. This particular train of thought began with a conversation about how fast the time has passed. Foundation Team 3 arrived in mid-July, and already Christmas looms like a threat ready to cut off our work momentum.
This week it is Nuru’s birthday, which coincides with the launch of our snazzy new website. Watching the new videos put together by our talented media team is so motivating. Emerging from the frantic details of everyday to see that we have tangible results (all in a beautifully-transitioned, 5-minute-or-less clip with good music!) really energizes me. This is followed by sheer terror that my work won’t live up to the videos, and I dive back in. Where does the time go? Am I working hard enough? Will I finish everything I want to get done? How do I spend my time?
Recently, it feels like I’ve been spending a lot of my time putting out fires – members arguing over what amount they contributed to group savings, messy record keeping, field officer squabbles. But there are just as many encouraging moments. We’ve divided all our savings club groups among the field officers, to encourage building client relationships. Last week, they brought back four groups to the savings program that had become inactive. The field officers are now completely running the regional savings club meetings and resolving minor issues. They are also actively monitoring group ledgers to ensure things run more smoothly in the next cycle of savings. They are bringing up good questions and brainstorming issues like financial inclusion for women. I will need their help in the next month as I continue developing the Jamii Development Fund – What kind of loan products will we offer and how will the repayment be restructured? How do we build credit scores for our members?
It’s almost November already, and Nuru’s birthday passes unnoticed. But not uncelebrated – the new site is launched, and great people are turning up (in Kuria, the U.S., and beyond) that want to work with Nuru. It’s a good time to take a step back and look at what we’ve already managed to do.